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February 13 , 2011

Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe


Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, Wayne Macauley's first novel, is a bitingly dark take on the great Australian dream. Fable-like, effortlessly readable and ultimately moving, it shows us the depth of Macauley's talent.

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She wanted a complete breakSappha Devenish jumped at the chance of a job in Scotland after her romance with Andrew went wrong.The change in scenery took Sappha's mind off her heartbreak, and the presence of the often infuriating but very attractive Dr. van Duyren was also a nice distraction….But with Andrew's unexpected return,…

Bram and his fellow residents are drawn by a dream: the promise of a freeway leading to a new suburb north of the city. The houses are built, but the freeway never comes. One by one, the dreamers leave, until only a small, hardcore group is left, including Bram, One-eyed Michael, and Michael's self-possessed daughter Jodie. As the disused houses crumble around them they barricade themselves in. They have a gun, a bulldozer, and a hellbent determination to stay till the end, whatever, whenever, that is. But the authorities have other ideas.

Wayne Macauley is a Melbourne writer. He is the author of three highly acclaimed novels, Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, Caravan Story and The Cook.

'Wayne Macauley has the soul of a poet and his surreal novella is stunningly written...It is a satire of exquisite poise and confidence...If more Australian literature was of this calibre, we'd be laughing.' Age

'[It was] like falling into a bale of barbed wire in the dark and fighting to get out till morning. The more I struggled, the more it got under my skin.' Bulletin

'A salutary fable about the horrors awaiting our disaffected modern citizenry...lasting visual images and resonant symbolism.' Sydney Morning Herald

'Bewitching...ethereal...hallucinatory...In an era when many Australian novelists are playing it safe...Wayne Macauley is an ambitious talent worth watching.' Wet Ink

'Tapping the hidden heart of a different Australia...this is original Australian writing at its best.' Courier Mail

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