The Ottoman Motel, Christopher Currie

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I can’t for the life of me work out what it was in The Ottoman Motel that captivated me so.

Allow me to explain, I hate Australian fiction. I don’t know why exactly, but it drives me nuts – and I know I’m generalising and that it’s ridiculous to feel this way about a whole body of work … but, I just don’t get it … perhaps I’m unAustralian?

Anyway, I tend to stay away from Australian fiction as a rule so that I don’t have to get riled up about how much I hold it in disdain. So there was no reason for me to read this book, let alone like it! I’m also not really a fan of small-town fiction (if that’s a genre?). Again, I can’t explain it … perhaps it is simply because I can’t relate to that way of life. I don’t know. Whatever it is, there really was absolutely no reason for me to enjoy this book. And enjoy it I did. I read it in one gulp. Sucked it down without pausing. Astonishing really.

And, to make matters more astonishing, I loved it. Let me be more specific: I L.O.V.E.D. IT. Really, truly, absolutely without doubt.

I found this book captivating on every level – the plot was so different, so unexpected and not in the fleeting way that a thriller throws a twist or in the way you find out that the main character has been cheating on his or her spouse. It was unexpected because of the characters, their conviction and the sense of loss which they had all experienced and I was overwhelmed by the way that Currie never led everything to a peaceful denoument, there was no resolution. There was just the idling sense of loss and despair and the knowledge that life would go on and somehow, everything would be ok.

This is one of those books that leaves readers devastated on so many levels, but primarily devastated because it is finished. It left me quite bereft and I will certainly be looking for more from this author.

 

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