REVIEW: Clancy of the Undertow

11 Apr

I recently ready Christopher Currie’s Clancy of the Undertow, an Australian coming of age story that has received positive reviews online.

I purchased the novel largely because of the name.  As a play on Banjo Paterson’s ‘Clancy of the Overflow’, I was expecting a story that followed the logic of Paterson’s poem, perhaps depicting an individual who wished for an opportunity to live a different life.  As per the poem, I expected Clancy’s life to be the one that was desired.

As it turns out, only some of what I expected was delivered.  While the novel definitely dealt with desire, aspiration and reflection on the status quo, there was not always a clear delineation between what was happening to characters and what they hoped would happen to them.  I found this ‘messiness’ appealing, and definitely reflective of reality.

I also thought the text dealt sensitively with a bullying, identity, and interpersonal relationships.

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