Nicholas Hasluck Books


A novel first published by Macmillan in 1978 and also published in hard back by Holt Rhinehart & Winston in America and in paperback by Penguin. Made into a television film starring Hugh Jackman in 1997 by Channel 10 with the Academy of Performing Arts, WA.
by Nicholas Hasluck

Publication Details:
Penguin, 1986
New edition Paperback 194 pp
ISBN: 0 14 008849 0

Book Orders
Price $22.00 + postage

Cover notes from 1979 USA edition:
"This gripping first novel introduces a young writer of exceptional talent, already acclaimed in his native Australia ("In this thought-provoking book are there signs of a new Camus, a southern Conrad?") and in England ("Australia's bright new star of fiction ... We are welcoming an important writer.").

In the darkness just before dawn, near the Mediterranean exit of the Suez Canal, a ship stops, its engines idling. The passengers are ordered on deck and told that they must spend a few days in quarantine; no reason is given. No one even knows who has imposed the quarantine.

The passengers are put up in an isolated, decrepit hotel, at the mercy of its seemingly jolly proprietor, while an "investigation" is started. Through the eyes of an Australian law student we see the ordeal of fear and suspense build. A feeling of unease takes possession of the group and signs of sickness appear. A Mr. Burgess forms a committee "to keep an eye on things". Shears, the only passenger to oppose him openly, seeing him for the uninformed meddler that he is, is ostracized as the group becomes more paranoid. And the law student finds himself caught in a web of his own passivity and jealousy, unable to prevent the violence that occurs.

Whether one chooses to read it as an intricately wrought tale of intrigue and murder or as a disquieting parable of modern experience, Quarantine is a haunting novel."

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