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5 Essential Australian Reads

Packing your bags for your international internship? Don’t forget to pack (or more likely download) a few good novels set in your destination.

Guidebooks are all very well but to really get a feeling of the character of a place, to get to know its less touristy sights and to start to appreciate its cultural weight, novels can be much more evocative and expansive.

Here are our top 5 Australia based novels to help you get your fictional fix:

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Quite rightly known as a classic this novel immerses you in the domestic lives of two working class families in Western Australia. Although very much an intimate study of individuals and their values the stories are hung against the global events in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

•Area Covered – Perth

•Bonus Fact – the book is regularly voted to the be the favourite Australian book of all time

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

This contemporary and somewhat divisive novel is told from eight different perspectives. It is a fascinating look into the assumptions, prejudices and values held by different sections of the city’s society.

•Area Covered – Melbourne

•Bonus Fact – despite only being written in 2008 the novel has already been made into a miniseries not once but twice

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Although originally aimed at the YA market this novel is a great read for anyone. Set in a small town in the 1960s we follow the introspective 13 year old protagonist through a roller coaster of events, learning much about the social divisions at the time.

•Area Covered – rural Western Australia

•Bonus Fact – often referred to as the Australian To Kill a Mockingbird

The Murray Whelan Series by Shane Maloney

We couldn’t actually chose just one book from this exciting crime thriller set so have bent the rules slightly and nominated the whole series. Melbourne provides a great setting to these six pacey and witty novels. Use the dialogue as an introduction to Australian slang!

•Area Covered – Melbourne

•Bonus Fact – the first two books were made into popular tele-movies

Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman

Ambitious, complex and over 600 pages this is not an easy beach read but make a commitment to the book and you will be rewarded with great insight on some of life’s major themes. Part thriller, part philosophy it is a driven and passionate tale.

•Area Covered – Melbourne

•Bonus Fact – the title is cheekily taken from a book on literary criticism

What would you add to this list? Share your top Australian reads recommendations here or tweet us at @TheInternGroup!

Sources: Melbourne By The Book, Australian Novels.

Photos and blog by Nicola Ball

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!