OVERRIDE

Holden's Performance

A Novel

Murray Bail

Picador

Holden's Performance is the story of Holden Shadbolt, a guileless and matter-of-fact innocent as he passes through the cities and landscape of Australia. His reassuring silent presence and photographic memory make him useful to men of power and women who appear to need his protection. He is surrounded by larger than life figures whose exploits and adventures Holden follows—ex-Corporal Frank 'Bloodnut' McBee, the scrap dealer who woos his mother; his uncle Vern, a shortsighted proofreader who likes facts and eating newspaper with is breakfast cereal; and the crippled artist Harriet, whose twists and curves appeal to Holden as he holds to his own unswervingly straight lines.
Holden's Performance is the story of Holden Shadbolt, a guileless and matter-of-fact innocent as he passes through the cities and landscape of Australia. His reassuring silent presence and photographic memory make him useful to men of power and women who appear to need his protection. He is surrounded by larger than life figures whose exploits and adventures Holden follows—ex-Corporal Frank 'Bloodnut' McBee, the scrap dealer who woos his mother; his uncle Vern, a shortsighted proofreader who likes facts and eating newspaper with is breakfast cereal; and the crippled artist Harriet, whose twists and curves appeal to Holden as he holds to his own unswervingly straight lines.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

HOLDEN'S PERFORMANCE (Chapter One)

A lesson in geometry--the invasion of khaki--getting away with murder--a diet of grey matter--the view from the Hills--found objects--the usherette and the projectionist--the body development of Holden--McBee comes down to earth--the facts of life.

When the last of the city's trams were removed with their poles and bells and the industrial paraphernalia of lines imposed on the mind's eye, it was as though a great net had been lifted clear of the city, letting in light. The trams had been inflicting all kinds of untold damage, running amok at will. Anyone

READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Holden's Performance

"A work of dazzling imagination."—Independent

"Holden's Performance is a triumph."—The Australian

"Bail is a writer of great talent and extraordinary concentration."—Melbourne Age

"Astonishing in its range . . . superbly written, much of it is like the click of a camera shutter in its sharpness and impassivity . . . extraordinarily wide-ranging and inventive."—Times on Sunday
"A work of dazzling imagination."—Independent

"Holden's Performance is a triumph."—The Australian

"Bail is a writer of great talent and extraordinary concentration."—Melbourne Age

"Astonishing in its range . . . superbly written, much of it is like the click of a camera shutter in its sharpness and impassivity . . . extraordinarily wide-ranging and inventive."—Times on Sunday

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Murray Bail

  • Murray Bail's fiction, which includes Eucalyptus, Homesickness, The Drover's Wife and other Stories and Camouflage, has received many major awards, among them the Miles Franklin Award in Australia and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He is also the author of two works of non-fiction, Ian Fairweather and Longhand: A Writer's Notebook. He lives in Sydney.
  • Murray Bail Copyright Anthony Browell
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Holden's Performance

A Novel

Murray Bail

  • Trade Paperback

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

BACK