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Flames
Flames | Robbie Arnott
17 posts | 10 read | 24 to read
A strange and joyous marvel. Richard Flanagan A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlottewho promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire. The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle. Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, spellbinding in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction. Our mother returned to us two days after we spread her ashes over Notley Fern Gorge. She was definitely our motherbut, at the same time, she was not our mother at all. Since her dispersal among the fronds of Notley, she had changed. Now her skin was carpeted by spongy, verdant moss and thin tendrils of common filmy fern... Robbie Arnott was born in Launceston in 1989. His writing has appeared in Island, the Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and the 2017 anthology Seven Stories. He won the 2015 Tasmanian Young Writers Fellowship and the 2014 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. Robbie lives in Hobart and is an advertising copywriter. Ambitious storytelling from a stunning new Australian voice. Flames is constantly surprisingI never knew where the story would take me next. This book has a lovely sense of wonder for the world. Its brimming with heart and compassion. Rohan Wilson Visionary, vivid, full of audacious transformations: theres a marvellous energy to this writing that returns the world to us aflame. A brilliant and wholly original debut. Gail Jones Arnott skilfully switches between different voices and genres in a trick reminiscent of David Mitchells Cloud Atlas. The range he displays is impressive, swinging from fable to gothic horror to hardboiled detective story. Books+Publishing
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review
Redheadrambles
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

This tipped too far into Neil Gaiman's world in the end there. However, it is a lovely celebration of everything Tasmanian. The section about the seal/tuna hunting is stunning, I was hoping the entire book was going to be in this vein.

shawnmooney I hoped so too and bailed early, once I could see how Gaimaney it was going to be. 6mo
Redheadrambles @shawnmooney yeah I am not the worlds biggest Gaiman fan here. I hung in for Tasmania as there are some nice resonances with a trip I did there but .... I can see the appeal just not for me 6mo
19 likes2 comments
blurb
Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Our latest episode is up! Annie & I chat with special guest the fabulous Shawn Mooney. 🤩
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Our book of the week is ‘Flames‘ by Robbie Arnott. A family story set in Tasmania, it‘s a wild ride, or as Richard Flanagan said ‘a strange and joyous marvel‘. But what did we think? And did Shawn finish the book? 😬📖
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Listen in to find out. And tell us your favourite Aussie reads. 🎧 Books On The Go 🎧

LeahBergen 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 6mo
42 likes1 comment
review
mr_annie
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

I #buddyread this book over Easter in the Flinders, which brought home the beauty of the landscape in Arnott‘s writing. I enjoyed the playful nature of this debut as well as the lyrical, assured writing, even if the plot and characters sagged a little at times. Mystical and fun - kind of like a Tasmanian ‘American Gods‘.

12 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Recording our podcast this morning with special guest the fabulous Shawn Mooney 🤩 (via Tokyo) ... and a gate-crasher courtesy school holidays! 🙄. #BooksOnTheGo 🎧

HardcoverHearts I can‘t wait to listen! 7mo
Abailliekaras @HardcoverHearts I hope you enjoy! We had a lot of fun. 😄 7mo
41 likes2 comments
review
Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

A beautiful book! Charlotte runs away as her brother plans to build her a coffin. The writing is poetic & spare, propelling you forward with vivid scenes. Strong women. Landscape infuses the novel, seen with fresh eyes. I loved the chapters from different characters including some animals & spirits (not usually my thing!) - it gives a 360 view of the story & makes you think differently. He swaps genres smoothly to suit each voice. A joy to read.

37 likes3 stack adds
review
Rissreads
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

#ozfiction #LitsyAtoZ 'A' #buddyread @Abailliekaras

This book was mad but so refreshing and wonderful. Once I accepted the magic realism, I was hooked! It‘s beautifully written and has made me yearn to revisit Tasmania. It explores family, grief, nature and spirituality. Each chapter is from the perspective of a different character, which works. Some parts of the book are extremely difficult to stomach (animals deaths) but others made me laugh.

AntoinetteBuchanan I hope to start it tomorrow. I‘m very much looking forward to it 7mo
Rissreads @AntoinetteBuchanan It will be interesting to see what you think. I can see how some people would not like or connect to the book. 7mo
Freespirit This sounds great. Stacked😊 7mo
Abailliekaras Great review! I agree - mad but in a beautiful way - and there‘s lovely humour in it. Glad you liked it! 7mo
Lindy I‘m looking forward to this one. It will be released in Canada in July. 7mo
42 likes2 stack adds5 comments
blurb
Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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The Flames buddy read has begun! Please join us if you‘re keen.

What are your first impressions?

I love the energy of the writing - even the scene with the seal helping to catch the tuna had me transfixed (and I‘m not into fishing 😉). It‘s getting a little supernatural but hasn‘t lost me despite the fact I don‘t usually like fantasy / magic realism. I‘m going with it. Pic: BBC

31 likes1 stack add
quote
TheReadingCompanion
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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‘She‘d been sporting a skirt of cowrie shells, a fish hook in her tongue, skin of shifting sand, strands of kelp for hair and a large greenlip abalone suckered onto the back of her neck as she approached a group of terrified fishermen, her wrinkled arms outstretched and the sound of crashing waves swirling out of her salt-rimmed mouth.‘

Leftcoastzen Welcome to Litsy!👍 7mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🤗🌺 7mo
rretzler Welcome to Litsy! 📖 Enjoy! 7mo
15 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
shawnmooney
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Bailedbailed

Well I gave it a try. The writing was so good, but the story was way, way, WAY too magically realist and fantastical and mythological for me. Blech. Bailed just under a fifth of the way in.

