ISBN: 9781921924965 Format: Trade PB 368pp Rights: All rights: Transit Lounge Release / Publication Date: 01 /04 /2016
Longlisted for the INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2018
Shortlisted for Queensland Literary Awards, FICTION BOOK AWARD 2017
The last bushrangers in Australian history, James and Patrick Kenniff, were at the height at their horse thieving operation at turn of the 20th century. In One, troops cannot pull the Kenniff Gang out of the ranges and plains of Western Queensland – the brothers know the terrain too well, and the locals are sympathetic to their escapades. When a policeman and a station manager go out on patrol from tiny Upper Warrego Station and disappear, Sergeant Nixon makes it his mission to pursue the gang, especially, Jim Kenniff, who becomes for him an emblem of the violence that resides in the heart of the country.
From the award-winning author of The Mary Smokes Boys, One is a novel of minimalist lyrical beauty that traverses the intersections between violence and love. It asks what right one man has to impose his will on another, and whether the written law can ever answer the law of the heart?
Illustrations by Junko Azukawa
Hardback with jacket 205mm x135mm
Release date: 1 November 2014
Transit Lounge (AUS + World) / Exorma Edizioni (Italy)
Shortlisted for Queensland Literary Awards, People's Choice Book of the Year 2015
Sydney Morning Heard, Alexis Wright, Book of the Year 2014
Navigatio tells the story of Saint Brendan of Clonfert, a sixth century monk and adventurer, and his legendary quest for the Isle of the Blessed via a gauntlet of monsters, devils, angels, prophets and beautiful maidens. Brendan's battles with the sea and the cosmos bear out what William Faulkner once called ‘the human heart in conflict with itself’. This haunting parable of darkness and light, of temptation and belief, of voice and silence, is told with the utmost economy of words, making it a small masterpiece of compassionate perception.
'This is the spirit under sail. A beautiful mediation on losing one way and finding another. It is sensual and soulful. A rich and mellow book, one to take time over and savour in its many moods.'
Michael McGirr, author of Things You Get For Free and Bypass
'Part myth, part confabulation, Holland's spare prose takes us on a voyage to the outer isles of consciousness.He has made the simple story of St Brendan and his voyage in search of the Island of the Blessed into a recapitulation of the verities that lie at the heart of the transcendent nature of story. He should be commended for taking us there, and for his courage. We are enchanted.'
James Cowan author of '
A Mapmaker's Dream' and 'Fleeing Herod.'
The Darkest Little Room
In store: 1 September 2012 / Italy, November 2018
Transit Lounge (AUS) / O barra O Edizione (Italy)
Film Rights: Scott Street Films
Pulp Curry TOP 5 CRIME BOOKS OF 2012
FILM OPTION sold to Scott Street Films
‘The darkest little room in the world is the human heart,’ she said at last. ‘Even yours, perhaps, has black secrets that you would never let into the light.’
Patrick’s Holland’s haunting new novel arises from his experiences in Indochina. An atmospheric literary thriller, it tells the story of a foreign journalist living in Saigon who, shortly after reporting on a murdered girl washed up in Saigon River, is approached by a foreigner describing a brothel known as ‘the darkest little room in Saigon’. The mysterious man shows him a photograph of a beautiful woman covered in wounds and the journalist investigates, not only out of suspicion that women are being maltreated, but also in the hope of finding someone from his past.
Rich in setting and characterisation, and pure in voice, The Darkest Little Room explores the elemental dilemmas of being an outsider, the nature of desire, and the risks of loving, especially in a world where no one is who they seem.
A page turning, tightly wound mystery from the author of The Mary Smokes Boys and Riding the Trains in Japan. ‘Thriller, love story, a journey of redemption … this is both a stunning page-turner and an investigation into the dim caverns of the human heart and soul that bears comparison to Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad. Holland’s writing is spare, gripping, and unexpectedly flares like the burning of Vietnamese paper money, as the book describes, for the ghosts of the unloved dead. Here is humour, menace and beauty effortlessly combined in a novel of genuine power. Holland is, quite simply, one of the best prose stylists working in Australia today.’
‘Tense, troubling and beautifully rendered, this remarkable novel proves that the darkest little room is indeed the human heart. Patrick Holland has joined the ranks of the adventurer novelists and enhanced his growing reputation.’
'In these tumultuous times for publishing, the focus is often on extremely well-established authors or new ones, so it is gratifying to see a select few Australian fiction writers maturing through their second, third and fourth novels. Holland is one of these, and The Darkest Little Room might prove to be a watershed moment in his career. The short 38 chapters are well weighted and cinematic, lending the narrative a relentless pace. The dialogue is tough and curt, the descriptions often achingly beautiful. There are elements of mystery and otherworldliness woven throughout this exciting story but also a sense of gravitas, that what Holland is examining here is important - the appalling treatment of women as sex slaves in Asia and the Western man's complicity in this sordid business.
