Summerland by Malcolm Knox
A Novel

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Synopsis

They were society’s golden ones, endowed with the privileges of youth and wealth, bred to live in a world of limitless possibility, but none of this could save them from self-destruction.
Richard sits on the shores of Sydney Harbour, a hollowed out man remembering a lost paradise as he recounts the years he shared with his best friend, the charismatic heir Hugh Bowman. Gliding through a life of endless luxury and ease, they formed a charmed quartet with their childhood sweethearts, Helen and Pup.

As adults they married and continued their tradition of summer holidays at Palm Beach, giving every appearance of leading charmed and immaculate lives. Like those beautiful people in magazines, their skin was unblemished, their smiles dazzling, the lighting just so. But as Richard confronts his memories what seemed so idyllic is revealed as a sinister drama of secrets, lies and betrayals.

A masterful and compelling dissection of friendship, morality and society from a startling new talent.
 

About Malcolm Knox

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Malcolm Knox was born in Australia in 1966. He lives in Sydney, where he has written for the Sydney Morning Herald since 1994. His journalism has been published in Australia, Britain, India, and the West Indies. Summerland is his first novel.
 
Published July 1, 2001 by Picador. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Summerland

Kirkus Reviews

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We know the eventual outcome of their summers spent together at (Australia’s) Palm Beach long before the full explanations spelled out at the conclusion—because Richard circles compulsively around various times in their shared and separate pasts, ruefully conceding the sexual indifference and mor...

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The Guardian

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Knox offers us four stories, each shocking, epic, heartbreaking and familiar - of Hugh's boundless, self-devouring greed, Pup's bitter infatuation, Helen's blind, determined love and Richard's determined blindness - while insisting on the final unfathomability of desire.

Jun 23 2001 | Read Full Review of Summerland: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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From the first sentence of this debut novel, Australian journalist Knox heavily samples The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford's underread masterpiece.

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Reader Rating for Summerland
72%

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