Last Day in the Dynamite Factory

Last Day in the Dynamite Factory

'Silence, Chris discovered, is easy. If nobody asks, you never have to tell.'Christopher Bright is a well-respected conservation architect, good neighbour and friend. He has a devoted wife, two talented children and an old Rover. He plays tennis on Saturdays and enjoys a beer with his business partner after work.Life is orderly, yet an unresolved question ha...

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Title:Last Day in the Dynamite Factory
Author:Annah Faulkner
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Last Day in the Dynamite Factory Reviews

  • Kate Loveday

    After a short prologue this story takes a while to get going. The central character, Chris, is incredibly introspective and self absorbed, and I almost gave up on it, but Annah Faulkner's writing is so compelling that I kept on. I am glad I did, because the story becomes gripping as we watch the secrets from the past and Chris's handling of these as the tale unfolds. I am now keen to read more of this author's work.

  • Jenny

    I have to admit that I read this book because the author lives locally and I like to support local authors. I hadn't expected a lot. However I was very well surprised. The book is a deceptively easy read, but there are several significant issues raised that really make the reader stop and think, what would I have done under the circumstances, in that time. The characters are well drawn and interesting. Though I didn't especially like her, I did think that the characterisation of the wife was ver

    I have to admit that I read this book because the author lives locally and I like to support local authors. I hadn't expected a lot. However I was very well surprised. The book is a deceptively easy read, but there are several significant issues raised that really make the reader stop and think, what would I have done under the circumstances, in that time. The characters are well drawn and interesting. Though I didn't especially like her, I did think that the characterisation of the wife was very well done- the author really got inside her complex and troubled head.

  • Teena

    After reading for awhile I felt this book was a self-indulgent account of an unhappy man but I persevered and began to appreciate the storyline and language. Basically it's a family tragedy about secrets and lies. Chris is a successful architect, frustrated in his job and in his marriage, who discovers shocking truths when his adopted mother dies. (Not sure why he never guessed the truth, it seems obvious in retrospect). It sets him on a path to discovering the truth but the past, as we know, is

    After reading for awhile I felt this book was a self-indulgent account of an unhappy man but I persevered and began to appreciate the storyline and language. Basically it's a family tragedy about secrets and lies. Chris is a successful architect, frustrated in his job and in his marriage, who discovers shocking truths when his adopted mother dies. (Not sure why he never guessed the truth, it seems obvious in retrospect). It sets him on a path to discovering the truth but the past, as we know, is not always a happy place and lies sometimes exist because of best intentions. By the end of the book, everything is disclosed to the reader but some secrets are best kept. Good fiction by an Australian author.

  • Kerri Jones

    This book is well thought out and the content deals with a man coming to grips with his place in the world in light of some revelations made after his adoptive mother (and aunt) passes away. I love that it's set in Australia; Brisbane and parts of Melbourne and that it reveals the history of a munitions factory in Maribyrnong. The book is also about being happy, what you're prepared to give up for contentment in the face of true love, and about some of the hardest decisions you're ever likely to

    This book is well thought out and the content deals with a man coming to grips with his place in the world in light of some revelations made after his adoptive mother (and aunt) passes away. I love that it's set in Australia; Brisbane and parts of Melbourne and that it reveals the history of a munitions factory in Maribyrnong. The book is also about being happy, what you're prepared to give up for contentment in the face of true love, and about some of the hardest decisions you're ever likely to make.

  • Helen

    A very well written book about the crisis a man faces when a truth about his family is revealed. It is not the only secret either and the family is torn apart by these discoveries. How one would react in Chris's place is interesting to contemplate, but as always, one would never know until it happened to them. I found myself sympathising with both him and his father. While I also had some sympathy for his wife, I totally agree that Chris should ask for "more".

  • Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Time is no buffer against memory.’

    Forty-eight year old Christopher Bright has been married to Diane for almost twenty-five years, has two adult children and a successful career as a Brisbane architect specialising in restoration work. But when his adoptive mother dies, his world becomes far less comfortable. Chris reads his adoptive mother’s journal and discovers the identity of his birth father. While Chris has always wanted to know who his birth father was, once he does know it ra

    ‘Time is no buffer against memory.’

    Forty-eight year old Christopher Bright has been married to Diane for almost twenty-five years, has two adult children and a successful career as a Brisbane architect specialising in restoration work. But when his adoptive mother dies, his world becomes far less comfortable. Chris reads his adoptive mother’s journal and discovers the identity of his birth father. While Chris has always wanted to know who his birth father was, once he does know it raises many more questions for him.

