Monday, March 20, 2017

Does Evie Wyld really reveal the dark side of Australian masculinity?

There might be a few objections to this book being described as revealing "the dark side of Australian masculinity". What would the dark side of English masculinity look like? Fred West, Peter Sutcliffe? For me it was more about the girl, Jake, than her male acquaintances. She certainly has issues but these weren't explored as fully as they might have been and overall the book felt incomplete, as though the author had started something she didn't know how to finish. That happens when you write about something you have not put enough research into or lack experience in. It was all a bit horror-cliche-TV drama and unworthy of the Miles Franklin award.
All the same, I did enjoy All the Birds, Singing and there were engaging passages that should have been continued but dropped away suddenly. Maybe an editor should have advised Wyld to develop her manuscript as I felt the book held considerable potential.
Wyld describes herself as "really from South East London" and this shows. The men she encounters are nothing like the Australian men I know and she clearly has more empathy with Lloyd than the Australians who tend to be characters we have seen in British films and television as roughnecks who can't relate sensitively to females. These are cliches from the British past.
But, and it is a big BUT: I enjoyed the book and recommend it if you don't mind a few gaps in the plot.

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