I’ve just eagerly read the final book in Steven Carroll’s wonderful Glenroy series. This one is set in 1917 Melbourne when the city is in a ferment of discussion about whether to accept conscription or not. The central character is Maryanne, Michael’s grandmother. She is almost forty, pregnant and unmarried. A stalwart character who is determined to keep her child (who becomes Vic) and not give him up to the Church as expected. It is called The Year of the Beast and although sixth in the series it is a prequel. You have yet to meet engine-driver Vic, wife Rita and their son Michael, their neighbours and workmates, living in a newly emerging suburb on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Steven Carroll’s style is quite addictive. Short rhythmic sentences, graceful and tender prose. If you haven’t met these life-like characters yet you have a treat in store. The Art of the Engine Driver and The Gift of Speed, should be read first, in my opinion, while the other titles can be read in any order. They are The Time We Have Taken, Forever Young and Spirit of Progress. Steven is a Miles Franklin Award winner as well as several other big prizes. He is Australia’s John Updike and I think these books are marvellous.
Carroll has written another series all about T.S.Eliot. Those titles are The Lost Life, A World of Other People and A New England Affair. Take your pick! Enjoyment guaranteed.
Steven spoke at Abbey's in 2011 on the writing of Spirit of Progress. Excerpts:
Prize winning Poet, Barry Hill wrote a glowing report in the Australian Review last Saturday for The Poems Vol.III in the Cambridge Edition of The Works of D. H. Lawrence, which includes Uncollected Poems and Early Versions. It is not cheap, although we have sold some already. He says "Dig into Lawrence dear readers. Fork out for this book. It is all process, and contemporary".
Bear in mind that Abbey’s carries a very extensive range of books published by Cambridge University Press especially, and also from Oxford University Press. On our website homepage there are currently two links, one each for Cambridge and Oxford, showing you all the titles in stock. You will be amazed! And if we are out of stock we can get it for you quickly.
Happy reading, Eve
Since 1968 ~ Abbey's 131 York Street Sydney ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers