Review: ‘The Hunter’ by Julia Leigh

University reading no 2. This is a book I would have been unlikely to pick up without prompting, but one I really enjoyed.

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This short novel follows the hunter of the title as he arrives in an isolated community to find the last Tasmanian tiger. Episodes alternate between among people and alone in the wilderness. The structure creates a rhythm to the whole book. Both arenas have their own quirks and strangenesses, and complement each other brilliantly.

Due to my being a bit less organised this term, and feeling a bit frantic about catching up to where I like to be on that front, I rushed this book more than I would have liked. I didn’t take the time to absorb the prose quite the way I prefer to. This had the effect of making what is already an intense book possibly even more so.

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This book is a unique reading experience, beautifully and carefully written. Leigh characterises her unnamed protagonist and his contradictions and flaws incredibly well, and drives the whole narrative to a point where as a reader I was conflicted over what I was really hoping for. If unusual fiction is something you are interested in, I absolutely recommend looking this out.

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