The Unknown Terrorist

  • by Richard Flanagan
  • Narrated by Humphrey Bower
  • 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An extraordinary achievement, The Unknown Terrorist is chilling, impossible to put down, and all too familiar. What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in Australia? Gina Davies is about to find out. From the author of the international bestsellers The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Gould's Book of Fish comes a fast-paced thriller that paints a devastating picture of contemporary Australia. Five days, three unexploded bombs, and every truth of your life turned into a lie. What would you do?

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What the Critics Say

" A true page-turner as well as a timely, pithy critique of celebrity culture and the politics of fearmongering." (Publisher's Weekly starred review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Unknown Terrorist

I haven't read anything else by this author but was completely engaged and felt a wrench when I finished listening. The story is set in Sydney, Australia and has the seeming straight forward frank approach that often is used to characterise Australians. However, as the story unfolded around the main character, a pole dancer, I empathised with her completely as her view of the world changed. The story is beautifully read by an Australian. Highly recommended.
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- Barbara

Well read but falls between two stools

I haven't read any Richard Flanagan before so cannot compare his writing style in The Unknown Terrorist to other works. I suspect others would be more my cup of tea though.
The Unknown Terrorist is a fairly standard thriller which employs the mass media and an unscrupulous journalist as its evil. Our supposed heroine, Gina, also named throughout as The Doll, is hounded to madness over the period of just a few days by drummed up hysteria and the cynical machinations of anonymous powerful men in suits.
I was interested in the descriptions of Sydney, having never been to Australia. However, Flanagan's vision of the city is hardly tourist friendly! I liked his frequent mentions of the various immigrant populations, showing a country made up of many layers of cultures, much like Britain, and the way this was set against rampant hostility towards Muslims was also sadly familiar as this attitude is also widespread over here. The main characters never leapt from the page for me though which made it difficult for me to really invest in their story.
I'm not sure this book had decided what it wanted to be. It doesn't have the pace-at-all-costs approach of slick American thrillers, but the occasions where it tries for literary fiction fail too because of their isolation. My audio version was nicely narrated and passed a week of bus journeys, but I had hoped for a deeper novel and was ultimately a bit disappointed.
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- Stephanie Jane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2009
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd