Despite saying a few posts ago that I was going to read the Millennium Trilogy this month, I was seduced by the local library on Friday night and came home with a huge bag of books which need to be read first.
I've just finished Dead Europe by Christos Tsolkas. It won The Age Fiction Award in 2004, apparently. I have only heard of the writer because he won the Commonwealth Writers Prize last year for The Slap, which I was actually looking for in the library at the time. It was out so I borrowed two others of his to see what they were like.
For the first 100 pages (a quarter of the book) I was reminded why there is a certain class of gay fiction that I dislike. No matter how well it is written, the sex scenes are always too frequent and too boring, and heterosexual sex is treated as brutal and unpleasant. Then the actual story got to me. It is essentially a gothic horror story set within the context of Greek peasant myths and the modern day experiences of Greek migrants in Australia. A lot of it was unpleasant to read, but I couldn't put it down. In context even the (frequent) graphic sex scenes were totally relevant, just like descriptions of vampires feeding would be relevant to a vampire novel.
I can't remember which of his other novels I borrowed last week, but it isn't The Slap and there are only three others that I know of, but I will definitely be reading it, with considerable expectations (even if I do have to look under the bed before I can sleep at night!)
For light relief I am now reading some true crime, about a woman who stabbed her partner repeatedly and then cut him up and cooked him. Well, it was what came out of the bag next!