Read Vertigo: A Novella by Amanda Lohrey Lorraine Biggs Online


Luke and Anna decide on a sea-change. They leave the city, fleeing a past and a future that fill then with fear. On the coast they discover a natural world that is both destructive and rejuvenating. Events sweep them up and they must confront what they have tried to put behind them.Veritgo is an enthralling short novel by one of Australia's leading writers....

Title : Vertigo: A Novella
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781863953191
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Vertigo: A Novella Reviews

  • Debbie Robson
    2019-05-10 13:11

    I read the first paragraph - a straight forward, yet evocative one - and immediately had to read the book. I was appalled to discover that neither of my local libraries had a copy. It was Christmas Eve and I had my Mum staying so I bought the book online and read it on my laptop over the public holidays. (It should have gone to my iphone but that’s another story). Needless to say with all the hu ha I may have been setting myself up for disappointment. Luckily I wasn’t. Lohrey has definitely delivered with Vertigo. Straight away I got the sense of the couple’s inner city lives - the cramped quarters, the stress, the disappointment and then they find their house on the coast. Lohrey moves effortlessly between the points of view between Luke and Anna. Of course there is another factor to their relationship that is gently hinted at and I love the way the author handles this. In their new/old house they gradually become attuned to the environment, the locals and the way of living so different from the city they have left behind. Luke adapts quickly whereas Anna struggles. After a visit back to the city, Anna is torn: “Damn Luke, damn his stupid ideas. All he has succeeded in doing is creating a situation where she doesn’t feel at home anywhere. Now she belongs in neither place like some migratory bird that has lost its bearings.”Of course with the wind and the drought the inevitable happens and this is where all of Lohrey’s skill as a writer come into play. Some scenes, I won’t repeat here are simply told but subtly compelling. Some reviewers have mentioned the distance they felt from the characters. Yes, the characters are a little distant but there is a reason for this and you’ll have to read Vertigo to find out. Highly recommended.

  • Dave Leys
    2019-05-05 15:19

    Certainly fluent; some wonderful description of nature; to me felt rather mannered and like it had been worked over by editors and creative writing teachers for ever which I guess produces a certain effect -poetic - and I can see how it is a sensitive treatment of grief. However, to me the book distanced me - I never quite felt the odd shapes of humanity - perhaps I wanted another, more ragged book. The description of the bushfire is gripping. A quick, poetic read that has some resonance

  • Jim
    2019-04-28 13:19

    well crafted tale of a 'seachange' and an awakening to living in the bush environment with an interesting undercurrent of loss and redemption which is tenderly resolved.

  • Matthew Goodwin
    2019-05-22 13:59

    Beautifully written and deeply moving.

  • Ms Tlaskal
    2019-05-14 17:00

    A mature age, poignant ghost story set beside the sea on the south coast of NSW; a place of leaving behind and forgetting. Its slight novella size slips into the cracks of your own experience and because it is so elusively written that it becomes your story too. Everyone has experienced a loss, a need for change and questions how they would react to life’s great disasters. So restrained in its prose, that it does not make demands of you, but just wraps like a silk scarf around your mind so that only later do you realize that it has soothed and warmed and left a soft perfume of hope and renewal. A highly recommended bed time read.

  • Malcolm Frawley
    2019-05-11 19:11

    While this novella was certainly well-written, & its climactic event was genuinely engrossing, I never fully engaged with the major characters. They seemed to remain at arm's length. That's all, really.

  • Clare Matthews
    2019-05-13 20:55

    Lovely evocative writing.