In many ways, The Darkest Little Room is the perfect 21st-century Australian novel, exposing the cruel underbelly of life in the Asia-Pacific region while also managing to be a cracking read.’
Chris Flynn, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 27 October Click here for full review; And here for the SMH
‘Patrick Holland will be one of Australia’s greatest writers of the future. I can’t say you heard it here first because everyone is saying it.
Krissy Kneen, Sunday Mail, 9 September 2012 Click here for full review
I read The Darkest Little Room in an enjoyable kind of panic, because by the time I got to page 20, I knew I had to read it in one day or I would have a sleepless night. It is unputdownable ...
Which of his other friends can be trusted? Joe’s fellow-blackmailer and private investigator Minh Quy, or the Chinese pseudo art-dealer Zhuan with contacts in strange places? Can the reader trust Joe himself when we see where the trajectory of his world-weary cynicism and his vulnerability to love leads him? He can still be shocked by acquiescence to evil, but like any of Graham Greene’s characters, he has a moral decline of his own to confront.
... This is a wonderful book, destined for the shortlists.
Lisa Hill, ANZ Lit Lovers Click here for full review
A dark and totally original take on one of the standard plots of crime fiction set in Asia: foreigner-falls-for-bargirl-who-ends-up-much-more-than-she-seems. So… Joseph is an Australian journalist living in Saigon with a sideline in blackmailing high profile philanderers who he photographs in compromising situations in brothels. One day a foreign businessman approaches him with a picture of a physically abused but beautiful woman held prisoner in a brothel known as ‘the darkest little room’. Before long, Joseph has rescued the woman, who is mysteriously free of any physical wounds, and fallen in love, only to have her snatched back again by the gang of traffickers who bought her to Vietnam. Wonderfully drawn characters, acute and often painful observations about the expatriate condition, a vivid depiction of Vietnam, and a break neck plot make this a mesmerising read.
Andrew Nette, Pulp Curry, Top 5 Books of 2012
Click here for full review
Crime Fiction Lover 'Seven of the Best, Australian Noir'
Click here for full review
The Darkest Little Room is my first experience with the prose of Aussie author Patrick Holland. His writing has a visceral, uncensured quality – it is as if the reader has been transported to Saigon and can smell the odours in the seedy back alleys; or feel the rain running down their face in the dense jungle ...
The Darkest Little Room ... is as gripping and thrilling as it is effortlessly artistic and lyrical.Many titles these days are billed as literary thrillers but this one truly fits that description. There is a poetic quality to both the tale and its telling. As foreshadowed by the book cover art, the imagery within is stark and powerful ...
This is a story that lingers long after its conclusion…
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 5 / 5
Booklover Book Reviews
Click here for full review ... or here
There is a directness and spareness to the prose that beautifully balances out the action and the more traditional elements of the plot, and the slow, meditative tension easily calls to mind the dark romance of Greene’s The Quiet American. Yet apart from pure mystery, it seems to me that this is a novel very much about what it means to be enamoured with a place you can never truly understand, to be a stranger in a city where you feel yourself to be most bound.
Jessica Au, Readings
Click here for full review
Read the first two chapters of The Darkest Little Room
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Riding the Trains in Japan: Travels in the Sacred and Supermodern East
In store: 1 October 2011
Transit Lounge (AUS) / Exorma Edizioni (Italy)
Travel, Phenomenology, Religion, Essays
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2012 QUEENSLAND LITERARY AWARDS, BEST NON-FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2012 COURIER MAIL PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
Arriving late in Kyoto Patrick Holland cannot find a room for the night. Homeless and disorientated and in a place where loitering is not encouraged his only solution is to ride the trains. The train journey becomes a thread in book that journeys on rivers in Saigon, mountains in the Chinese Himalaya, lost cities of the Silk Road, mist-swathed cemeteries in Japan and the flat plains of Australia, and subtly questions the nature of travel and identity through reflections on place, mortality and the changing Asian landscape.
Riding the Trains in Japan succeeds in the difficult task of offering the reader a fresh vision of places and histories, of catching the impression of distant voices and also of offering the kind of insight only acquired through travelling.
For readers interested in the intersection of event, idea and place, this collection is a treat.
Rhys Tate, The Big Issue
Patrick’s intrepid spirit makes for some marvellous travel tales, which are also humble reflections on how to live and what place there is for faith in the modern world. The fascinating rendering of the traditional juxtaposed with the modern in the first story continues throughout the collection.
