Camouflage by Murray Bail

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Superb -- and surprising -- new fiction from the Australian master

A man named Huebler decides to photograph everyone alive. A suburban father perches in his son's tree house to spy on his friends. A dentist recognizes his estranged wife in a famous painting. "The Seduction of My Sister" tells of the increasingly bizarre events involving a boy and his sister when a new family moves in across the street. And in "Camouflage," Eric Banerjee, an unassuming Adelaide piano tuner, is sent north to the center of Australia in 1943 to make his contribution to the war effort.

It is clear in all these remarkable stories that Murray Bail -- already celebrated for his novels -- has also extended the manifold possibilities of short fiction. Each of his stories creates a strange and fascinating new world, and none of them is easily forgotten. Bail's work in this collection is deft, angular, and very entertaining; the mastery of his art is fully revealed with wry humor and haunting power.

About Murray Bail

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Murray Bail's novels -- Eucalyptus, Homesickness, and Holden's Performance -- have been prizewinners in his native Australia; Eucalyptus also won the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He lives in Sydney.
Published December 26, 1099 by The Harvill Press. 128 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Camouflage

Kirkus Reviews

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Even better is “Camouflage,” the tale of a passive, self-effacing piano tuner who is drafted into the Australian Army in 1943, and finds muted fulfillment in a menial task that is, in its way, a rudimentary “art.” It’s a wonderful story, reminiscent of Bernard Malamud at his most inspired.

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The New York Times

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Those who dare to enter the experimental laboratory where Murray Bail whips up his short stories had better put on a hazmat suit first.

Aug 04 2002 | Read Full Review of Camouflage: Stories

Publishers Weekly

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A host of distinctive, genuine characters, all at the mercy of life's folly and its slapdash potential, parade through Australian writer Bail's unconventional new collection of 14 short stories.

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