“Fire in the Sea” by Myke Bartlett

July 27, 2012 at 7:43 am (Reviews)

A publisher once said to me, “We can’t tell if your book is literary or adventure. The writing is sometimes poetic and sometimes not, and it’s too slow to be popular fiction.” In Australia, “literary” is a dirty word – the conception is that the writing might be pretty, but it’ll be boring. So I sped up the pace of that book of mine, and all the others since. If I’d gone in the opposite direction – focusing more on stunning writing and less on a fast-paced plot – I might have won the Text Prize this year. Maybe. One of the editorial comments they gave me was, “You rush through things. You should slow down.” C’est la publishing biz. But I know what kind of writer I want to be.

“Fire in the Sea” won the Text Prize last year. I was lucky enough to acquire an advance copy – and even to get it signed. Myke and his wife were a lot of fun to meet and talk to, and Myke (a tall and easy-going man with a good sense of humour) was touchingly unsure of his signature, working it out over the course of the evening. I’m pretty sure that the awkward, half-formed autograph in my copy will be worth millions one day: catching the moment as a new and excellent writer is born.

I finished the book only moments ago, and wanted very much to sit and think about it before writing this review, but I knew that I wouldn’t have a better chance to blog in the next twenty-four hours, and I promised readers and Myke himself that I’d review it this week. I suspect if I re-read the book or engaged my brain a little more, it would have layers upon layers of smart symbology and intelligence. But, ya know, I got stuff to do.

The book was. . .

The rest of the review is at Comfy Chair.


  1. W said,

    You’ve certainly piqued my interest.

    • Louise Curtis said,

      W: Good. I want to read more fantasy set in Australia! It’s so much more eerie to read about a place I’ve been.

  2. stace8383 said,

    Yup, I’m interested!

    • Louise Curtis said,

      Stace: Excellent. About time more people read fantasy set in Australia!

  3. Lin said,

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site. You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to
    write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

    Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

    • Louise Curtis said,

      Lin: I doubt it but thanks for the offer.

  4. single cup coffee said,

    Yes! New post! You’ve unquestionably been working on your writing skills. Very well done 🙂 Thank you so much for the creativity of well – you!

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