Writers Aren’t People Exactly

WEST OF SUNSET
Stewart O'Nan
Allen and Unwin, RRP$29.99
June 2015

West of SunsetEver find that you read one book about an era, event or group of people, and are then bombarded with a multitude of other books centred on the same theme. For me, I am never sure whether my book trends are actual publishing trends or mere coincidences. I suspect my current trend of books about the Jazz Age—more specifically the leading couple of that age, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald—is an actual publishing trend. It definitely feels like one, right?

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Cold Comfort Farm

COLD COMFORT FARMcoldcomfort

Gibbons, Stella (Important Books, reprint July 2013, ISBN 978-8087830628)

For some reason anything written in the era of the Jazz age kind of reads like a light hearted romp that could have been written in the 1980s. I suspect both eras were famously of unfettered youth getting their stockings off and dancing until dawn. Both eras had a bright, vibrant, selfish youth culture – when there was a lot, then suddenly, no, money around. Their books tend to be a bit similar, though there are more hard drugs in books from the 80s.

I was at both primary and high school in the 1980s and thus the only vaguely adult thing I did was drink a small bottle West Coast cooler at a birthday party. It made me feel roguish and all grown-up while the soles of my mesh shoes melted, pointed at the bonfire. Continue reading

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