The fact that it is non-fiction and travel writing might discourage, but Riding the Trains in Japan is far more remarkable than either of these genres might suggest – and it is not just for Japanophiles like myself. Reading Riding the Trains in Japan is a meditative experience, and I found much more to contemplate once I put the book down.’
Ingrid Josephine, Readings Monthly
… a patient, observant book, and also a joyful, knowledgeable one.’
William Heyward, Australian Book Review Click here for full review
The Mary Smokes Boys
New b-format edition
Transit Lounge (World ex USA/Canada) / Hawthorne
Film Rights: Jarrod Dean
In store: 1 September 2011
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2011 MILES FRANKLIN AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2011 AGE BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011
AN ADELAIDE ADVERTISER BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011
A READINGS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011
A KNOWN UNKNOWNS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2010
‘The Mary Smokes Boys is a gem. The writing is absolutely terrific and the characters distinct and deftly revealed. And the story is a heart wrecker.’
Barry Lopez, Winner of the American Book Award
The Mary Smokes Boys stands up with some of the best novels of the twentieth century.
Poe Ballantine, author of Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere
'On closing the book I did feel I had experienced something true and strange.'
Delia Falconer, The Australian
Grey’s mother dies giving birth to his sister Irene and he prays that she will be returned to him so he might protect her from the world as his father did not. This prayer, Grey believes is answered in his sister Irene. He becomes obsessed with protecting her purity and innocence while befriending the wild boys of the small town of Mary Smokes − horse-handlers and fox hunters and part-time timber workers – members of a small, vanishing tribe who find themselves caught between an old relationship with place and a new one that is exemplified by the highway that threatens their town.
The Mary Smokes Boys is heart-rending and unforgettable, a suspenseful story of horse thieves and broken promises, of love and tragedy, of the fragility and grace of small town life and how one fateful moment can forever alter the course of our lives.‘Barely a scene or image is wasted ... He weaves Hemingway's blunt sentences and carved dialogue with the old fashioned storytelling of a folk tale imbued with the dark romance of a Nick Cave ballad.’
Jo Case, The Age
Click here for full review
‘Patrick Holland's beautiful, beautiful novel is a tale that transports you through its realisation of place and its genuinely affecting story of love (for brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers). And yes, for a language as pure and magical as I have read in a long time … A major work.’
Martin Shaw, Readings Click here for full review
The Mary Smokes Boys recalls aspects of William Faulkner’s writing and similarly is able to find a rare beauty in the cadences of common speech ...The Mary Smokes Boys is a beautifully written novel that appears to be much more simple than it is. It’s an incredibly engrossing book, and I can’t wait to read whatever Holland comes up with next.
Emmett Stinson, Known Unknowns, RRR Click here for full review ... or here ... or here
Holland has proved that he is a master of his craft with this gorgeous unsettling book about the dispossessed youth in the outskirts of suburbia. Set in the dying town of Mary Smokes, this is a story about the love between a brother and a sister. Holland’s book looks at the concept of family and how the bonds between friends can sometimes outweigh familial ties. It is also about alliances between white and indigenous Australians that can fly under the radar amongst the dispossessed members of a community. Reading The Mary Smokes Boys is as gorgeous and moving as looking at photographs by Bill Henson. The style is as poetic and fluid as Ondaatje’s prose. This book is poetic, moving and will haunt the reader long after the story is over.
Krissy Kneen, author of Affection and Triptych Click here for full review
This is a deeply, darkly beautiful book, an astounding achievement.
Plume of Words Click here for full review
I read The Mary Smokes Boys by Patrick Holland and, apart from colleagues and customers, had no one to really share the joy with. And what joy. It is sad and desperate but a touch mythical and lyrical and he writes with such confidence and (clearly) knowledge of small town-ness. New Australian Gothic. A real diamond of the year for me. I really couldn't wait to read more from him.
Pip's Eye, Click here for full review
Read the first chapter of The Mary Smokes Boys
Read 'By the Aral Sea' from The Source of the Sound
The Long Road of the Junkmailer
In Store: August 2006
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COMMONWEALTH WRITERS' PRIZE BEST FIRST BOOK 2006
WINNER OF THE QUEENSLAND PREMIER'S AWARD, BEST EMERGING AUTHOR 2005
A junkmail deliverer follows a forgetful angel through a sub-tropical city on apocalypse eve.
‘A quite brilliant debut’ The Australian
'His imagination is unrivaled' Good Reading Magazine
‘Quirky, magical, melancholic and utterly readable’ Bookseller +Publisher