Saturday, June 26, 2010

More prizes for Peter Temple's "Truth"?

The crime-fiction world is understandably excited that Peter Temple's novel Truth has breached a literary barrier and won Australia's Miles Franklin Award.

England's Guardian newspaper wonders if the Man Booker Prize could be next to go to a crime novel.

Probably not, says John Sutherland, a former chairman of the Booker judges' panel. "The twice I've been on the Booker panel they weren't submitted," he told the newspaper. "There's a feeling that it's like putting a donkey into the Grand National."

Temple's UK publisher, Quercus, plans to submit Truth for this year's Booker, according to the article, to which Temple says: "Just to make the the Booker longlist would be a wonderful thing."

So, could Truth win? With passages like this, why not:
"One spring morning in 1970, the bridge's half-built steel frame stood in the air, it crawled with men, unmarried men, men with wives, men with wives and children, men with children they did not know, men with nothing but the job and the hard, hard hangover and then Span 10-11 failed."
An early exchange between the protagonist, Inspector Stephen Villani, and his daughter has just a hint of the byplay between Bill James' Colin Harpur and his daughters. A tribute? Perhaps; Temple has called James "a star."

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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Anonymous Vincenzo said...

Peter, where did you get the cover image of TRUTH? It doesn't match any I have seen.

June 26, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't remember where I got that image. The Fantastic Fiction Web site has a tiny version of it, but when one clicks on it, a different cover comes up to illustrate the entry about the book. A link accompanying that entry displays yet another cover, this one, which matches the cover on my copy. Truth has many faces.

June 26, 2010  
Blogger Michael Malone said...

aint that the truth.

June 26, 2010  
Anonymous Helen said...

Peter, I was amused to see the review of Temple's Truth in the Toronto Globe & Mail. The reviewer is pretending to have read Temple's The Broken Shore. Villani gets no more than 20 lines in the earlier book and this turkey thinks he was the protagonist.

There's a serious point to be made here about reviewing of crime fiction. You might care to make it.

Love the blog, as do all crime-fiction lovers.

June 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the kind words, and I'll have a look for the review. Is it online?

I'm disappointed at the thought the the Globe & Mail could have botched the review. It's generally a good paper. Perhaps the reviewer set out to write about The Broken Shore as a kind of prelude to writing about Truth, then ran out of space.

June 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Helen, I found it, and you're right. That reviewer never read "The Broken Shore" or else severs all connection between her fingers and her brain as she types.

June 27, 2010  
Blogger Geoff McGeachin said...

God, just fifty words and that awful day comes flooding back. First it was an ambulance siren and then another and then the morning was nothing but sirens. I was working in the darkroom of a South Melbourne photo studio and from outside we could see the half-built bridge in the far distance, looking different somehow and a cloud of smoke or dust drifting away. I have the same knot in my stomach I had then. Excuse my Australian-ness but Fifty Fucking Words! That Bastard can write.

June 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, he does make one want to run around quoting bits, doesn't he? No shock the man likes Bill James.

June 27, 2010  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I have spent almost a year wondering why writers are corralled into so many "genres" and then lined up for public scrutiny in order of merit.

It took years to recover from the shock of finding that writers like Robert Louis Stevenson were the preserve of sociology students rather than recognised in the mainstream academic world.

Peter Temple deserves to be awarded as a writer and it looks as if the institutions may be moving forward at last.

Literature is what we make it. I can see a time when the Booker will lose much of its power. At present, it seems to be a guide for anybody setting up a reading club.

June 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, Verlaine ... uncanonical for a crime-fiction. Should he be allowed in?

June 28, 2010  
Blogger Photographe à Dublin said...

In fact, Verlaine's life reads like a crime novel in places.

He tried to kill his mother. Twice.

June 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The French did have a way of producing scapegrace poets, didn't they, from Villon to Rimbaud.

June 28, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everybody. A recent interview with Peter can be found in the latest issue of Crime Factory

He's also appearing at the Crime and Justice Festival in Melbourne on Saturday, July 17.
David Honeybone

June 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Looks like there's some other good stuff at, as well. I don't think I'll be able to make it to Melbourne on short notice, but perhaps others reading this will. Thanks.

Here’s a bit about the Crime and Justice Festival.

June 28, 2010  

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