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The Bus on Thursday - Shirley Barrett

Paperback Published: 26th September 2018
ISBN: 9781760632250
Number Of Pages: 304

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Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in a devilishly funny new novel from the acclaimed filmmaker, screenwriter and author of Rush Oh!

That's when I literally had thoughts of becoming a nun, because I thought, Well, I'm never going to have sex again. If I become a nun, I would at least have somewhere to live.

It wasn't just the bad break up that caused Eleanor's life to unravel. It was the cancer. And the demons that came with it.

Freshly single and thoroughly traumatised from the ordeals of breast cancer, Eleanor Mellett starts a new job as a teacher in a remote mountain hamlet. It's certainly peaceful enough, almost too peaceful. But what's become of the previous teacher, the saintly Miss Barker, who has disappeared abruptly under mysterious circumstances? And what's with all those locks on the door? And what the hell is that bus doing idling outside her house late, late at night?

When the local priest offers to exorcise Eleanor of her 'cancer demon', she probably should have declined. Because that's when all her troubles start in earnest. That's when the visitors come a-knocking.

Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in Twin Peaks. Darkly funny, deeply unsettling and surprisingly poignant, Shirley Barrett's The Bus on Thursday is a strange wild ride for all fans of Helen Fielding, Maria Semple, David Lynch and Stephen King.

About the Author

Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Her first film, Love Serenade, won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. In 2010, the script for her her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize and the West Australian Premier's Prize. Shirley's first novel Rush Oh! was released in 2015 by Picador Pan Macmillan. The Bus on Thursday is Shirley's second novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

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original, hilarious, weirdly engrossing

4

The Bus on Thursday is the second novel by prize-winning Australian screenwriter, director and author, Shirley Barrett. It starts with a lump in her armpit, and before Eleanor Mellett knows it, she's had a mastectomy (thank you, George Clooney look-alike), has a fake breast (without nipple, so far), is jobless, fiancé-less and living with mum. She's on hormones for the cancer and anti-depressants (who wouldn't be?!), and has given up the breast cancer support group as a bad joke. When Miss Barker, the much-loved teacher at Talbingo's one-room school (just 11 students), goes missing, Eleanor steps into the breach. She arrives at the tiny village in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains to be greeted by tearful students and a tearful assistant: this devoted teacher has certainly left Eleanor a high standard to live up to. But is this city girl ready for it? Has she come to terms with her loss? And no mobile reception, no wi-fi, really?? Eleanor will strike most readers as rather immature in both thought and deed: thirty-two going on sixteen for much of the story. While still in the city, she seems to be sane, if rather self-centred and entitled; when she gets to Talbingo, however, things start to get weird, and it's difficult to say whether there's something strange going on in the town, or whether Eleanor's medications are causing her strange dreams/hallucinations, or a bit of both. This is Eleanor's private blog, written without any intention for it to be shared: the voice, Eleanor admits, is a "horrible snarky" one, all smart-@rse funny-angry, so the reader cops a good number of expletives, both in thought and word, and while it may sound natural for this character, some are likely to be offended at her frequent use of the f-b0mb (although the blurb gives fair warning). The story is compelling, sort of like a runaway train about to wreck: you can't look away because there's a morbid fascination for what bizarre thing Eleanor will encounter next and, maybe mor

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The Bus on Thursday

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ISBN: 9781760632250
ISBN-10: 1760632252
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 26th September 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3