Recently we had author Andrew Sean Greer pop into the shop to sign some books and have a chat. Andrew was breezing through as part of his Australian tour — while we gushed over his book Less we found him to be both humble and gracious.
We probably have to confess from the get go that 90% of staff here love Ian McEwan’s books. We would probably enjoy reading his shopping lists. However there is nothing as banal as a shopping list in this story. The characters fairly leap from the page - our rather hapless Charlie, the enigmatic Miranda and of course Adam - our haiku writing robot.
To a person, all of book club found No Friend But The Mountains to be a difficult read, but for varying reasons. Some were not fans of Boochani, and found him to be aggressive and embittered. Others were put off by the poetry and prose, and found reading this book a slog. Most, however, were simply left feeling hollowed out by the oppressive culture of 'Manus Prison', and man's inhumanity to man. Almost all book clubbers, regardless of their feelings about Boochani and/or his book, felt that politics aside, the conditions in Manus as described in No Friend But The Mountains were inhumane, and not at all how our government should be treating people.