1999, 356 p.
That’s it. I’m not reading another Peter Temple ever.
In fact, I said that to myself after I had to re-read Truth for my CAE bookgroup earlier this year. I looked back at my original blog post and everything I said there, I say again. Too disjointed. Too much conversation. Too confusing. And definitely not worthy of a Miles Franklin prize.
I’m amazed to find that I’ve read as many Peter Temples as I have. I quite liked The Broken Shore, but by White Dog the appeal had worn off. In the Evil Day was set in Africa, but it had all the same problems (too disjointed, too much conversation, too confusing etc). He does dialogue well, but why doesn’t (didn’t) he just write plays? At least the speaker is identified in a script and you don’t have to count back to see who’s talking. And who are all these people he keeps bringing in? Or capturing a setting, which he also does well: why doesn’t (didn’t) he just write travel books?
At least Black Tide is a Jack Irish story, and I can see Guy Pearce, the three old blokes at the pub, Cam, Harry Strang and Stan the bartender in my mind’s eye. Thank God for television, I say. The dodgy betting is here, and the carpentry, and a bit of sex, along with a confusing story about dodgy companies. But I really have no idea what it was about.
So that’s it. Ned Kelly Awards and Miles Franklin prize be damned. If someone chooses another Peter Temple for bookgroup ever again, I’m just going to say “Nup. I don’t like Peter Temple”.
My rating: 6/10
Read because: ONLY because it was chosen for my CAE bookgroup.