A review by camerontrost
The Chantic Bird by David Ireland


The Chantic Bird is a remarkable first-person narrative set in a period of dramatic social change in Australia. The antihero is a young outsider struggling to make sense of the world around him and his place in it. Alienation, poverty, and discontent are the driving forces behind his violent tendencies. This book is often compared to A Clockwork Orange, and, as seen by my star rating of 3/5 for the latter title, I was much more impressed by David Ireland's work of fiction. The narrative style (and surprises), the setting, the events, and the conclusion make The Chantic Bird as enjoyable as it is disconcerting, and as darkly humorous as it is thought-provoking.