  • Anne
    2019-05-02 19:08

    Beautiful prose which transports you to the equally beautiful, but unpredictable, Australian landscape. The story creeps along and culminates in an heart wrenching tale of loss, acceptance, and, finally, closure. I was deeply affected.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-11 18:03

    It doesn’t take long to read this novella – only an hour or so – but it certainly leaves an impact, especially so soon after the Victorian bushfires on Black Saturday.BEWARE: SPOILERSLuke and Anna are thirtysomethings from Sydney who make a tree change, settling in the coastal hamlet of Garra Nalla. There they leave behind the pressures of city life and mild envy of more successful friends with large mortgages and share portfolios to monitor. They were relieved to be free of ‘dinner parties [where] people spoke solemnly of their renovations; with the air of diplomats renegotiating the Geneva Convention they discoursed on the problems of installing a second bathroom.’ (p8)Lohrey deftly sketches the housing affordability crisis: these two work hard but they can’t afford Sydney and they can’t even do the bush on their own. They need the help of both sets of parents to buy the old Federation house, affordable only because it lacks sea views. They learn to love the simple things, like bird-watching; they plant a vegie patch. They make friends and play tennis with friends on a simple backyard court, with nary a Nike to be seen. Here they discuss drought-proofing their properties with appropriate solemnity for it has barely rained for seven years and every drop is precious. Two showers a week – that’s a very arresting image!The ease of their lifestyle compared to the stress of city life is offset by this fear of the drought, the hard physical labour of planting, and the aymmetrical patterns of their sleep. To read the rest of my review please visit

  • Dionne
    2019-05-07 17:20

    This is a fairly quick read, as a novella is supposed to be I suppose. The author explores themes of loss and a lot of the story is told through the metaphor of nature. The harsh reality of living in the Australian bush is explained, and with the renewal of the bush through fire, so the characters come through their own personal tragedy and they are ready to start again. There are some inconsistencies in the book—predominately the water being scarce but then the characters seem to act blase about it. As in the structure of novella, the story is told on 2 levels—the bigger picture, which is filled in by magnifying the every-day and smaller things. If you're looking for a quick literary read I would recommend this. It is not a light-hearted text so if you're looking for something to cheer you up I wouldn't read this.

  • Siegrist
    2019-05-21 16:19

    I loved its economy. I loved its subject matter of a relationship that’s not in the heady states of beginning or collapse but in its shiftingly stable middle. The writing was lovely. I Lingered over ever sentence bur still chose to be late to work so I could finish it. The description of the bushfire was great and at its emotional core how children are the heart of it all.

  • Jacinta Fintan
    2019-05-25 18:58

    Bought this book at lunch time and had finished it by bed. Its a quick but charming story about 30 something couple that head outta the city for a seachange. Reminded me of winton and garner with simple vivid descriptions and the smell of australianess. Will be huntin down the rest of Lohreys stuff.

  • Lynley
    2019-04-29 12:57

    I didn't manage to read this short novel in one sitting, but it didn't matter. I was taken away by the writing, which is matched perfectly to the story: part fairytale, part ghostly, part thriller.I'm left wondering if more books would be better this length.I can't really work out why it's titled Vertigo, though it might come to me later, I suppose.

  • Isobel Blackthorn
    2019-05-07 13:10

    Such elegant prose. I admit I struggle with the bleak tradition within literary fiction in Australia. The toned down, understated, matter-of-factness of it. The constrained passion and emotion. Yet the result is powerful and compelling.

  • Kathryn
    2019-05-13 15:07

    I enjoyed this short novel very much. There were many times I found myself re-reading sentences because they were so spare but beautiful. A couple of moments in the story grip the heart and the bushfire sequence is intense.

  • Sam Schroder
    2019-05-20 14:01


  • Genevieve Dingle
    2019-05-15 12:53

    Short story about a couple going through transitions, moving from the city to a small settlement by the sea, experiencing severe draught and then a bushfire. Beautifully crafted.

  • K
    2019-05-21 15:04

    Short but enjoyable little read about a couple's seachange. Elegant prose and a solid development of characterisation.

  • Jessica Micallef
    2019-05-27 17:19

    A quick and somewhat enjoyable read that I finished for teachers book club. I can see how this has made the HSC English list as the poetic nature and prose allows for a lot of in depth study within the classroom.