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Camouflage Hardcover – Nov 1 2000


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Hardcover, Nov 1 2000
CDN$ 44.46 CDN$ 46.28

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: The Text Publishing Company (Nov. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1876485647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1876485641
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.5 x 16.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A host of distinctive, genuine characters, all at the mercy of life's folly and its slapdash potential, parade through Australian writer Bail's unconventional new collection of 14 short stories. Devoid of any kind of unifying theme, the volume includes several tales that play out as bizarre, abstract vignettes, while others are stunningly vivid and affecting, as in the standout opening story "The Seduction of My Sister." In it, a boy who feels that his younger sister is a terrible pest concocts an increasingly dangerous outdoor game with a new neighbor. Lobbing progressively larger household items back and forth over the rooftops makes for hours of amusement, until his sister poses the ultimate dare. The vacuum of smalltown life may have gotten the better of Sid in "Life of the Party." Perched high and dry in his son's tree house, Sid observes as neighbors and friends congregate drunkenly in his backyard for a barbecue he never bothers to host. In "Huebler," a man embarks on the "strange ambitious task" of photographing every living person and cataloguing each in a uniquely identifying category, i.e., "At least one person who may outlive art." In the title story, middle-aged Eric Banerjee, a married Adelaide piano tuner, is drafted in 1943 and sent to Australia's Northern Territory. After surmounting some initial shyness, he bonds with the other men in his troop, conceding that these are indeed "his happiest days." Bail (Homesickness) is at his strongest when writing from the shadowy corners of suburbia, much like A.M. Homes. The book's organizational structure suffers from a jarring irregularity, and a few entries, though they demonstrate the author's love of all things peculiar, seem thrown in as afterthoughts. Still, this is an illuminating, dexterously written collection, wildly uneven but uniformly potent.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Readers who enjoy fanciful, postmodern work in the tradition of Donald Barthelme and Italo Calvino will enjoy this delightful collection of gleefully absurdist short stories by acclaimed Australian writer Bail (Homesickness). Anyone who approaches these stories with patience and an open mind will find many pleasures the least of which are Bail's inventiveness and gentle humor. In "Life of the Party," for example, a suburban husband invites his friends over for a cookout while his wife and children are out of town and then spends the entire time spying on them from his son's treehouse as they enjoy the party without him. "Huebler" features a photographer who is determined to document the existence of everyone alive. He begins by establishing a list of people to photograph, which includes "at least one person who is incapable of sin" and "at least one person who always has the last word." Enthusiastically recommended. Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By Nicolette Wong on May 1 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's rather hard to summarize the content of this collection as a whole, since most stories are written from the perspectives of character very different from one another (i.e. social background, personality, or simply the circumstance one's situated in). Readers who look for variety in content and themes would enjoy as they go along and explore - be ready to be unsettled. I personally prefer the portrayals of seemingly insignificant individuals - the slides of a life and the vision of the world - quite subtly done, in an almost absurd but triumphant manner. Each of the story also has a fairly different form, which makes this collection a good example for students of creative writing. The writing itself, needless to say, is precise and sometimes poetic. A good choice for those who look for surprises in short fiction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Delightful May 1 2003
By Nicolette Wong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's rather hard to summarize the content of this collection as a whole, since most stories are written from the perspectives of character very different from one another (i.e. social background, personality, or simply the circumstance one's situated in). Readers who look for variety in content and themes would enjoy as they go along and explore - be ready to be unsettled. I personally prefer the portrayals of seemingly insignificant individuals - the slides of a life and the vision of the world - quite subtly done, in an almost absurd but triumphant manner. Each of the story also has a fairly different form, which makes this collection a good example for students of creative writing. The writing itself, needless to say, is precise and sometimes poetic. A good choice for those who look for surprises in short fiction.

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