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Joe Cinque's Consolation by [Garner, Helen]
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Joe Cinque's Consolation Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 329 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

NOW A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MOTION PICTURE

A true story of death, grief and the law

"Garner's book is a writer's profound response to a tragedy and to questions about human responsibility over time as well as at precise moments" The Age

In October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. Some of the dinner guests-most of them university students-had heard rumours of the plan. Nobody warned Joe Cinque. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder.

Helen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court. Compassionate but unflinching, this is a book about how and why Joe Cinque died. It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as 'evil'; and explores conscience, culpability, and the battered ideal of duty of care.

It is a masterwork from one of Australia's greatest writers.

Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime 2005

Winner of the ABIA Book of the Year 2004


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 649 KB
  • Print Length: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Picador Australia (10 November 2007)
  • Sold by: Macmillan (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003R509WY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,489 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Could not finish this book...I found it quite boring...Not one of Helen Garners best works
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By Blue Lake Boy TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 October 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In sparse, somber prose, Helen Garner pulls back a dark curtain on the bizarre and brutal murder of a young Italian engineering student, the eponymous Joe Cinque, by his vain, psychotic girlfriend Anu Singh. It is a confronting, wrenching read, suffused with the raw and naked anguish, pain, suffering, misery and rage of Joe Cinqueâ(tm)s remarkable family and friends as they grapple with the ramifications of his death and the manifest inadequacy of the sentence meted out to his killer. Indeed, the manifest mystery at the heart of this book is not so much what happened as to why and the motives behind Joeâ(tm)s murder by the odd, deeply weird Anu Singh. Helen Garner describes Singh as a high maintenance histrionic and drama queen, who exerted a glassy, ghastly spell over so many who came into her evil orbit, especially the timid, mouse-like Madhavai Rao, Singhâ(tm)s co-accused in causing Joeâ(tm)s death, and someone whose personality seems to sink like a stone when she becomes trapped in Singhâ(tm)s wicked web.
Ultimately, I think oneâ(tm)s reaction to this book will depend greatly on the impression left by Anu Singh. An attention junkie indulged by her greedy, grasping father, who continues to make excuses for her even after murdering a man, dancing attendance on her madness. A woman who was utterly obsessed with her own glamorous, flamboyant appearance, consumed with thoughts of suicide and death to the exclusion of all human empathy and understanding. Was she disturbed young woman with a borderline personality disorder or a cold-blooded killer?
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By Swirls TOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 December 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
It is so fortunate that Helen Garner wrote this book. The events are so shocking and unbelievable that the story could easily have been written with the populist in mind and turned into a sordid, little crime novel.

But Garner provides us with so much more. The book is a retelling of the events punctuated with the author's own reflections as she questions the motives of the main players and struggles with the law's inherent failures.

She (and we) are incredulous that the law offers no protection and leaves the victim's family reeling in their grief. To have their son killed by someone with "diminished responsibility" is difficult enough for them to grasp but to know there were so many "spectators" who aided and abetted and did nothing to stop the farcical madness is just too much. The victim's family listen and endure as Counsel manoeuvre and "normalise" such events; "the spin Mr Lasry [defence Counsel] put on the events of Joe Cinque's last days was breathtaking in its gall."

Garner provides us with analysis and questions from all angles: does a judge suffer "from the icy chill, the moral failure of the law"? And what of grief and anguish - where does it go when "formal" retribution fails? And would vengeance and anguish go quietly even if a "just" penalty was imposed? And is it simply a person's right to choose suicide unquestioned? Her style is thought provoking and has us constantly searching our own beliefs and values.

However the narration does seem to lack a little sequence and coherence - Garner admits she struggled to make sense of it all particularly when reading the joint trial court documents.

It is also grating that Garner would foist herself into the story, wanting to be judged like Singh.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Easy read with an honest, personal insight into the very real world of drugs, mental illness and the consequences thereof. Book left me wondering if a lot more should have been done for the victim and the victims family. The book highlights the precarious balance between rehabilitation versus retribution but one must also wonder where justice falls in where the punishment should fit the crime
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Riveted by this book's exploration of a naive, good young man's fate at the hand of his manipulative and mentally ill girl-friend.
She is saved by her articulate expression of middle-class values and her family's ability to stump up for good legal representation and believable expert witnesses to support her diminished mental capacity.
Joe Cinque is dead!
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By Tessa TOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 January 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this many years ago as a book club assignment. I could not get over then that the judge seemed to be noted concerned for the perpetrator's family than he did the victim or the victim's family. As far as I, and many of the book club members, was concerned it was a travesty of justice! Still, as a barrister once said to me "Justice! Justice? Surely you know by now that there's no such thing!".
Helen Garner wrote a great book. She herself said that the trial consisted of references to certain sections of law and was very dry.
I think that this book brings home the deficiencies of the justice system more than anything. My heart went out to Joe's family who lost their son and received no justice!
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