Place and voice spot on: Peter Corris, “The Big Score” (2007)

02 Nov

I do enjoy Peter Corris, even if one suspects it is a well-honed act, perhaps even a touch automatic at times, particularly in some of the short stories in this collection of eleven. That’s in no way to diminish the pleasure the stories gave me.

One of the great pleasures of good crime fiction is its evocation of place, of the nitty-gritty of the mean – and sometimes not so mean – streets. For a Sydney reader, especially an inner city reader, there is always the pleasure of recognition. For example:

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Her office was in Surry Hills near the park named after Eddie Ward, ‘the firebrand of East Sydney’. My mother, an ALP groupie, had played the piano at his wake.

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I met him in the middle of the street. Newtown people walk on the street because the footpaths are narrow and often blocked by overhangs from front gardens and the trees planted in the gentrification era.

Though that is Surry Hills, not Newtown, in the photo*.

The other thing is voice. Cliff Hardy is instantly recognisable and totally true to age and place. The ironic asides are often delicious.

Here’s another blogger’s view: Reading : The Big Score by Peter Corris.

* Photos by Neil 2008

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Posted by on November 2, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, Crime and/or crime fiction, Fiction, local, OzLit, reading, Surry Hills, Top read


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