Where There Be Tygers by Nicholas J. Ordinans: Emerging Writers’ Festival joins us for 366 Days of Writing
The cultural cringe that many Australians face has perhaps robbed them of being able to appreciate things for what they are; films become an embarrassment, personalities seem like bad rip offs and what is otherwise a thrilling read becomes a fantastical fairy tale that seems removed from reality.
Where There Be Tygers by Nicholas J Ordinans tells of a hypothetical story in which a living thylacine is found, and the measures taken by various individuals to protect it, or use it for their own gain. Ordinans keeps amazing pace throughout the novel, always tense enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but giving enough away to ensure you don’t become distinterested. The characters are mostly well formed, and greatly benefit from Ordinans knowledge obtained from his past life as a zoo keeper. The dialogue does let the story down on occasion and can slip into blandness, or an Australian slant that seems forced.
The ending does leave you slightly wanting, and much of tension built up through the novel feels unresolved. While an open ending certainly doesn’t discount the strength of the story, the fact remains that it feels as though Ordinans simply couldn’t commit to an ending, and so instead of a positive or negative one, we are simply left hanging.
The story is strong, and the characters are believable enough, but for many Australians this book will have more in common with stories of unicorns and dragons than of endangered species. But for those enchanted by the history of the thylacine, or those still hopeful for its rediscovery, Ordinan’s Where There Be Tygers is an exciting read
Review by Sigourney Berndt
The NSW Writers’ Centre is publishing a series of reviews of emerging writers, by emerging writers, to coincide with the Emerging Writers Festival, 24th May – 3rd June.
The Emerging Writers’ Festival begins in Melbourne this week and to mark the occasion there will be eleven reviews over the next eleven days – the duration of the festival – where self-published books will be featured.
There was fierce competition to be included in this project – both in terms of interested authors and reviewers! – and there will be a variety of genres being showcased. More than enough to whet the appetites of readers!
Taking our cue from the National Year of Reading 2012, we’re having our very own National Year of Writing 2012, aka 366 Days of Writing.
Send your reviews in to us! We want to hear about great Australian books, be they new or old, fiction, poetry, plays, short stories, memoir – we want the lot! This year is all about promoting Australian books and Australian readers. Reviews should be between 200 and 400 words.
Send reviews to sbarnes(write at)nswwc.org.au