WELCOME TO NORMAL
Nick Earls, Vintage, A$29.95
Short fiction is a notoriously difficult medium, but Earls has mastered it. This collection is linked by the theme of travel, particularly people out of their comfort zone. In Range, a US soldier drives home with horror on his mind. Other stories show tourists - a feuding gay couple in Spain - or Australian winemakers in Taiwan. The pick is Merlo Girls, about two ill-assorted males and an act of kindness. Good stuff.
BLOOD ON THE ALTAR: IN SEARCH OF A SERIAL KILLER
Tobias Jones, Faber & Faber, A$29.99
Nicki Reed, Text, A$29.99
Unzipped is a sprightly snapshot of middle-class inner-city Melbourne: love, bikes, dykes and coffee. Not to mention the quest for babies. Peta thinks her life is good, but slowly it unravels. She hits a cyclist; has unexpected sex; her love life gets novelistic. Sexual identity and politics get an energetic workout in this novel. It is smart, with an endearing heroine and steamy sex scenes. The joy of this narrative is how change can come, and how it should be embraced. Unzipped should make for great television.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/bookshop-20120705-21jpn.html#ixzz201Bj4zoi