Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The little company (Dark) 191

The little company was a find in Oxfam sometime last year; it took me a while to attempt to read it because it has extremely small type! It took me a while also to get into it once I started reading it, but I was ultimately glad that I had persevered.

The little company is the story of a family, living in Sydney, Australia, and their experiences on the eve of and during the Second World War. However, rather than dealing with how their lives were affected, Dark deals with the intellectual and political issues; it seems that she felt that the everyday continued to be mundane, and the real excitement and change was in the way that people thought about things. Gilbert, the father, a successful novelist, is a diehard socialist and intellectual, as is his sister Marty, and his brother is a Marxist. But this provokes a difference of interest with the rest of his family as his wife and daughters have little concern with political issues. There was quite a lot of political analysis in the book which I struggled with, and would have preferred Dark to concentrate more on the family and their lives which were more appealing to me, but I can see that this was an important novel for taking such a different approach.

It's just been published once by Virago, with an original green cover. Another of Dark's novels, Lantana Lane, which I believe is slightly more well known, is also published as a VMC. 3*


  1. Hee. This would make a good category for a reading challenge: Books with Too-Small Type. I can think of three immediately that I've avoided for years for that simple reason. Glad this one was worth the extra effort for you!

  2. Hehe - like the chunkster challenge. I like that! Even short books are offputting when their type is too small.