Review: Maria-Antònia Oliver’s “Antipodes”

by writereaderly

maria-antonia oliver antipodesAmong my day’s “foreign authors” haul, I was hoping this would be light but good. I was right in that it was light, but the calibre of (I suspect, both) the writing and the translation from the Catalan left too much to be desired. Crime thriller, female detective from the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, in Australia on a “holiday” – Melbourne, even though the cover image is of Sydney – of course immediately dragged into crime involving hotel heiress and eventually sex trafficking. It was interesting to read a Catalan analysis of Australians in the late 1980s, even though an edit with reference to an accurate map of Melbourne (the #19 “streetcar” doesn’t go to Toorak, etc etc) would have made it a little more credible. And a view of German-tourist-riddled Mallorca by a native was also interesting, but really, the crime was transparent, the writing was pretty poor, the violence and sexual predation was largely excessive, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything more than novelty reading value. Although the bad-tempered detective did crack an international woman-smuggling ring, so I suppose that’s something to be thankful for.

Where it came from: Huge opshop with great book section
Time and manner of reading:
Evening armchair reads
Where it went: Home
Best line of the book: “They started the proceedings for the two parallel trials, an international one for trafficking in women – the papers kept calling it white slave trade, as if it weren’t equally criminal to deal in yellow or black women.” (p.202)
Reminds me of/that:
Who I’d recommend it to:

Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; Returning the Gift edited by Joseph Bruchac; The Pea-Pickers by Eve Langley; When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön

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