Francis King

In Tasmania

Secrets of the Sea


Harvill Secker 402pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

After he had written an acclaimed biography of his friend Bruce Chatwin, Nicholas Shakespeare took himself off to Tasmania in an effort, he declared, to escape from the gravitational pull of a subject that had for a time totally dominated his life. But the effort was only in part successful. Chatwin’s best book was his first, In Patagonia. The title Shakespeare chose for the book he wrote during this period, In Tasmania, clearly referred back to that work, and Shakespeare’s book is also a fascinating mixture of history, travelogue, autobiography and, one strongly suspects, fiction. Now he has produced a novel that has the same setting, and might have been given the same subtitle, as the earlier book: ‘Adventures at the End of the World’.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,