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Baker's Dozen

A Life Turning Pages: Robert Forster's Favourite Books
Aug Stone , April 8th, 2020 09:22

The Go-Betweens founder takes Aug Stone through his 'eclectic even to himself' reading tastes


Donna Tartt - The Secret History
I read this in the early 90s and I loved it from the first page. First thing I liked about it was the story, really great story in that book. And just her language, the confidence - the book starts and you read the first twenty pages and it's like F. Scott Fitzgerald's come back to life in the body of a young woman. It's gorgeous writing. Confident, witty, crafty, high quality writing. I hadn't read anything like that written by a young person in a while. A lot of young people's writing in the 80s could be experimental, and out to shock. But she went 'I'm just going to do the classic style and I'm going to do it really well'. Beautiful style. Thinking about it now, in a way it's somewhat comparable to the Harry Potter books - school, eccentrics, a club of misfits. And I like that world for some reason. The Secret History was a book that came to me in the early 90's that really reawakened my thirst for fiction. I've tried to get into everything she's written since and I find it difficult. Nothing's had that sort of swing that The Secret History has. I find the others over-thought and over-plotted. I read her interviews and I find her fantastic. I like the fact that she doesn't write much and everything's vital to her. I know she'll write something that will grab me again in a big way.