The last book written by Andrew McGahan


What a strange book this was.

The book is set in Tasmania and I picked it up because I had read his Miles Franklin Award winning book, The White Earth.

I am not someone who would normally read books about the paranormal and at almost 600 pages, requiring some suspension of disbelief, particularly at the end, this book kept me reading right up to the end.  I will admit that the beginning had me doubting if I would continue to read as there was quite a bit of explanation of geological aspects of the setting but it wasn’t until later in the novel that I realised the importance of knowing this information.

The action chapters are interspersed with newspaper articles and scientific journal entries which interweave the history with the storyline.

“In the freezing Antarctic waters south of Tasmania, a mountain was discovered in 1642 by the seafaring explorer Gerrit Jansz. Not just any mountain but one that Jansz estimated was an unbelievable height of twenty-five thousand metres.

In 2016, at the foot of this unearthly mountain, a controversial and ambitious ‘dream home’, the Observatory, is painstakingly constructed by an eccentric billionaire – the only man to have ever reached the summit.

Rita Gausse, estranged daughter of the architect who designed the Observatory is surprised, upon her father’s death, to be invited to the isolated mansion to meet the famously reclusive owner, Walter Richman. But from the beginning, something doesn’t feel right. Why is Richman so insistent that she come? What does he expect of her?

When cataclysmic circumstances intervene to trap Rita and a handful of other guests in the Observatory, cut off from the outside world, she slowly begins to learn the unsettling – and ultimately horrifying – answers.”

Not my usual fare, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would highly recommend it.

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