“Border Districts”

If you were to put much of the text of Gerald Murnane’s “Border Districts” into something like ‘Grammarly’, I dread to think what ‘readability’ score it would get. Almost everywhere the language used is convoluted, repetitive, arcane, self-indulgent. The sentences are so long you need a bus to get from one end to the other. I found myself totally switched-off, disinterested; I simply didn’t care about the bizarrely self-centred, self-obsessed, self-deluding narrator.

Now clearly there are others who do not think this. ‘A genius’ boasts a quote on the front cover of my edition, and the book has won awards in Australia. So it could be another one of the many where my assessment is simply wrong, which I’m fine with.

But it’s not for me, I’m afraid. When I started to resent the fact that I was reading it; well, at that point I simply couldn’t finish it.