It’s first of the month book bargain time again and this month I’m reviewing Anthony Quinn’s Half of the Human Race. Admittedly I knew nothing about the book or the author when I picked it up but I can honestly say that I was more than pleasantly surprised. It’s no masterpiece but it is well written, entertaining and well worth a read. And yep, you guessed it, you can pick up a copy at The Book Grocer in Northcote for $10! Yayness!
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
’til next month… Happy reading xx
Half of the Human Race – Anthony Quinn
Connie is a young woman fighting for her rights to vote freely and be treated equally to men in early 20th century England. Will and Tam are cricketers, at the peak of their professional sporting careers. Somewhere, somehow, all three lives cross and what ensues is sometimes beautiful, other times complicated but always moving and entertaining.
Set among the throes of a dawning era, Quinn’s second novel, Half of the Human Race, is a charming exploration of the stuff of life; those relationships that ground us, the love that sustains us and the feuds that arise in between – be they personal, political or social.
In Quinn’s protagonist Connie, these life values are rendered tangible. A female suffragist, Connie inhabits the grey areas of early 20th century life. Intelligent, independent and fiercely driven, Quinn uses Connie as a critique of the era and its injustices.
Despite being written by a male, the females in this novel are strong – both in voice and characterisation. Not only does Quinn manage to capture the finer differences between the sexes that, quite often are overlooked, but he does so with delicacy and style. As the title of his book suggests, Quinn’s concern in this book is “half of the human race”. However, which half exactly remains an elusive question for readers to answer.
In this novel Quinn solidifies his status as an exceptional writer. As with The Rescue Man, the sincerity with which Quinn observes the workings of early 20th century England is refreshing and compelling. The tone of his prose is convincing and his reflections on history, love and what it means to be free ring with a simplicity that engages and compels.
Quinn’s second novel is a tale for all – despite the claim that its title makes.