James Bradley Wrack

ISBN 13: 9780091834944

Wrack

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9780091834944: Wrack
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1997 kicks off with a startling and original literary debut...a haunting, powerful story of passion, betrayal, obsession and loss. A body is found in the sandhills on the southern coast of New South Wales. David is an archaeologist, leading a team of students digging up the sandhills, searching for evidence of a Portuguese ship he believes was wrecked there in the fifteenth century. Hideously disfigured by injuries he received in New Guinea during the Second World War, Kurt now lies dying in a small shack near the sandhills. All his life he, like David, has been obsessed by the stories of the ship. When David meets Kurt, he believes the old man has the answers he so desperately wants. Answers he will do everything to discover...The story swings back and forward in time, from the days of the Portuguese sailors and their fiercely protected maritime secrets, to the politics of history in a 1930s university, to the playing out of David's obsession in the present. Erotic, sensuous and erudite, Wrack draws the reader into a web of lies, sex and mystery in a novel that is as unusual as it is beautiful. James Bradley was born in Adelaide in 1967. He studied at the University of Adelaide, where he completed a law degree and took honours in philosophy, and later at the University of South Australia and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. He has worked as a law clerk, judge's associate, solicitor, research assistant and editor and more recently has achieved some modicum of fame as a video shop attendant. As well as writing and reviewing for newspapers and magazines, he has written a book of poetry, "Paper Nautilus", which was shortlisted for the 1995 National Book Council Banjo Awards, and edited "Blur", and anthology of work by young Australian writers, also published by Vintage. He lives in Sydney. Forget grunge, here's a young Australian writer who's breaking the mould of those confused-young-men first novels with an assured work of great imagination and powe

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Review:

Shipwrecks and lost loves, the Mercator projection and sand dunes, 20th-century passions and the age of exploration: this ambitious first novel by James Bradley crosses continents and centuries to explore the notion that Australia may have been discovered by the Portuguese. David is an Australian archaeologist combing sand dunes that he thinks may be hiding an ancient Portuguese ship. What he finds instead is a human body from the 1940s. An old hermit named Kurt Seligmann advances mysteriously to the fore of the narrative, voicing memories that may or may not touch on the history of this corpse. More crucially to the obsessed David, Kurt seems to possess some knowledge of the fabled sand-sunk ship. As the old man slips away into illness, David's former lover, Dr. Claire Sen, joins him at his bedside vigil. David and Claire find their own doomed story subtly twinned in Kurt's tale of obsession and love in wartime Australia.

Genuinely gripping, ingeniously plotted, and always convincingly researched, Bradley's novel has plenty of propulsive intelligence to keep the reader hooked. Bradley's first book was a volume of award-winning poetry, and he brings a poet's aptitude for language and repeated images to Wrack. Sometimes, however, this preoccupation hamstrings an otherwise compelling adventure tale. Imagery of shards crops up incessantly, which is perhaps a bit literal-minded for a novel with an archaeologist protagonist. "A memory, or perhaps less than a memory, a shard, a fragment" is a typical (fragmented) sentence--not very helpful prose and not even very nice poetry. If a book is going to invoke Michael Ondaatje as heavily as this one does, it needs to deliver more compelling writing. Still, fans of The English Patient--and Dava Sobel's Longitude, for that matter--should find much to admire in Bradley's cleverly looped and configured tale of ships at sea and lovers in sand.

About the Author:

James Bradley, lauded as one of Australia's most talented new writers, lives in Sydney. Wrack won the 1998 Fellowship of Australian Writers Literature Award and was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. Holt will publish Bradley's new novel, The Deep Field in May 2000.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780805061086: Wrack: A Novel

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ISBN 10:  0805061088 ISBN 13:  9780805061086
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., 1999
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9780805064476: Wrack: A Novel

Holt P..., 2000
Softcover

9780571245840: WRACK

FABER ..., 2008
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9780747260455: Wrack

Headli..., 1998
Softcover

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Book Description 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. 1997 kicks off with a startling and original literary debut . a haunting, powerful story of passion, betrayal, obsession and loss. A body is found in the sandhills on the southern coas.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.246. Seller Inventory # 9780091834944

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Book Description RANDOM HOUSE AUSTRALIA, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. 1997 kicks off with a startling and original literary debut . a haunting, powerful story of passion, betrayal, obsession and loss. A body is found in the sandhills on the southern coast of New South Wales. David is an archaeologist, leading a team of students digging up the sandhills, searching for evidence of a Portuguese ship he believes was wrecked there in the fifteenth century. Hideously disfigured by injuries he received in New Guinea during the Second World War, Kurt now lies dying in a small shack near the sandhills. All his life he, like David, has been obsessed by the stories of the ship. When David meets Kurt, he believes the old man has the answers he so desperately wants. Answers he will do everything to discover . The story swings back and forward in time, from the days of the Portuguese sailors and their fiercely protected maritime secrets, to the politics of history in a 1930s university, to the playing out of David's obsession in the present. Erotic, sensuous and erudite, Wrack draws the reader into a web of lies, sex and mystery in a novel that is as unusual as it is beautiful. Paperback. Seller Inventory # MM-43000150

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Book Description 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. 1997 kicks off with a startling and original literary debut . a haunting, powerful story of passion, betrayal, obsession and loss. A body is found in the sandhills on the .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.246. Seller Inventory # 9780091834944

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