MacLehose Press

The Voyage

by Murray Bail

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Frank Delage, a middle-aged Australian, arrives in Vienna with the most daring of propositions. He has invented a revolutionary piano and means to market it to the grand old world of classical music. A chance meeting with one Amalia von Schalla brings new possibilities – a soirée, an introduction to her daughter Elisabeth, dinner with an avant-garde composer.

But when the sheer audacity of his campaign dawns on him, he takes a slow boat home to the southern hemisphere. As it meanders through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, he is afforded ample time to reflect on tensions between the old world and the new. And, for all his travails, he is not going home empty-handed…

‘Curiously exciting: one reads in a permanent faint fever, on tenterhooks, never knowing quite where a sentence or a paragraph may veer off to’ John Banville, The Monthly.

‘There’s a lightness to Bail’s writing – a gentle stealth in its revelations – that slowly but surely brings the reader alive’ Canberra Times.

‘His works are to be savoured for their elegant artifice … This novel is not the sum of its preoccupations but an essentially abstract work of art: an invention in the sense that Bach and his contemporaries used the term for some of their compositions’ Andrew Reimer, Sydney Morning Herald.

‘A lustrous piece of fiction, consistently surprising and illuminating, full of mirrors and illusions, but with the abiding face of real feeling and deep truth. We won’t see a finer piece of fiction in the longest while’ Peter Craven, Melbourne Age.

‘Intelligent and shockingly funny … vastly thought-provoking … this masterful concoction engages, excites and perturbs with singular virtuosity’ Irish Times.

‘Beautiful, lyrical, elegant, musical, often surprising and wittily allusive: it is a very readable and original example of high modernism’s delight in experimentation … deserves to be Booker nominated’ The Lady.

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