A beguiling meditation on friendship and love, on men and women, on landscape and the difficulties of thought itself.
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Published: 06 August 2009
Genre: Modern fiction
What are The Pages?On a family sheep station in the interior of Australia, a brother and sister work the property while their reclusive brother, Wesley Antill, spends years toiling away in one of the sheds, writing a philosophy. Now he has died. Erica, a philosopher, is sent from Sydney to appraise his work. Accompanying her is Sophie, who needs a distraction from a string of failed relationships. Her field is psychoanalysis. These two women, each with different views of the world, face a situation they have not experienced before, with surprising results.
Complicated, enigmatic, interesting fiction
Jane Shilling, The Times
The novel's pleasures... mostly reside in its formal arrangement and Bail's brilliantly distilled, and witty prose
Times Literary Supplement
Not an easy or open book, but it is an oddly compelling one. The spell is most powerfully cast in the brilliant quiet skill of the writing
Hermione Lee, Guardian
A nicely written, wonderfully entertaining novel... Philosophy is a big, difficult subject - there is none bigger - that Bail depicts thoughtfully and with sympathetic humour
The Daily Telegraph
Quietly fascinating... Bail's prose is as full of space and glaring, almost painful light as the landscape... This book is as hard and sparse as that landscape, but no less beautiful for that
Jonathan Gibbs, Independent
Bail's highly idiosyncratic style resembles a choppy sea in which phrases and images constantly jostle each other to send up a dazzlingly brilliant spray. In addition, his ability to conjure up a character in a paragraph or even a mere sentence is remarkable
Francis King, Literary Review
The novel makes no pretence of providing unambiguous answers, but takes us on a beguiling, questing journey
Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
Murray Bail marshals the tensions between his characters and their ideas to great effect
Peter Scott, The Telegraph
A gratifyingly dry wit pervades this novel of ideas
Chris Ross, The Guardian
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Murray Bail was born in Adelaide in 1941. Homesickness, his first novel, won the National Book Award for Australian Literature and the Melbourne Age Book of the Year Award. Holden's Performance, first ...