!!> PDF / Epub ☄ The Year of the Beast ✑ Author Steven Carroll – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk
This is the sixth and final book in Carroll s Glenroy novels I have only read two others in the series and like the others, this is a stand alone novel It is set in Victoria predominantly in 1917 18 and is a prequel to the series In this book, Maryanne, the free thinking spinster will give birth to Vic, the train driver of the later series Maryanne lives in Daylesford Hepburn Springs and has a lustful relationship with Vicktor, a German born haberdasher She falls pregnant and decides to have the child The book is set against the background of a country, enmeshed in war, divided by the Conscription issue and with a rampant collective unconscious that Carroll sees as the beast unleashed against anything that Never in my wildest dreams would I claim to be capable of wordsmithery to the finely honed marvel of literary excellence that Steven Carroll presents to the Australian reading public, doing so for several decades now His Glenroy series his novels revolving around TS Eliot have been a mainstay in my own book perusing life for quite a while, with one of the above titles inspiring a little scribing of my own A New England Affair tells part of the history of the aforementioned poet s both restrained yet tumultuous private life that of his longstanding and unconsummated relationship with fellow American Emily Hale In it we encounter both his wives as well the first being Vivienne Haigh Wood Marrying her in haste was largely the best way he could see to dispose of his virginity His second spouse, Valerie, wedded him in his later life She finally gave him some private bliss and sexual satisfaction She was only touched on in the novel, but I was fascinated that Valerie was around forty years his junior What was her motivation in marrying such an ageing beau was she a gold digger for fame by association and o Fate had singled her out Chronologically, The Year of the Beast is the beginning of Steven Carroll s award winning Glenroy series The series is set in the Melbourne suburb of Glenroy, and contains the following books The Art of the Engine Driver 2001 , The Gift of Speed 2004 , The Time We Have Taken 2007 , Spirit of Progress 2011 , Forever Young 2015 and The Year of the Beast 2019 In The Art of the Engine Driver we meet Vic Carroll, his wife Rita and their son Michael In The Year of the Beast , Mr Carroll returns to the origins of Vic and his family.In 1917, Maryanne Carroll is forty years old, unmarried and pregnant In the future, her baby will become Vic the engine driver In 1917, as Maryanne walks around the streets of Melbourne, sometimes restless and unable to settle, debate about the second conscription referendum is underway The nation is divided rallies for Yes and No bring out some of the worst of humanity the beast is apparent Maryanne is concerned about the world into which her baby will A really good central character and a glimpse into a familiar world at an unfamiliar time I find Carroll s writing a little slow at times lots of internal reflection and not much action but this was an interesting read. I have re read all the Glenroy Series 1 5 this year in anticipation of this last novel being published, so my expectations were high I was not disappointed Although this is said to be the last , it is in fact a prequel Its focus is Maryanne, whose son Vic will be the engine driver of Glenroy 1 and whose grandson Michael will grow from boyhood to manhood and from aspiring cricketer to writer across the series Michael, in many ways Carroll s alter ego, has an elusive presence in this novel A silver jet crosses the sky of a Melbourne afternoon in 1917 a physical impossibility but we realise that this is the aircraft on which Michael wings his way to France in the 1970s In a way, Michael looks down on his grandmother as her story is told or as he is telling it In 1917 the newspapers continue to publish the names of the young dead from the war in faraway Europe Maryanne, pregnant with Vic, comes across a confrontation between the yes and no campaigners in the conscription plebiscite It is as if some fantastic metamorphosis is taking place in front of her And a storybook beast is coming to life before her eyes As if each of those faces has reached into the depths of its darkness and brought forth the beast that lurks there Always lurks there, waiting patiently Sometimes years, sometimes centuries But always there And now, its hour come, the beast roars, groans and writhes into life The very worst of humanity has risen and become this coll Regardless of being curious about a male author writing about a pregnant woman in the 1920s, I really wanted to like this book But it just left me wanting.The parts about Maryanne, becoming pregnant and wanting to keep the baby were real and understandable But the very real worry, that a single pregnant woman must have had of surviving, let alone flourishing, in that era, left me perplexed as the number one issue not The Beast not society of the day not her sister not