Book Review: Lost Dog By Kate Spicer | donkeytime.orgThis is my favourite kind of novel. It is full of incident and character, tells a gripping story, has many touches of brilliance and can make you laugh and wonder. But it is also mightily flawed. Tom Loxley is the dark-skinned son of a Eurasian mother and alcoholic Englishman who emigrated from the south Indian town of Mangalore when Tom was 14, becoming three of many thousands of such 'leftovers of Empire' who have begun to push Australia into belonging in south-east Asia rather than the Home Counties. Tom is divorced; an intellectual and an academic writing about 'Henry James [who else? He wishes 'to lead a modern life
There is no feminine for "avuncular", but there ought to be. I want, in auntly fashion, to praise Michelle de Kretser for being good and beautiful, while scolding her for being afraid to show her goodness and beauty. What do you want to hide behind all that face-paint for, child? Do you think you have to be as skinny as a pencil and wear a ring in your navel just because other people do? The fashionable disfigurements and artificialities I complain of are, of course, literary, and they affect not her, but her novel, The Lost Dog. Kretser's native style is clear, vigorous, sensitive to mood and cadence, and strongly narrative - an excellent tool for a novelist with a story to tell.