REVIEW: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Review by John Purcell)

by |October 23, 2013

How do you review a Shaun Tan book?

Each time I open Rules of Summer I find a different book. I remember my excitement on being offered a sneak peek a few months ago. I was left feeling a little bewildered. Did I like it? I don’t think I did on that first look.

Then a few months later I was given an advance copy. I flicked through the pages and found a completely new book. Or so I thought. But no, the preview was exactly the same as the finished copy. Had I changed? I read through it time and time again. The book bewitched me. I then stood it on my desk in the office so that I could look at it during the day.

Rules of Summer is dark comedy. Or tragedy.

It is a self-help book. It is a graphic novel. A child’s picture book. A nightmare. A warning. A guide. A fun way to pass half an hour. Ten minutes. A minute.

It is art. It is entertainment.

What the hell is it? It’s a bizarre thing, and I love it.

Shaun Tan’s Rules of Summer is something you must own.

Shaun Tan’s Rules of Summer is a Booktoberfest title. Buy it now to go in the draw to win Booktopia’s weekly giveaway – a $250 Booktopia voucher – AND order by 31st October 2013 to go in the draw to win the fantastic publisher prize.

Click here for prize details and to see the full Hachette Children’s Showcase


Click here to buy Rules of Summer from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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