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The Great World
     

The Great World

by David Malouf
 

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The Great World is a remarkable novel of self-knowledge and of fall from innocence, of survival and witness. Absorbed by the twentieth-century history of Australian life, the novel focuses on the unlikely friendship of two men who meet as POWs of the Japanese during WWII: Digger Keen, and Vic Curran. For both men, war was supposed to be a testing ground

Overview

The Great World is a remarkable novel of self-knowledge and of fall from innocence, of survival and witness. Absorbed by the twentieth-century history of Australian life, the novel focuses on the unlikely friendship of two men who meet as POWs of the Japanese during WWII: Digger Keen, and Vic Curran. For both men, war was supposed to be a testing ground of masculine and nationalist virtue. Instead, it becomes an ordeal that lays bare the painful reality which lies behind a nation's myth of itself.
 
“The rare serious novel that doesn't condescend to its characters, this book has a limpidity and an elliptical sense of time that save it from becoming a blockbuster-style epic—despite having some of that form's easy pleasures—and render it poetic.”—The New Yorker

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
. Australian Malouf's study of the intense and uneasy relationship between two men from the Depression to World War II. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Will American readers be interested in slices of Australian life over the last 70 years? Will they be enthralled by two Aussies who meet in a Japanese POW camp? Will they be at all taken by a novel of an old war while a new one rages? Probably not, though they should be. Malouf, who is being touted as the successor to the great Patrick White, has written a wonderfully constructed, beautifully phrased novel that transcends its geography and its time to give us the dramatic interactions between human beings and history. The plot hangs on the friendship between Digger Keen and Vic Curran, representatives of the working class who are altered by war and their country's development. The writing is powerful, engaging, dynamic. This should not be missed.-- Vincent D. Balitas, Allentown Coll., Center Valley, Pa.
Ian Buruma
Superb...Malouf's perceptions are deep and his use of language, that marvelously rich Australian language, is quite powerful. -- The New York Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679748366
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/20/1993
Edition description:
1st Vintage International ed
Pages:
340
Sales rank:
748,821
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

David Malouf is the author of ten novels and six volumes of poetry. His novel The Great World was awarded both the prestigious Commonwealth Prize and the Prix Femina Estranger. Remembering Babylon was short-listed for the Booker Prize. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

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