her lost job or half baked romance but money Rarely was mentioned Unless I missed something major which is always a possibility , the idea of coping without parental support, a job, and income, was rarely addressed Sure her sister supported her and they lived in a house, but how did her sister make her money And whose house was it anyway Was it hers and her sister s Their dead parents A rental And as for her sister leaving her some money, how much money, how long would it last, would she continue to send money from her life on the road with a swag and a gun And as for Viktor, why was she so obssessed with his inability to support her emotionally I so admire Steven Carroll s writing and had eagerly awaited this last in his Glenroy series Taking the reader back to WWI and the turbulence of the 2nd conscription debate in Australia, Carroll creates his protagonist, Maryanne, who has a family history to give birth to Forty years old, unmarried and seven months pregnant when the novel begins, as an outsider Maryanne astutely observes the beast that is the mob mentality, the darkness and hatred that have allowed the world to enter a kingdom of death, the war itself.The metaphor that Carroll creates is masterful and, as he explains in his author s note, is based on Freud s Id and on Dante s Inferno Descriptions of the madness that breeds such hatred are often breath taking in Maryanne s observations of what is happening in the rioting streets of Melbourne as conscription is endorsed by the followers of the Prime Minister Billy Hughes The very worst of humanity has risen and become this collective thing on which each of those massed faces gives the gift of its darkness , so that the beast may slouch into life and the world hear its groans As well, Maryanne is fighting against the hatred that is directed against her because of her decision to bear a child as an unmarried mother, Set in my hometown but in the era of my parents youth I actually saw Archbishop Mannix in my own childhood and when he died all the Catholic schoolchildren had to file past his open coffin a terrifying sight As a 14 year old, I was taken in a school group by the nuns to visit the Broadmeadows home for mothers and babies That place haunted me for years and yes, just as he describes the babies did not cry What had they done to them to keep them so quiet Why am I mentioning all this Because there was so much about MaryAnne s story that I completely understood I knew exactly that look of disgust given to her by the interfering This gorgeous novel is the final title in Steven Carroll s award winning Glenroy series The series, set in the Melbourne suburb of Glenroy, began with the story of Vic, his wife Rita, and their only son Michael in The Art of the Engine Driver 2001 , and continued with The Gift Of Speed 2004 , The Time We Have Taken 2007 , Spirit of Progress 2011 , and Forever Young 2015 Now, going back in time to the origins of the family we have The Year of the Beast 2019.The story begins with Maryanne walking in the streets of Melbourne She is forty years old, unmarried and seven months pregnant with the child who will become Vic the engine driver It is 1917 and the second conscription referendum is in full swing Carroll, evoking recent memories of the divisive Marriage Equality plebiscite, notes correctly that this so called referendum was actually a plebiscite, but, checking this, I found that it s not just popular history that has it wrong by referring to it as a referendum All of the historical documentation refer to the ballot as a referendum, even though it did not involve a proposal to amend the Australian Constitution Because it was not an amendment to the constitution, it had no legal force, it did not require approval in a majority of states and residents of federal territories were able to vote Such a ballot is now usually refe He Is One Of The Best We Ve Ever Had Geraldine BrooksOne Of Australia S Finest And Most Critically Acclaimed Writers Returns With A Powerful Novel That Goes Back To The Very Beginning Of The Story, To Bring His Sweeping Glenroy Series To A Magnificent Close.Melbourne, 1917 The Times Are Tumultuous, The City Is In The Grip Of A Kind Of Madness The Great War Is Raging, And It Is The Time Of The Hotly Contested Second Conscription Referendum Fights Are Raging On The Streets, Rallies For YES And NO Facing Off Against Each Other On Opposing Corners Men, Women And Children, Jostling, Brawling, Fighting And Spitting.Through These Streets Walks Maryanne, Forty Years Old, Unmarried And Seven Months Pregnant These Are Uncertain, Dangerous Times For A Woman In Her Position And She Is Facing A Difficult Choice A Choice Which Gets Urgent By The Day Whether To Give Her Child Up For Adoption As The Church Insists She Does, Or To Keep Her Child And Face An Uncertain Future.A Powerful Novel Of A Time, A City And A Woman, The Year Of The Beast Is Steven Carroll At His Best A Rhythmic, Insistent And Pulsing Novel That Tells A Compelling Story Of Mothers, Families, And What It Means To Be 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