The Great World

The Great World, David Malouf, 1990

  • Australia, #19
  • Paperback, alibris.com, $0.99
  • Read: November 2014
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Recommended for: War enthusiasts, very serious white men (or are these even distinct categories?)

I have to be honest, I don’t remember much about this book. It took me almost a month to read it, which is never a good sign. These are the notes I made at the time, in their entirety: Not much to say about this one. Interesting, kind of, and pretty well-written. Ultimately forgettable.

So forgettable that I’ve successfully forgotten it.

It’s about the experience of Australian prisoners of war in the Pacific during World War II. There’s something about an amusement park called The Great World (maybe they’re held captive there?) and lots of people get beri beri and die in misery. There’s some other stuff too, the Great Depression and life after the war, and one of the characters travels around boxing with a county fair, I think. That’s it, though, that’s all I got. Other people seem to hold this book in great esteem, and I didn’t think it was bad, but it just didn’t do much for me. But maybe I haven’t done it justice, and anyway this isn’t much in the way of blog posts, so here’s a link to the New York Times review, which interested readers will hopefully find somewhat more edifying.

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California 2005
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