Vanishing Points

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G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1992 - Fiction - 234 pages
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Australia's acclaimed national treasure delivers two slyly linked novellas - The Genteel Poverty Bus Company and Inventing the Weather - in which "progress" vies unsuccessfully with more feral aspects of an untamed land.
When would-be hermit Macintosh Hope, formerly of the Genteel Poverty Bus Company, settles down on a tiny Pacific isle off Australia's coast, he thinks he's found the perfect retreat from the workaday world. And he has - until neighboring Hummock Island is claimed by developer Clifford Truscott as a tourists' paradise. Thus sparks a confrontation pitting the thuggery of progress against the skills and wit of a lone man who proves uncannily adept at remaining the proverbial thorn in the magnate's side.
Inventing the Weather finds the same developer's wife fed up and leaving her fatcat husband and their smug, precocious children. Julie Truscott's journey to independence takes her as far as a small mission run by nuns at Bukki Bay. But old ties aren't severed easily, and Clifford soon sets off tremors in the mission community, once he casts a profit-making eye on its enviable spot on the coast.
With an unerring sense for language and a shrewd eye for human character and detail, Thea Astley sounds the territory and spirit of her native Gold Coast with the authority of a seasoned denizen of the terrain.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheWasp - LibraryThing

2 novella linked by their protagonists being known to each other. Though their stories are linked, they are not the same story. Both have reasons for escaping their old lives. Set in queensland. Well written. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Throughout this Australian writer's harsh-to-playfully satiric novels (Hunting the Wild Pineapple, 1991, etc.), the massive idiocy of institutionalized greed—an individual's or a country's—is ... Read full review

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About the author (1992)

Thea Astley was born in Brisbane in 1925. She attended the University of Queensland before teaching in both Queensland and New South Wales. She was on the staff at Macquarie University in Sydney from 1968 to 1980. Astley has won the Miles Franklin Award four times: The Well Dressed Explorer in 1962, The Slow Natives in 1965, The Acolyte in 1972, and Drylands in 2000. Astley's novel, The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow, was nominated in 1997 for the Miles Franklin Award. Thea Astley is featured on the Albert Street (Brisbane) literary trail, which commemorates authors who have used Brisbane as a locale.

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