Reviews

Tom O’Connell reviewing [untitled] issue six:

“Special mention must go to Luke Thomas’ first-place-winning story, ‘Regatta’, about a fractured married couple’s travelling through Africa. Luke Thomas’ ‘Real Estate’ was one of my personal highlights in [untitled] issue five, and, for me, ‘Regatta’ cements the author as one of Australia’s seminal short fiction talents. It’s hard to articulate why this story resonated with me the way it did. Listing its superficial qualities feels insufficient. ‘Regatta’ has intangible magic; it’s a perfect marriage of voice, technique, character and story. Thomas wholly inhabits his protagonist, Tom. The story is no meditation on angst, but Tom’s pain is positively palpable. And still he holds things together, hoping, with grace, restraint and occasional wit. The titular boat race becomes a desperate, metaphorical struggle, testing the endurance of Tom’s spirit. More than the sum of its parts, ‘Regatta’ is a delicate, Hemingway-esque story that will doubtlessly stay with me.”

 

Bronwyn Lovell reviewing Award Winning Australian Writing 2013 in Lip Magazine:

“I was impressed by the characterisation and voice of the protagonists in… Luke Thomas’s “Regatta”…

Luke Thomas’s “The Regatta” observes ‘the carefree vulgarity of single men’ and the backpacker culture that sees them ‘drinking and fighting and fucking their way across oceans and continents’. Further, when the protagonist thinks about becoming a father, he recognises the threat that our culture poses to women:

He couldn’t wait to hold that tiny hand… until it grew into the hand of a woman. Holding that hand, he’d guide and protect her. He’d warn her about boys and men. He’d keep her safe. He’d keep her from getting broken.”

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