Fed up with bingeing on Netflix, et al.? Here are five novels, each of which can be read in a day.

The Children’s Bach
Helen Garner
Garner at her absolute best in this diamond-like picture of the disruption of family life.

Helen Garner's 1984 novella is a brilliant creation.

Helen Garner’s 1984 novella is a brilliant creation.Credit:Darren James

On Chesil Beach
Ian McEwan
Sexual and emotional tensions as futures are decided on a young couple’s wedding night.

The Monkey’s Mask
Dorothy Porter
A gripping crime thriller and erotic lesbian love affair written in verse. Startling and stylish.

Death in Brunswick
Boyd Oxlade
Darkly comic novel about an ageing drop-out and an unfortunate incident. Filmed with Sam Neill and John Clarke.

The Emperor’s Tomb
Joseph Roth
A melancholic, nostalgic Austrian novella set between the end of World War I and the rise of the Nazis.



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