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Incredible Floridas

Stephen Orr

Incredible Floridas
As Hitler's war looms, famous Australian artist Roland Griffin returns home from London with his family to live a simple life of shared plums and low-cut lawns in the suburbs.

In the yard: a daughter, and a son, Hal, growing up with a preoccupied father who is always out in his shed stretching canvases and painting outback pubs. An isolated man obsessed with other people and places. Everything is a picture, a symbol. Even Hal, the boy in the boat, drifting through a strange world of Incredible Floridas.

As the years pass, Roland learns that Hal is unable to control his own thoughts, impulses, behaviour. The boy becomes the destroyer of family. The neighbourhood is enlisted to help Hal find a way forward. Child actor, a clocker at Cheltenham Racecourse, an apprentice race caller. Incredible Floridas describes Hal's attempts at adulthood, love, religion, and the hardest thing of all: gaining his father's approval.

Praise for Incredible Floridas:
'While the distinctive life of time and place comes across vividly through the interactions of a believable cast of characters, the deeper attractions of the novel come from the way Orr has woven tragic young Hal into the magical tapestry of Rimbaud's famous poem, Le bateau ivre (The Drunken Boat)' - Katharine England, Advertiser

'One of my favourite authors.' - Lisa Hill, ANZLitLovers LitBlog

'It is interesting to speculate about the historical details, which may have inspired Stephen Orr to write this cleverly constructed novel.' - Julie Wells, ReadPlus

'A haunting novel of quiet power, with strikingly etched dialogue, Incredible Floridas is the work of a literary craftsman at the top of his game.' - Cameron Woodhead, Age/Sydney Morning Herald

'The author has captured beautifully the slow-moving nature of an Australian town in the 1950s with all its colloquialisms and latent sexism ... There is a subtext in the dialogue which an astute reader will readily understand but seemly it escapes those speaking it and those to whom it is directed.' - Rod McLary, Queensland Reviewers Collective

'A compelling and at times distressing portrait of a twentieth-century Australian painter and his family.' - Gregory Day, Australian Book Review

'Orr has chosen a difficult path to explore; one that not many writers would choose to ever touch, and Iíd say that he has raised the bar rather high with this work.' - Carl Delprat, Compulsive Reader

'Incredible floridas is the third Orr book Iíve read ... What keeps me coming back is his ability to capture ordinary, day-to-day human interactions, human hopes and fears, with such realism and warmth. Thereís no judgement from Orr. He leaves that for the reader to consider.' - Sue Terry, Whispering Gums

'A disconcerting novel of subtle power, with impressive dialogue that ensnares.' - Rama Gaind, PS News

Stephen Orr is the author of six previous novels - Attempts to Draw Jesus (runner-up The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award 2000), Hill of Grace, Time's Long Ruin (longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and basis for the opera Innocence), Dissonance, One Boy Missing and The Hands (longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award) - as well as a collection of short stories, Datsunland. Stephen has an abiding interest in the dynamics of families and communities, as well as the plight of isolated individuals. He has been nominated for several major Australian literary awards, and works part-time as a teacher in Adelaide.

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Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743055076
Extent 352 pages
Price: AU$32.95 including GST
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