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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925355932
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Book Review: Some Tests by Wayne Macauley - Reviewed by CloggieA (25 May 2017)
4 stars Some Tests is the fifth novel by Australian author, Wayne Macauley. At thirty-seven, Beth Own is happily married mother of two young daughters. She has a nice house on Blossom Street in Heatherdale and works in aged care. On Monday afternoon, Beth is feeling a little off colour, feeling something is not quite right, so she leaves work early.
David takes care of Lettie and Gem and, when Beth feels no better the following morning, and unable to get an appointment with their usual GP, organises a locum to visit. After his examination, the locum tells Beth she needs to go for some tests. At first Beth wonders if staying in bed for a day would have proved sufficient to restore her usual vigour, but in her “not quite right” state, finds herself deferring to those who obviously know what is best for her health.
Beth embarks on a trek through the bewildering world of medical tests, one of seemingly a parade of patients all needing some tests, all subject to the dizzying effect of the rarefied atmosphere encountered at the consulting rooms of medical specialists. Beth’s continued acceptance is reminiscent of Stockholm Syndrome, and for anyone who has encountered the mystique of this realm, with its jargon, its inadequacy of explanation, its feeling of loss of control, this will strike a chord.
Macauley populates his tale with believable characters (although you may want to give Beth a good shake and tell her to get a grip, until you remember her judgement is probably off because she’s a bit unwell), and, ghosts and a slightly bizarre ending notwithstanding, he certainly gets the reader thinking about where to draw the line with those tests, and how well- or ill-equipped we might be to determine that. Ceridwen Dovey says this novel is “darkly surreal” and there is no description more succinct or more wholly apt. Thought-provoking.
Wayne Macauley is the author of the acclaimed novels Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, Caravan Story, The Cook and Demons. The Cook was shortlisted for a Western Australian Premier's Book Award, a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award.
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