Some Tests by Wayne Macauley

1. First lines 2. Publisher: Text Publishing 3. Pills. [Public Domain] via Pixnio. 4. Stack of files. Photo by: Senior Airman Kirby Turbak via Incirlik Air Base 5. Rock climber by Ioana Balsan [Public Domain] via Pexels 6. Doctor Highway sign by Nick Youngson [CC-BY-SA 3.0] via picpedia

Strange, mesmerising and sad.

I liked this book, I think.

Beth wakes one morning feeling vaguely ill. Her husband calls the doctor, and she is sent for some tests. With no firm diagnosis, she goes to a different doctor for more tests. And so begins a journey to have more and more tests.

“Once called, we go, Beth; the warm bed you woke up sick in this morning has already gone cold and won’t have you back, not until you’ve taken the journey, done your tests.’”

“… there was a row of chairs along one wall and a low table in the middle. As with most waiting rooms she’d been in, there was also a TV in the corner with the volume turned down.”

”… you have so far had a number of tests, some more conclusive than others, and as I’m sure you’re aware there could be many more of them ahead of you yet, should you so choose. The tests available these days are infinite and it is reasonable to expect that a person in your situation – can I say it tends more to be men whose brains have difficulty acknowledging the faults in their bodies – will take up our offer of more, clinging perhaps to the hope that the next will provide the answers. But there is, Beth, you understand, a gamble. If no comfort is found in the next test, or the one after, how far do we go? To infinity?”

~ Quotes from the book.
  • Sydney Review of Books:Some Tests is ultimately a strange novel, amusing and very often frightening. And also, potentially, instructive.”
  • Sydney Morning Herald: “Sickness is life, our denied but insistent shadow self. It’s our fear, our news, and, increasingly, our politics. To write fiction about sickness and its attendant uncertainty is to risk many dire traps: didacticism, speechifying, the needlessly graphic. In his new novel, Some Tests, Wayne Macauley has deftly avoided every one.” … “For any reader who has suffered from a nameless woe, or shared the answerless agony of another’s pain, Some Tests will offer the shock of the familiar, vividly portrayed.”

Awards: 2018 Longlist Miles Franklin Literary Award; 2018 Shortlist Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature: Fiction; 2018 Shortlist ABDA Best Designed Literary Fiction Cover

Author website: Wayne Macauley

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