Friday, February 20, 2009
Jem Poster's RIFLING SHADOWS in Publishers Weekly
Jem Poster's new novel Rifling Paradise gets a positive nod in next week's Publishers Weekly: "Destitution and scandal drive 19th century British gentleman Charles Redbourne on a voyage to Australia in Poster’s atmospheric second novel. Charles hopes to collect specimens of rare wildlife, but his trip soon goes literally and figuratively offtrack. His stay with a family friend is unsettled by his host’s daughter, a volatile artist with a troubled past. Bullen, his expedition manager, clashes violently with their porter, Billy Preece, deriding the servant’s guidance, even though Billy’s Aboriginal heritage provides their only authentic connection to the untamed land they traverse. As the journey devolves toward danger and even death, Poster (Courting Shadows) evokes complex Victorian attitudes toward nature, culture, progress and science. Charles is a compelling portrait of a man moving uneasily among conflicting possibilities of his time."