Atlantic Black

5 November 2017 Books

Atlantic Black

Atlantic Black

Last year’s Miles Franklin winner AS Patric is back with another dark and brooding book. Atlantic Black is set on an ocean liner crossing the Pacific, New Year’s Eve, 1938. Among thousands of passengers and crew are 17-year-old Katerina and her mother, Anne, wife of an ambassador. When Anne becomes gripped in the throes of a psychotic breakdown that necessitates sedation, the ambassador’s daughter is left to find her way around the slowly moving vessel alone, en route to her father and brother.

Under AS Patric’s hand, the ship, though expansive and multi-levelled, feels constrictive. There’s no straight narrative course: Katerina wanders about the labyrinthine passageways and has random encounters. Patric balances the near-hysterical jollity of New Year’s celebration with the menacing undertone that subtly references the near-future event of World War II.

Atlantic Black is as psychologically troubling as his award-winning Black Rock White City; the reader worries intently about Katerina, this strong, wilful and yet highly vulnerable protagonist.

Thuy On

Categories