Thursday, October 18, 2012

Carla's Thoughts - Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar

Published by Penguin Australia, 26 April 2012


Imagine there is someone you like so much that just thinking about them leaves you desperate and reckless. You crave them in a way that's not rational, not right, and you're becoming somebody you don't recognise, and certainly don't respect, but you don't even care. And this person you like is unattainable. Except for one thing... He lives downstairs.

Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.

But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.

I could quite happily drown in Kirsty Eagar’s words. Let them slide down my throat and seep into my lungs. I would let them steal my breath and claim my oxygen for their own. And you know why? Because that’s how this book made me feel; like I couldn’t quite catch my breath, couldn’t gulp enough oxygen into my lungs because I was overflowing, spilling over, gushing with love for the power with which she wields her words.

Night Beach is one of the most evocatively beautiful novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s disarming in its ability to delve into the unknown; those deep dark corners of your mind, the sinister consciousness you’re not quite aware of and the shadowy veil between the known and the unknown. It’s chilling and haunting and quite often alarmingly scary in such a quiet way. Dark and encompassing but ambiguously so; it invokes a fear that feels irrational because all you have is am impression of a thing, just an idea and that is all it takes for the roots of uncertainty to take hold.

(I’m being really vague aren’t I? intriguing is it not?)

This is a tour de force of a third novel; Eagar has made her voice so distinct that she can blur the lines between genres and not once lose the distinct quality of her writing. Her prose is powerful and lyrical and laced through with her intuitive talent of knowing just the right words to say to turn something ordinary into the extraordinary. Her lush descriptions are at the heart of this novel; her interpretation of art and all that stimulates the creative process to the undercurrents of threat, everything was startlingly beautiful yet jarring at the same time.

The relationship between Abbie and Kane is both disturbing and then not. This is not a crush, this is an obsession. It’s that feeling you get when you want something so badly you can barely breathe because you are crushed, smothered by your want. It’s the perverse knowledge that even if you have them it will never be enough; you want to be consumed by them. It is so psychologically intense that it is thrilling and frightening all at the same time. And you will dislike them but resisting is futile; you will love them and they will consume you with so much intensity it will make your head spin.

The power of suggestion you guys. Are you missing something? Or is everything as it seems to be?

Turn everything you think you know about this book right on its head. Not everything can be explained or described; there are shadows and shades that not even the brightest minds can shine light into. Your mind can play tricks on you and so will this book. But will lull you and soothe you and whisper secrets to you that you can never quite hear. 

18 comments:

  1. OH MY GOD. Carla, you may have outdone yourself with this review! Wow. Your words are so beautiful. And so spot on! I know we've already chatted in great detail about this novel, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to discuss it again. I was so taken back by this story. It's definitely not for the easy-reading kind of mind. There is SO MUCH attention to detail and you must look past the written words. Kirsty Eagar is the only one who could tell this story, in my opinion. And you my friend, are the perfect person to review it.

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    1. The fact that you BOTH are all "OMG!" about it makes ME all "GIMME!"

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    2. why thank you my lovely! pahahaha I seem to recall our chats being like 'OMG WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING' or 'AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!' and I NEVER EVER pass up the opportunity to talk about Kirsty's books. Definitely making me blush...I totally agree her words just transcend this story to a whole other level. the juxtaposition of the beautiful setting and the eerie goings on was just sublime.

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  2. Carla, I've read quite a few reviews of this book and they've been enough for me to be all, "Yes, I'll read this." *added to goodreads* Then I kind of forgot about it for a bit.

    But now, Carla... NOW...I'm all..

    MUST. READ. THIS. RIGHT. NOW.

    Lovely review. Really. I want to devour this right this second.

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    1. RIGHT?! I feel the exact same way.

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    2. *dusts off hands* my work here is done.

      p.s. thank you!

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  3. GOOD LORD, woman. You know how to write reviews. I am going right now to order from TBD.

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    1. you know why? because bitches get stuff done. also, i think we yapped about this at length last night. READ IT and then we can both be under her spell together.

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  4. Your review is completely convincing. I MUST HAVE THIS. It sounds so... wonderful and mysterious and just interesting. LOVE.

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    1. IT IS! OH IT REALLY IS! 'm glad you're convinced...I find it disheartening that there are all these amazing titles that swoop under the radar because they're not as easily accessible to readers - this is most definitely one of them. I remain firm that aussie writers really are the cream of the crop.

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  5. Holy cow... best review of a book I've ever read! Must get this book ASAP! Totally convincing and it sounds amazingly good! Great job!

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    1. seriously?! you are FAR too kind but I will accept your comment gracefully and say THANK YOU, and yes, you simply must!

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  6. Goodness gracious, you write fabulous reviews! I will definitely have to pick this one up as soon as possible, it sounds intensely beautiful. GREAT review! <3

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    1. it's pretty easy to write fabulous reviews when you're writing about a fabulous book don't you think? it is so intensely beautiful you may have to keep one hand on your head so it doesn't blow right off your shoulders. hope you enjoy it!

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  7. So THIS is where you've been hiding. I've been refreshing The Crooked Shelf, clearing my cache in case the cookies weren't updating, and you're here!

    I love this review so hard. Your description of Kirsty Eagar's writing is perfection. Can't wait to see this blurbed on the back of the UK edition of Night Beach. :)

    -Maggie

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    1. YES! I've been hiding right here (for the past couple of weeks anyway) and I am SO glad you found me!! YAYYY MAGGIE.

      and thank you. serious blushing happening right now.

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  8. JESUS CHRIST I NEED TO READ THIS.

    Ahhh.

    Kirsty Eagar is fantastic.

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    1. SWEET JESUS APRIL YOU REALLLLLLLLLY DO!

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