Lindy This sounds like my kind of book. Release date in Canada is not until July. 7mo
CouronneDhiver Not a fan of magical realism. I‘ll take your word for it on this one. 7mo
43 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Heeyyyy littens! I‘m buddy-reading Flames this month with Shawn Mooney & some others. We‘ll be discussing it on the podcast too. Please join us if you‘re keen! Kicking off 18 April - very relaxed, hoping to finish by the 26th (it‘s a quick read). 🤓📖 #aussieapril

Rissreads I‘m looking forward to it! #ozfiction 7mo
JennyM @Rissreads I‘d love to join in if I can get a copy in time. Thanks for the encouragement 😊 (edited) 7mo
See All 14 Comments
CarolynM @Rissreads I'd kind of decided I didn't want to read this, but I might be persuaded by a buddy read. I'll have another look at it and make up my mind🙂 7mo
Rissreads @CarolynM yes it doesn‘t look like the kind of book you would like, but you never know! 7mo
Abailliekaras @rissreads yay! 🙌🏼 7mo
MrsMalaprop @rissreads Think I‘ll wait and watch you all read it first. Looking forward to your reviews 😊. 7mo
Rissreads @Abailliekaras have you started the book yet? I‘m a few chapters in. It‘s definitely got my attention! It‘s different! 7mo
Abailliekaras @Rissreads yes! I agree - different and pulls you in. It‘s not my usual fare (with elements of tuna fishing and supernatural 😜) but I‘m loving it. I think the warm tone & energy of the writing is drawing me in. 7mo
Rissreads @Abailliekaras I‘m an animal lover and I‘m finding all the deaths hard to deal with. But I am hoping the story will come together in an amazing way. I am intrigued! 7mo
Abailliekaras @Rissreads I‘m enjoying how the different characters are linking up together. I agree the deaths are upsetting - some of that feels like a metaphor for humans‘ impact on wildlife? 7mo
Rissreads @Abailliekaras I have been too busy to read today 😩 but I will have it finished tomorrow. 7mo
Abailliekaras @Rissreads i know the feeling - it‘s been a busy weekend! 7mo
37 likes14 comments
blurb
Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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I‘ve been down with the flu and too sick to read. 😳 who even am I anymore? 😂 but feeling much better now and ready to jump into #aussieapril - here are my picks. Can‘t wait to buddy-read Flames with @shawnmooney 🙌🏼🇦🇺

Dragon Glad you‘re feeling better! 💐 7mo
Rissreads @Abailliekaras @shawnmooney Can I join in please? I have this book on my tbr shelf and it‘s part of my #LitsyAtoZ letter ‘a‘. 😀 7mo
Abailliekaras @rissreads absolutely! :) @dragon thank you 😊 7mo
See All 6 Comments
Rissreads When are you starting it? 7mo
Abailliekaras @Rissreads I think anytime? Aiming to finish by the end of April @shawnmooney ? 7mo
Rissreads Ok 👍 7mo
43 likes6 comments
review
Clare_Riley
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

This book is absolutely beautiful. Steeped in magical realism and surprising at every turn. I loved it. Who wouldn‘t want to visit Tasmania after reading this?!!

17 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Bookmail this morning! I really need to stop buying more books.... (or not!😂)

Libby1 Ooh! The next Shardlake. I love that series. 13mo
Clare_Riley @Libby1 so do I - I was worried it would never be published or finished. The author has been very ill, I believe (cancer). 13mo
11 likes2 comments
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Tereses
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Slightly ahead of time! I have reached the three-quarter mark before the end of September. Given I‘ve got a lot of travel coming up, my EOY total may exceed my target #always reading

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Tereses
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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My current read is set in my home state, reading about your place is a different type of experience. Love that the cover is a vintage Tasmanian tourism poster. #tasmania #flames

Rissreads This sounds so interesting! 14mo
CarolynM Have looked at this in the bookshop but not been sure. Look forward to seeing your review. 14mo
Tereses @CarolynM it took me a while to get into it but enjoying it now 14mo
8 likes3 comments
review
Marchpane
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

Well, this was wonderful. Lots of magical realism, but done right. It's not twee but elemental and a bit fearsome.

The book plays with different styles, and while these are well-executed, a couple of comedic sections did 'break the spell' a bit. The second half is more consistent in tone, and as a result feels more powerful.

Robbie Arnott has invented his own mythology which is wholly original and yet feels timeless and endemic to Tasmania.

BarbaraBB Hey, you‘re back. That‘s nice! 💕 1y
Marchpane @BarbaraBB Yep! Helloooo 👋☺️ 1y
oonaghmoon Sounds interesting. I really enjoy magical realism too when done right 1y
See All 11 Comments
MicheleinPhilly 👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼 Whenever I “see” you on GR I think, “I haven‘t seen her on Litsy in a bit.” Glad you‘re back. 1y
batsy Nice to see you back on Litsy :) 1y
mabell Nice to see you back @Marchpane ! 👋 1y
rohit-sawant Great to see you back! 1y
LeahBergen Hellooo!! 👋🏻 1y
CarolynM Welcome back, I've missed seeing your posts.👋 1y
JennyM Hello, welcome back!! 😘 1y
AceOnRoam Welcome back to Litsy 🖑🖑 1y
91 likes9 stack adds11 comments
blurb
Tereses
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Congratulations, I am hearing good things about Flames by a Tassie author. #ozfictiongiveaway @MrsMalaprop

MrsMalaprop Ooh, an author I‘m not familiar with 👍. 1y
Tereses It‘s his first book 1y
6 likes1 stack add2 comments