MLA Platinum Award Press Release

The Arsonist: Book summary and reviews of The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

The Arsonist

A Mind on Fire

by Chloe Hooper

The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper X
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

The true story of the most devastating wildfire in Australian history and the search for the man who started it.

What kind of person would deliberately start a firestorm? What kind of mind?

On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to the police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn't know.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. This book is also the story of fire in Australia, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species--understanding its abuse will shape our future.

A powerful true-crime thriller written with Hooper's trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Consistently riveting and never fuzzy on the details, Hooper's book encompasses the specifics of the fire, its collateral damages, and the troubled mind behind the mayhem. A gripping true-crime chronicle in which the justice is both righteous and agonizing." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The book tells the story of the 2009 Black Saturday blazes in Victoria, which rank among Australia's most deadly bushfires...But it is also the story of post-industrial, semi-rural communities and lack of government regulation in the Anthropocene. The Arsonist's environmental setting may help readers understand the context for Australia's current bushfire emergency." - Chicago Review of Books

"Hooper gives a cool appraisal of a hot issue...even-handed and nuanced." - The Guardian (UK)

"The Arsonist [is] by turns a fascinating real-life thriller, police procedural, intense sociological study and the long-overdue story of fire in Australia...Powerful and nuanced...In Hooper's sure hands the grimmest details become exquisite imagery. " - The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

"Hooper drops the reader inside the Black Saturday brushfires to terrifying effect, then masterfully shifts from the physical realm to the existential–namely, how and why a particular evil manifests. Visceral and terrifying." – Maureen Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

The information about The Arsonist shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper's The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island (2008) won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. She is also the author of two novels, A Child's Book of True Crime and The Engagement.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more history, science & current affairs...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hamnet
    Hamnet
    by Maggie O'Farrell
    William Shakespeare's name is never used in Hamnet — a conspicuous absence around which Maggie...
  • Book Jacket: After the Last Border
    After the Last Border
    by Jessica Goudeau
    According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the number of displaced people around the world is ...
  • Book Jacket: Crossings
    Crossings
    by Alex Landragin
    Crossings is a beautiful, if slightly messy, time-bending debut. It reads like a vampire novel, sans...
  • Book Jacket: Pew
    Pew
    by Catherine Lacey
    A quote often attributed to Leo Tolstoy states that "All great literature is one of two stories; a ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Migrations
    by Charlotte McConaghy

    An instant bestseller set on the brink of catastrophe, for readers of Flight Behavior and Station Eleven.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    With or Without You
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A moving novel about twists of fate, the shifting terrain of love, and coming into your own.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Every Bone a Prayer
by Ashley Blooms

The the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight is boundless.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.