10,401 book reviews and counting...

Flames Reviews

Flames by Robbie Arnott (Author)


Robbie Arnott (Author)

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Atlantic Books
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: 1 Nov 2018
ISBN: 9781786496263

Like a weather-beaten A Visit from the Goon Squad, Robbie Arnott's mad, wild debut novel is rough-hewn from the Tasmanian landscape and imbued with the folkloric magic of the oldest fireside storytellers.

4 stars out of 5
19 Aug 2019

"A novel where special coffins are required to keep the dead from rising, and river gods vandalise jetskis could be irritating. But here the tricks pay off"

But it’s a mark of Flames’s success that it can overcome this awkwardness. I still cared about the book. For all the fronds growing out of arms and flames coming out of characters’ eyes, this story convinced me it was about real people and an important place. By the end, it felt less like Arnott was imbuing his local landscape with magic, and more that the landscape itself was lending his book some of its strange and special power. That’s a decent trick.