A decade-by-decade portrait of 20th-century Australia through the prism of one family. Abacus is a novel about the end times, of generational violence and the instinct for survival by one of Australia's leading contemporary poets. "The cumulative effect of Abacus is intriguing. While none of the characters really stands out individually, it's fascinating to see the shifting patterns of opportunity and obligation and the interaction of individual constitutions with this across a century of Australian history. As a historical fiction, it's certainly a welcome corrective to worn-out narrative tropes such as the discovery of lost diaries and the recrudescence of family secrets. Armand writes with an admirable laconic economy. For example: "Afterwards, when Clarice Foley told him she was marrying a foreigner, George Luscombe was beside himself, as was Mrs Casey and the other girls in the choir, and all the rest of the congregation. They wanted to know who this foreigner was, what he was, how they'd met, did he speak English? When she told them he was a German, they just looked at each other not knowing what to say. But George Luscombe knew what to say, he'd served at El Alamein. 'Ought to be ashamed of herself,' his wife decided. He'd shrugged. He'd grown fond of the girl." What follows shows that George doesn't reflect his fellow parishioners' xenophobia. One of the real strengths of Abacus is the way Armand captures these tense and defining moments in Australian history, while the narrative sweep also shows their dissolution in time." -Ed Wright, The Australian

ISBN: 9781922181497
Author: Armand, Louis
Publication date: 30/03/2015
Format: Paperback
Dimension: 203mm X 133mm