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Razorhurst MP3 CD – MP3 Audio, 3 March 2015
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[Young Adult Fiction (Ages 12-17)]
[Read by Rebekkah Rimmington, Fiona Hardingham, Davis Ligudzinski]
In the vein of The Diviners and The Crimson Petal and the White, Razorhurst reimagines the notorious history of mob-controlled Sydney - with a paranormal twist.
Sydney's deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace - one maintained by ''razor men.'' Kelpie, orphaned and living on the street, is blessed and cursed with the ability to see Razorhurst's many ghosts, and she sees the cracks already forming in their truce. Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell.
Dymphna is a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She's earned the nickname ''Angel of Death'' for the trail of beaus who have died trying to protect her from Mr. Davidson's assassins. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and as Gloriana's hold crumbles one burly henchman at a time, the girls will need one another more than ever.
As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens at every turn, Dymphna is determined to not only survive but rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.
''Sure, it is shiny and chilly and bloody and sharp, like the razor of the title, but Larbalestier's book is also magical and glamorous. Everything comes together in a surprising, gory, inevitable ending from one of the smartest writers in YA fiction.'' --E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars
''Larbalestier packs plenty of danger into the single day this novel covers, but frequent interludes of backstory keep things from feeling rushed. The narrative also benefits from a colorful, well-rendered cast, human and ghost alike. While the writing style calls to mind fiction of an earlier era, this story's interwoven intrigue and empathy make it feel timeless.'' --Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
''Characters both living and dead reveal crucial pieces of the plot slowly over the course of one harrowing day. Larbalestier pulls no punches with the gruesome, gory details about the violence of poverty, and the result is a dark, unforgettable and blood-soaked tale of outlaws and masterminds.'' --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review
''Larbalestier's latest features gritty historical fiction with a paranormal twist.'' --School Library Journal, STARRED Review
''Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier is a bloody masterpiece (pun intended) - the kind of book that feels classic and timeless and sharp with characters that live and breathe off the page. In short: wow.'' --Courtney Summers, author of This Is Not a Test and All the Rage
''Razorhurst is magnificent-beautiful prose and good storytelling.'' --Amber Benson, author of The Witches Of Echo Park and star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
''A timeless tale of love and violence in long lost Razorhurst with characters I truly cared about.'' --Melina Marchetta, author of Jellicoe Road
''A bloody and evocative novel, written in clean and lively prose.'' --Sydney Morning Herald
About the Author
- Publisher : Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged MP3CD edition (3 March 2015)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1481531611
- ISBN-13 : 978-1481531610
- Reading age : 14 - 17 years
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Sydney, Australia in 1932, provides the setting for ‘Razorhurst’. Straight-edge razors have replaced guns as the weapon of choice, and there’s plenty of blood flowing in the streets of Surry Hills despite an uneasy peace between the rival gangs lead by Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson.
Kelpie is a child of the streets. When her mother died, she was taken in by ‘Old Ma’. When ‘Old Ma’ died, Kelpie took to the streets, desperate to avoid falling into the hands of Welfare. On the streets, Kelpie survives – in part because she can see ghosts. While some of those ghosts help Kelpie, she knows that not all ghosts are helpful. And when Tommy tells her she can find apples in a particular house, perhaps she should have known better. For instead of apples Kelpie finds the corpse of the gangster Jimmy Palmer, with his lover Dymphna Campbell standing over him. Kelpie knows that Dymphna Campbell is Gloriana Nelson’s ‘best girl’, her most sought-after ‘chromo’ (prostitute). Kelpie doesn’t know that Dymphna can also see ghosts.
The novel covers the events of next twenty-four hours, with Dymphna and Kelpie forming an unlikely alliance as they try to avoid the police as well as Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson. Dymphna is much more than a pretty face, and she’s trying to plot a way through the mess in which she and Kelpie find themselves.
While I enjoyed reading this novel, primarily it was the way in which Ms Larbalestier brought to life Surry Hills (of the 1920s and 1930s) that kept me turning the pages. Surry Hills was dubbed ‘Razorhurst’ by ‘The Truth’ (a now defunct tabloid) in 1928, and the name certainly seemed appropriate. There are plenty of colourful characters in this novel, and Ms Larbalestier acknowledges a number of sources of inspiration for this novel.
This is a violent and gory novel, representing the time and place in which it is set. While it is aimed at YA readers it is well worth reading by those of us no longer able to claim to be young adults.