peteg's blog

Patrick White: Happy Valley

/noise/books | Link

I've been meaning to read more from Mr Nobel since I stumbled upon his masterful short stories last year, and couldn't resist this one, his first novel, after reading some boosterism in the Smage. At 400 pages things got a bit stodgy and my eyes glazed over more than once. (Did I fall asleep more easily those nights?) It is stylish, and sometimes knowing, but also artificial and tendentious. I doubt that the denizens of erstwhile Adaminaby would agree that he had them pegged. Perhaps more interesting would have been his reaction to the town's permanent flooding in 1949, which resonates more than anything he attempted here.