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November 26, 2020


#AusReadingMonth2020 Simpson Returns (novella)

by NancyElin



  1. Main character:
  2. Jack Simpson – ghostly World War I hero soldier
  3. …not everyone can see him, apart from those who helps
  4. Helper: Murphy, his donkey
  5. Quest: Jack is in search for an inland sea in the center of the country.
  6. Majority of the tale:  deals with characters he meets along the way
  7. teenage runaway
  8. refugee
  9. Vietnam veteran
  10. single mother
  11. deranged ex-teacher,
  12. Setting:  Australia
  13. Theme:   Jack tries to help others but sometimes fails….
  14. Jack  defends his actions by claiming the
  15. …intention is more important than the result.



  1. Backstory: Shrapnel Gully – bullet in the heart – Lasseter’s vial – the Inland Sea.
  2. Characters:  Sad stories
  3. …that could not spark a scintilla of  pathos in me, sorry.
  4. While the first half or so of the book
  5. …was interesting (Jack and Murphy) it became repetitious and tedious.
  6. Each section had the standard line to a character:  “…tell me your story.”
  7. After 61% of the book….
  8. I decided to approach it from a different angle.
  9. With the help of KINDLE flashcards
  10. I noted ONLY the dialogue of Jack
  11. …and filtered out the tragic stories of the other characters.
  12. I flashed the cards
  13. ….and had a rolling conversation with Jack.
  14. I just wanted to salvage anything from the book.


Last Thoughts:

  1. Perhaps I’ve have been spoiled
  2. …after reading Nigel Featherstone’s
  3. stellar novella Fall On Me.
  4. Page turner? Only when I was turning
  5. …a few pages at a time hoping it would get better.
  6. It did not.
  7. #ReadAndDecideForYourself
7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 26 2020

    I’m not a fan of satire myself, I get tired of it very quickly. Sounds like this could also be a type of frame story, another device that doesn’t always thrill me. But well done for giving it a go 🙂

    • Nov 26 2020

      Strong point….novella’s are rather short, so the end is in sight!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. It’s Novellas in November time! #NovNov
  2. Novellas in November Begins! | Bookish Beck
  3. #AusReadingMonth2020 Wrap-up | NancyElin
  4. Australian Novellas
  5. AusReading Month – Wrap Up Post – Brona (This Reading Life)

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