Rifling paradise

by Poster, Jem.

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
F.O.R. Sto-Rox Library Fiction F Pos
Location  F.O.R. Sto-Rox Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F Pos
When past indiscretions catch up with Charles Redbourne, a minor English landowner, he is propelled from England to Australia, where he plans to make his mark as a naturalist. There, his life begins to change dramatically, not least when he meets his host's wayward, artistic daughter. But it is on an expedition in search of scientific specimens in the Blue Mountains that events take a terrifying turn. Vividly conveying the unspoken codes of Victorian society, this is a gripping tale of emotional and psychological reckoning that offers an inspired meditation on the relationship between humankind and the natural world.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Blamed by villagers for the suicide of the young male assistant he had loved, and finding his predilection for teenage youths becoming public knowledge, Charles Redbourne feels forced to leave his home to pursue a longtime interest in naturalism. Barely hanging onto his family estate, with his inheritance depleted, he turns to the uncle he has long ignored, who funds travel to Australia and suggests an acquaintance, Edward Vale, as a contact. Redbourne joins the household, which includes Vale's 20-year-old daughter, Eleanor, an artist who suffered the early loss of her mother, and is stunned by the wild beauty he sees. But his expedition to gather specimens of local fauna, with an experienced but brutish guide, turns treacherous when Aboriginal beliefs are ignored, and Redbourne comes to regret what he has taken from the land. Poster (Courting Shadows, 2008) starts this story in Victorian England, but it is his vivid portrayal of the outback and the psychological tension of Redbourne's exploits there that are most memorable. A skillfully wrought, disquieting novel.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Destitution and scandal drive 19th-century British gentleman Charles Redbourne on a voyage to Australia in Poster's atmospheric second novel. Charles hopes to collect specimens of rare wildlife, but his trip soon goes literally and figuratively offtrack. His stay with a family friend is unsettled by his host's daughter, a volatile artist with a troubled past. Bullen, his expedition manager, clashes violently with their porter, Billy Preece, deriding the servant's guidance, even though Billy's Aboriginal heritage provides their only authentic connection to the untamed land they traverse. As the journey devolves toward danger and even death, Poster (Courting Shadows) evokes complex Victorian attitudes toward nature, culture, progress and science. Charles is a compelling portrait of a man moving uneasily among conflicting possibilities of his time, but his personal story never truly gels, while the book's suspense and romantic elements jostle uneasily against its ruminative philosophic themes. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Naturalists -- Australia -- Fiction.
Scientific expeditions -- Australia -- Fiction.
Australia -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Publisher Woodstock, NY :Overlook Press,2009
Language English
Description 325 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9781590200483 (hardcover)
1590200489 (hardcover)
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