Sunday, 19 August 2012

Review: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

Whew, who would have thought that a whole week would go by without any updates on here. Damn, that review on He's Just Not That Into You must have really got me rattled. I still think the book was a whole lot of rubbish, pushing one silly and oversimplified catch phrase. Anyway, I'll move on to the next book for review, the delightfully mysterious Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. Like pretty much everyone who studied English Literature at a South Australian high school in the late 1990s, I first encountered this book at school. I was drawn in to the mystery of what happened to the three girls and their teacher who disappeared during a school picnic at Hanging Rock.

Rereading this book as an adult, after finding it for twenty cents at a secondhand store was a revelation. There is no denying that Picnic at Hanging Rock is creepy. From Edith's hysteria to the subplot where the headmistress murders a student to the style in which the book is written (in the form of a historical document,) the sinister overtones of the novel seem to have no end, which would no doubt make it an ideal read for fans of V.C. Andrews or Daphne DuMaurier. What older and more discerning readers may be interested in is the subtle elements of science fiction that exist within the frame of the novel. Read carefully and you'll see plenty of hints about time and different dimensions and possibilities of where the girls may have slipped away to. Seriously, I urge you to read this one through very carefully.

Or if you don't want to do that, at least watch this clip through to the end:

http://youtu.be/Hv5aWlkQmEk