Friday, 13 September 2013

In praise of Anthony O'Neill

Who is the Australian writer of whom these things have been said?

a remarkable and mysterious first novel, elegantly written and vividly characterized

a striking testament to the power of the imagination.

head and shoulders above the current run of ancient historical novels

wit, philosophy, poetry, eroticism and memorable characters

in a class of its own

timeless and timely, at once a chilling page-turner and a thought-provoking inquiry into the true nature of evil and the dangers of suppressing the imagination.

altogether brilliant

part mystery, part fantasy, but weighing in with the literary resonance of something more profound. A meticulous piece of narrative imagination

a dazzling effort

a level of skill that far outclasses many veteran thriller fictionists

a writing voice not to be missed.

an absolutely extraordinary performance

the sort of completely realized novel around which a career is made.

a suave, daring and unflaggingly entertaining story-teller

a seductive mixture of historical fact, redemptive philosophy and wildly imaginative fiction

unquestionably a tour de force

Pulp Fiction meets George Orwell's Animal Farm

combines talents for mystery and imagination and a furious narrative drive, as well as an unexpected metaphysical concern with the current human condition

can stand strong comparisons: like Fielding in Shamela, Twain in A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur and Orwell in Animal Farm. 

No, it's not him or him or him, definitely not him ....not her or even her  –

step forward Anthony O'Neill, otherwise known as Cornelius Kane, the author of four extraordinary  novels: Scherezade, The Lamplighter, The Empire of Eternity, The Unscratchables.  Any one of these should have made his name among Australian readers. Why hasn't it?  Gert is invariably met with blank looks when she mentions his name to her reading friends.  She once wrote to Ramona Koval suggesting Books and Writing feature this remarkable writer. No answer came the stern reply.

Do yourself a favour and get to know him.


gorbals said...

It is indeed mysterious he is not more well known here. The Unscratchables would make a great film.

joan and gabrielle said...

Thanks Gorbals. Hmm, just wondering what dogs and cats would be up to the roles?