Book of the month: Paving the New Road
Paving the New Road
Author: Sulari Gentill
Imprint: Pantera Press
Book of the month for: August, 2012
It’s 1933, and the political landscape of Europe is darkening. Eric Campbell, the man who would be Australia’s Führer, is on a fascist tour of the Continent, meeting dictators over cocktails and seeking allegiances in a common cause. Yet the Australian way of life is not undefended. Old enemies have united to undermine Campbell’s ambitions. The clandestine armies of the Establishment have once again mobilised to thwart any friendship with the Third Reich. But when the Establishment’s man in Munich is killed, desperate measures are necessary.Now Rowland Sinclair must travel to Germany to defend Australian democracy from the relentless march of fascism. Amid the goosestepping euphoria of a rising Nazi movement, Rowland encounters those who will change the course of history. In a world
of spies, murderers and despotic madmen, he can trust no-one but his friends and companions: an artist, a poet and a brazen sculptress.
1. Discuss the writing style of the author that reviewers have called ‘lively’, ‘daring’, ‘witty’ and ‘charming’. How does author Sulari Gentill keep the reader involved?
2. In Paving the New Road, the author not only takes the
characters overseas but also places them into one of the most terrifying times and places of modern history –Germany of the 1930s. Discuss the difficulties of writing about a setting such as this.
3. The author weaves her characters into this very dark period of history. Discuss how she does this while retaining the story’s lighthearted style.
4. Many crimes are committed throughout the book. Some of the crimes really happened and others are fictional. Discuss the problems associated with painting real perpetrators in their true colours.
5. In the 1930s the Nazis were gaining popularity. At the time, many people viewed them as progressive, but there were also many others opposed to what they stood for. Discuss how this was dealt with in the novel.
6. The author forces Rowland and his friends to confront the evil events in Germany, years before politicians in their own country were prepared to do so. What impact did this have on Rowland, Clive, Milton and Edna?
7. Do you think Rowland and Edna should have their happily ever after?