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Wanting - Richard Flanagan

Paperback

Published: 1st February 2012
For Ages: 15 - 18 years old
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Published: 1st April 2011
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It is 1839. A young Aboriginal girl, Mathinna, is running through the long wet grass of an island at the end of the world to get help for her dying father, an Aboriginal chieftain. Twenty years later, on an island at the centre of the world, the most famous novelist of the day, Charles Dickens, realises he is about to abandon his wife, risk his name and forever after be altered because of his inability any longer to control his intense passion.

Connecting the two events are the most celebrated explorer of the age, Sir John Franklin - then governor of Van Diemen’s Land - and his wife, Lady Jane, who adopt Mathinna, seen as one of the last of a dying race, as an experiment. Lady Jane believes the distance between savagery and civilisation is the learned capacity to control Wanting. The experiment fails, Sir John disappears into the blue ice of the Arctic seeking the Northwest Passage, and a decade later Lady Jane enlists Dickens’ aid to put an end to the scandalous suggestions that Sir John’s expedition ended in cannibalism.

Dickens becomes ever more entranced in the story of men entombed in ice, recognising in its terrible image his own frozen inner life. He produces and stars in a play inspired by Franklin’s fate to give story to his central belief that discipline and will can conquer desire. And yet the play will bring him to the point where he is no longer able to control his own passion and the consequences it brings.

Inspired by historical events, Wanting is a novel about art, love, and the way in which life is finally determined never by reason, but only ever by Wanting.

About the Author

Richard Flanagan was born in Tasmania in 1961. Regarded internationally as one of Australia's best novelists, his multi-award-winning novels, Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould's Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting have been published to popular success and critical acclaim in twenty-five countries. His most recent work is a collection of his non-fiction pieces, And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?. He lives in Hobart with his family.

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Wanting
 
4.0

(based on 1 review)

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4.0

History, personlised

By Bookworm

from LakeMacquarie, AU

About Me Bookworm

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older Readers
    • Reference

    Comments about Wanting:

    Flanagan doesn't spare your feelings - he tells it like it was - humanises Australia's early history - makes one question who were the savages!

    Comment on this review

    'The best novel I have read this year or expect to read for several more' - Sydney Morning Herald.

    Richard Flanagan

    Descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemens Land (later renamed Tasmania) during the Great Famine, Richard Flanagan was born in his native island in 1961, the fifth of six children. He spent his childhood in the mining town of Rosebery and left school at sixteen to work as a bush laborer. He later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His first novel is the much celebrated Death of a River Guide (available from Grove Press), which won major Australian literary prizes including the 1996 National Fiction Award and was described by the Times Literary Supplement as "one of the most auspicious debuts in Australian writing."

    His second novel, The Sound of One Hand Clapping (available from Grove Press), was similarly critically acclaimed and has sold over 150,000 copies in Australia, an unprecedented figure there for a literary novel. It won the Australian Booksellers Book of the Year Award and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. Flanagan's first two novels, declared Kirkus Reviews, "rank with the finest fiction out of Australia since the heyday of Patrick White." Gould's Book of Fish, his third novel, won Best Book for the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize in the South East Asia & South Pacific Region.

    In addition to Australia and the USA, his novels are being published in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Holland, and France. He directed an acclaimed feature film based on The Sound of One Hand Clapping, which had its world premiere in competition at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Bear for best film. He lives in Tasmania with his wife and three children.

    Visit Richard Flanagan's Booktopia Author Page


    ISBN: 9781742755120
    ISBN-10: 1742755127
    Audience: General
    For Ages: 15 - 18 years old
    For Grades: 11 - 12
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 272
    Published: 1st February 2012
    Publisher: Random House Australia
    Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.7  x 1.9
    Weight (kg): 0.2