The Unknown Terrorist

The Unknown Terrorist

3.15 (1,877 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the internationally acclaimed author of Gould's Book of Fish comes an astonishing new novel, a riveting portrayal of a society driven by fear. What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in the country? Gina Davies is about to find out when, after a night spent with an attractive stranger, she becomes a prime suspect in the investigation of an attempted terrorist attack. In The Unknown Terrorist, one of the most brilliant writers working in the English language today turns his attention to the most timely of subjects -- what our leaders tell us about the threats against us, and how we cope with living in fear. Chilling, impossible to put down, and all too familiar, The Unknown Terrorist is a relentless tour de force that paints a devastating picture of a contemporary society gone haywire, where the ceaseless drumbeat of terror alert levels, newsbreaks, and fear of the unknown pushes a nation ever closer to the breaking point.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 325 pages
  • 142 x 208 x 22mm | 386g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0802143547
  • 9780802143549
  • 140,622

Review quote

"A great book . . . visionary and squalid, apocalyptic and confessional." -- Chris Lehmann "A paean to the imagination . . . Brilliantly conceived . . . Ya meditation on fantasy and reality and the holy powers of the written word." -- Gail Caldwell "A work of significant genius." -- E. William Smethurst, Jr. "An astonishing masterpiece." -- Brad Zellar "Darkly funny and brilliantly sad . . . In prose that dances and sizzles and bleeds." -- Karen Sandstrom "Flanagan's Inventiveness . . . is prodigious." -- John Banville "Gould's Book of Fish is a novel about fish the way Moby-Dick is a novel about whales, or Ulysses is a novel about the events of a single day." -- Michiko Kakutani
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Rating details

1,877 ratings
3.15 out of 5 stars
5 11% (203)
4 28% (519)
3 36% (667)
2 18% (334)
1 8% (154)

Our customer reviews

The Unknown Terrorist is the fourth novel by Australian author, Richard Flanagan. After a night of passion with an attractive young stranger, Gina Davies wakes to everyone's worst nightmare: she finds she has become a terror suspect. Within the space of three days, her life goes from one of happiness, of an optimistic future, to the surreality of being a fugitive with nothing. All it took was a bit of post-9/11 hysteria, some unexploded bombs in backpacks, a journalist's career on a downhill slide, some sagging government approval ratings and a snub. For Sydneysiders, Flanagan's characters feel familiar, their dialogue is genuine and the whole series of events has a completely plausible and a frighteningly authentic feel, even as they hurtle towards their tragic conclusion. As Flanagan demonstrates how easily a set of circumstances can condemn an innocent, he also shows the power of the media and fear-mongering. On terrorism, his main character muses: "...she had the odd idea that the terrorism question had become a fad, like body piercing or flares; a fashion that had come and would go like this season's colours." This powerful read is fittingly dedicated to David more
by Marianne Vincent
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