Richard Flanagans previous novels, including Goulds Book of Fish, have been some of the most acclaimed and beloved works of fiction in recent years. He has been described as a master of sleight of hand, adept at using words to conjure worlds, an indefatigable artist by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times, and his new novel has been hotly anticipated by critics and readers alike. Now he delivers a mesmerizing thriller that demonstrates the breadth of his range and vision.
What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in the country? Gina Davies is about to find out when, after a night spent with an attractive stranger, she becomes a prime suspect in the investigation of an attempted terrorist attack. Three unexploded bombs at a stadium, one attractive stranger now missing, and five days on the run, she witnesses every truth of her life twisted into a betrayal. The Unknown Terrorist is a relentless tour de force that paints a devastating picture of a contemporary society gone haywire, where the ceaseless drumbeat of terror alert levels, newsbreaks, and fear of the unknown pushes a nation ever closer to the breaking point.
In The Unknown Terrorist, one of the most brilliant writers working in the English language today turns his attention to the most timely of subjectswhat our leaders tell us about the threats against us, and how we cope with living in fear. It is an extraordinary achievement, chilling, impossible to put down, and all too familiar.
The Unknown Terrorist
The idea that love is not enough is a particularly
painful one. In the face of its truth, humanity has for centuries
tried to discover in itself evidence that love is the
greatest force on earth.
Jesus is an especially sad example of this unequal struggle. The innocent heart of Jesus could never have enough of human love. He demanded it, as Nietzsche observed, with hardness, with madness, and had to invent hell as punishment for those who withheld their love from him. In the end he created a god who was wholly love in order to excuse the hopelessness and failure of human love. Jesus, who wanted love to such an extent, was clearly a madman, and had no choice when confronted with the failure of love but to seek his own death. In his understanding that love was not enough, in his acceptance of the necessity of the sacrifice of his own life to enable the future of those around him, Jesus is historys first, but not last, ...
The Unknown Terrorist is set against a background of draconian anti-terror laws that were passed in Australia in 2005 following the bombings in Bali, Indonesia. Written as a wake-up call for Australians by an Australian, its story is a powerful morality tale for all of us living in increasingly paranoid nations.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (880 words).
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 the University of Tasmania, graduating with first class honours in
1982. The following year he was awarded a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford
He wrote four history books before turning to fiction. The Unknown Terrorist is his fourth novel following Death of a River Guide (1994), The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997) and Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish (2001).
He lives in Tasmania ...
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