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Mixed views on this one Enjoyed her writing style, however found the plot a bit lame It was intriguing enough to keep me reading and I got what she was trying to do with the character George, however wasnt exactly a rivoting read. #FREE DOWNLOAD Ç The Well-dressed Explorer Ä George Brewster is the well dressed explorer As his career in journalism takes him from city to city, from mistress to mistress, he takes with him his ever patient wife Fastidious, pompous and master of the cliche, throughout it all George persists in the illusion that he is the smartest of men As you will know if you have viewed the Opening Lines or myrecent Sensational Snippet, there is much to love about Thea Astley s The Well dressed Explorer which won the Miles Franklin Award in 1962 along with George Turner s The Cupboard Under the Stairs Thea Astley has the distinction not only of being a four time winner of the Miles Franklin but also the only two time co winner i.e when the award was shared between two authors Astley won it twice in her own right, with The Slow Native As you will know if you have viewed the Opening Lines or myrecent Sensational Snippet, there is much to love about Thea Astley s The Well dressed Explorer which won the Miles Franklin Award in 1962 along with George Turner s The Cupboard Under the Stairs Thea Astley has the distinction not only of being a four time winner of the Miles Franklin but also the only two time co winner i.e when the award was shared between two authors Astley won it twice in her own right, with The Slow Natives in 1965 and The Acolyte in 1972, see my review and she was a co winner for Drylands along with Kim Scott s Benang see my review in 2000 Astley 1925 2004 is one of Australia s great writers, notable not only for the numerous literary awards she won, but also for a powerful body of work over a sustained literary career ofthan 40 years.Remarkably, she achieved this with a distinctive modernist style The extensive use of complex metaphor can be taxing sometimes, but is offset by her wit her passion for exposing petty corruption, injustice and human stupidity and her brilliant observations of people at their most banal All these are superbly in evidence in her third novel The Well dressed Explorer, but if you don t like to have your brain circuits stretched by imagery used in new and challenging ways if you re put off by lush poetic descriptions or if you just like a what happened next kind of a story, then Thea Astley may not be for you But for me, reading The Well dressed Explorer makes me want to read her first two I have A Descant for Gossips 1960 on the TBR but not her debut novel Girl with a Monkey 1958 Hopefully it will turn up in the OpShop one of these days it is nice to have other titles to look forward to The Well dressed Explorer of the title is George Brewster, a narcissistic journalist whose career takes him exploring jobs, colleagues and women Like an explorer, he goes seeking the new, leaving nothing much behind him except a trail that briefly shows where he s beenTo read the rest of my review and access the various links on my blog please visit I m sure there have been times where I might have enjoyed Thea Astley s writingHowever this felt terribly overwritten The language and prose is incredibly dense and I found it overcame me. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I ve been meaning to read some Thea Astley for many years as a multiple winner of the Miles Franklin Award, she s one of Australia s best known female novelists of the Twentieth Century The well dressed explorer won the Miles Franklin in 1962, the first of four for Astley.This book has left me perplexed When I was half way through it, I thought it was a pile of overwrought re hashed garbage After turning the last page, I m less certain what it is, although confused might apply to the book a I ve been meaning to read some Thea Astley for many years as a multiple winner of the Miles Franklin Award, she s one of Australia s best known female novelists of the Twentieth Century The well dressed explorer won the Miles Franklin in 1962, the first of four for Astley.This book has left me perplexed When I was half way through it, I thought it was a pile of overwrought re hashed garbage After turning the last page, I m less certain what it is, although confused might apply to the book as much as it does to me.The narrative is quite simple we meet George Brewster first as an adolescent, who falls madly in love with Nita, a girl who visits his Queensland town over summer holidays This teenage crush in many ways rules the rest of his life Nita turns out to be a bit of a goer , and while she spends lots of time with George, he is not the only one to garner her favours She eventually marries another boy, and heartbroken, George leaves for Sydney to continue a journalistic career.On a trip back to Queensland, he meets and marries Nita s best friend Alice The story follows George in his career and various affairs as he blunders through life, totally self centred but essentially meaning well He has attacks of religiosity usually after being unfaithful and often vows to reform, but never really does As he ages he moves from being the young up and coming man to a boozy self important bore.The story ends with George s death from a heart attack.It is a fairly thin narrative in and of itself a vehicle for a message that is constantly thrust down the reader s throat by Astley in a fairly unsubtle manner that George is self centred and vain, and by being that he hurts the people around him in what he does and doesn t do.George is represented as a man less in touch with himself than he could be, immersed in the blokey world of journalism The women apart from Alice are presented as smart, sassy and knowing what they want.Given the storyline and characterisations, I find Astley s choice of language during the novel quite bizarre much of the description is in a style one can only call baroque, and annoyingly lacking in adjectives An example O stupidity of bounding heart Under blue flare of the wall lights expectant sheen in Nita s eyes pulverized him with lightning flash This kind of writing in a book about a louche journalist in Australia in the thirties just doesn t fit, and comes across as strained and deliberately artsy It s the language for a different book to this, and is distracting for the reader It is not the sort of language any of the characters would use, and is out of place here.Ashley s characterization of George does show insight into a certain type of man Her descriptions of him in his latter phases show a man unwilling to accept his aging, and how pathetic that can be in others eyes Astley finds the need to spell that out for the reader rather than letting them find it themselves I m guessing that, as this is an earlier novel, Astley was still developing the craft to enable her to let the characters tell the story, rather than her telling us what we should think or feel This book strikes me as one in which the writer has not yet discovered within themselves the style in which they can express their own voice It s part pastiche, part rehash, but there is something there for a patient reader.While The well dressed explorer has some good points, I suggest this is not the place to start with Astley, and she remains unfinished business for me 1962 must have been a thin year for the Miles Franklin Award.Check out my other reviews at