The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (second post)

Now that I have finished my second time reading, I am adding a few comments on some sections of the book in the latter part of the story which illustrate elements of the story for me . As I mentioned earlier I think the dialogue is the outstanding aspect of this book along with the masterful characterisation. The dialogue takes up about 30 to 40% of the text so it reads a bit like a script or a play. The book is very intense for this reason especially. It gives it a cinematic quality accordingly.

The edition which I read and that which is normally readily available in Australia is the Text Publishing Co Edition 2007 reprinted four or five times since 2005. It has no chapter headings so I have listed page numbers in my references which I hope will make sense to readers.

1.Page 228 Par 2 and 3. In this small section we are reminded about Cashin having taken up reading seriously (Conrad , Austen, Dickens etc) during his recuperation following the gunfight with the criminal Rai Sarris in Melbourne when one of Cashin's colleagues was killed and Cashin injured - this all happened before our story began . We get a picture of how nervous he is with the love interest Helen in his seaside rural shack as he takes her through to the kitchen. These few lines illustrate humour and the way in which a little conversation means a lot in this story. and I quote ...

"this is where you go after balls" said Helen . "The less formal room . It's warm"
"This is where we withdraw to", he said "The withdrawing room" . He had read this term somewhere, hadnt known it before Rai Sarris, that was certain.

2. Page 285 and the chapter following when Cashin goes to the Daunt Aboriginal settlement to talk with Chris Pascoe is brilliant - it's tough with strong vernacular but clear and full of the personalities of the people involved. Very good realism.

3. Page 335 - the chapter where Cashin confronts Erica Bourgoyne with the facts relating to her brother and step-father and her cold overseeing of the dreadful revenge on the paedophile is very stark . The reactions of Joe Cashin and Erica are brilliantly laid out through the spare and pointed dialogue .

These are just a few sections towards the end of the book which indicate, I hope, the range of the plot in this very literary thriller - it has many turns and is played out with a very well drawn cast of characters.


John Kennedy said...

By Googling 'Peter Temple Broken Shore' one finds, inter alia, a link to the ABC Message Board. First Tuesday Book Club'. 'Broken Shore' elicted quite a few comments, from people almost evenly divided between those who hail a talent of the highest rodr and those who find it a bit hard to understand why anyone bothers with his stuff.

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.