    ‘Some knowledge doesn’t add to our understanding of life, it just diminishes it.’

    Chris becomes restless. He doesn’t feel that Diane is as supportive as she should be (or as he needs her to be). He wants to make some changes to his life and work, so he takes leave and goes to stay at Coolum for a while. Coolum has its own place in Chris’s history: he witnessed the death of his adoptive brother here, and almost drowned when he was just a child. Chris sees both beauty and danger in this landscape. He also finds an old friend.

    Chris returns to Brisbane, resolved to learn more about his past and his birth mother. His father seems either unwilling or unable to give him much information. Christ continues his search, stressing his own relationship with Diane and his children.

    I picked this novel up, and couldn’t bear to put it down. Much of my focus was on Chris: would he find the information he was seeking, would it be enough for him, could his marriage and business partnerships survive? But I also wondered about Diane, and their children: how does a family manage in circumstances where revisiting the past seems likely to overwhelm the present? And the secret that Chris has been keeping about his adoptive brother’s death – what a burden for a small child to carry. So many secrets, so many mysteries.

    And, what will happen in the end? It’s well worth reading in order to find out.

    Jennifer Cameron-Smith

    #AWW2016

  • Lisa

    Last Day in the Dynamite Factory is an intriguing title, the book was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Literature and it’s the second novel of Annah Faulkner, who was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin for The Beloved. That was an interesting debut novel set partly in New Guinea (see my review) and I liked the well-rounded characterisation of a person with a disability, so I added the book to the (a-hem) ‘small’ pile on a recent visit to my favourite local bookstore…

  • Amanda

    Again I'm wishing I had the option of awarding half-stars, as I'd give this another half.

    This is very readable account of what appears to be one man's mid-life crisis, provoked by the revelation of an old family secret which results in major impact on his life and the lives of his family and colleagues.

    I found it very difficult to like Chris, the pain-in-the-bum protagonist, whom I found whiny and self-indulgent. He seems to spend most of the book thrashing about like a thwarted tod

    Again I'm wishing I had the option of awarding half-stars, as I'd give this another half.

    This is very readable account of what appears to be one man's mid-life crisis, provoked by the revelation of an old family secret which results in major impact on his life and the lives of his family and colleagues.

    I found it very difficult to like Chris, the pain-in-the-bum protagonist, whom I found whiny and self-indulgent. He seems to spend most of the book thrashing about like a thwarted toddler, only thinking of himself for the most part. In the end he gets more or less everything his own way, but only after turning everyone else inside out.

    Faulkner's writing is very evocative and some of her scenes are strikingly memorable. I'll be interested in seeing her next work.

  • Dale Harcombe

    Chris Bright is a conservation architect. He has been married almost 25 years at the beginning of this story and is father to an adult son and daughter. He has a good business and is well off, but there is something missing in his life. What is it? He often feels it is because he as an adopted child, who didn’t know anything of his father and only a minimal amount about the mother who died when he was a baby. Adopted by his mother’s sister, Jo, and her husband, Ben, he longs for more information

    Chris Bright is a conservation architect. He has been married almost 25 years at the beginning of this story and is father to an adult son and daughter. He has a good business and is well off, but there is something missing in his life. What is it? He often feels it is because he as an adopted child, who didn’t know anything of his father and only a minimal amount about the mother who died when he was a baby. Adopted by his mother’s sister, Jo, and her husband, Ben, he longs for more information about his real parents.

    After Jo dies and he finds out the truth about his parent through her diaries, his life is turned on its head. This is a family of secrets for he also has his own secret, stemming from the day his adoptive brother died when they were children. This is an interesting read of a family and two marriages. I thoroughly disliked Chris. He is self-obsessed and whiny. I did feel some sympathy for his wife Diane, though she is not without serious emotional flaws either. The writing is good and the characters believable if largely unlikeable. As for the ending I found it unsatisfying, although others may disagree. This is my first read by this author and I would be interested in reading another by her.

  • Michael Livingston

    I couldn't really engage with this - the main character struck me as self-indulgent and his wife a kind of caricature - so their struggles with trauma and upheaval both past and present didn't move me much. Faulkner writes clear, readable prose and there are moments of beauty, but on the whole it all felt a bit flat to me.

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