The Shell Discussion

Praise for The Shell:

‘A luminous look at a city at a time of change, a time when the building of the Sydney Opera House was a reach for greatness.’ The New York Times

‘Olsson transcribes Sydney into an exquisite visual palette, forcing the reader to pay attention to her stunning language. A complex and provocative novel of ideas.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Olsson’s subtle and nuanced tale displays how deeply the past – or at least one’s perception of it – informs life in the present.’ Kirkus Reviews

A beautifully crafted novel about a fascinating time in our history. There is a luminous precision in every sentence.’ Heather Rose, award-winning author of The Museum of Modern Love

Pageturners described it as “gentle, atmospheric, a little bit slow, beautiful language, light, time of change, a lot happening, Vietnam draft, controversy, the building of the Opera House, Utzon drama, focus on the artist, a little frustrating, didn’t get to know the characters, loved the landlady, liked the bits about Scandinavia,  liked the narrative about interviewing the author, and lots of criticisms of Australians.”

Discussion revolved around conscription, Pearl the journalist and protestor, her relationships, her brothers,  her father, Axel and his artwork and his father, nuclear weapons, Vietnam war, Anzac Day and Swedish neutrality.

Ratings out of five went as follows:  4, 4, 3.5, 2.5, 3.5, 2, 3, 2,3, 3.5, 4. So a broad range of views on the book..

Read more on the national service ballots including the birthdates drawn out:

Sydney Morning Herald interview with the author Kristina Olsson:

The next read is the bestselling novel Scrublands by Chris Hammer. The discussion will be held on Wednesday 10th April at 5.30pm. Please RSVP online through or call the Library on 6393 8132. See you then.

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