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y separately published work icon Incredible Floridas single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Incredible Floridas
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'As Hitler's war looms, famous Australian artist Roland Griffin returns home from London with his family to live a simple life of shared plums and low-cut lawns in the suburbs.

'In the yard: a daughter, and a son, Hal, growing up with a preoccupied father who is always out in his shed stretching canvases and painting outback pubs. An isolated man obsessed with other people and places. Everything is a picture, a symbol. Even Hal, the boy in the boat, drifting through a strange world of Incredible Floridas.

'As the years pass, Roland learns that Hal is unable to control his own thoughts, impulses, behaviour. The boy becomes the destroyer of family. The neighbourhood is enlisted to help Hal find a way forward. Child actor, a clocker at Cheltenham Racecourse, an apprentice race caller. Incredible Floridas describes Hal's attempts at adulthood, love, religion, and the hardest thing of all: gaining his father's approval.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Epigraph: I have struck, do you realize, Incredible Floridas, where mingle with flowers the eyes of panthers in human skins! -'The Drunken Boat' Arthur Rimbaud


    The earth became a dream; I myself had become an inward being, and I walked in an inward world. Everything outside me faded to obscurity, and all I had understood now was unintelligible. I fell away from the surface, down into the depths, which I recognised then to be all that was good. - The Walk Robert Walser.

  • Other formats: Also dyslexic edition; large print

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Mile End, West Torrens area, Adelaide - South West, Adelaide, South Australia,: Wakefield Press , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 8854706720971762290.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 352p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 7th November 2017
         

      ISBN: 9781743055076

Works about this Work

The Unsaid Gregory Day , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 400 2018; (p. 56)

'Despite the detailed excavatory art of the finest biographies, sometimes it takes the alchemical power of fiction to approximate the emotional geography of a single human and his or her milieu. Stephen Orr’s seventh novel, a compelling and at times distressing portrait of a twentieth-century Australian painter and his family, is one such book. Roland Griffin’s resemblance to that of Russell Drysdale is clear from early on, not only through Orr’s descriptions of the type of creator Griffin is – a painter of ‘small towns, deserted pubs ... it was all he knew’ – but also through the portrait of the artist’s troubled son (Drysdale’s only son suicided at the age of twenty-one). Drysdale’s family story obviously worked as a catalyst for Incredible Floridas but rather than chronicling that story itself, Orr employs his own creative divinations to construct a breathing and tactile fictional amalgam from its outlines and contours.' (Introduction)

The Unsaid Gregory Day , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 400 2018; (p. 56)

'Despite the detailed excavatory art of the finest biographies, sometimes it takes the alchemical power of fiction to approximate the emotional geography of a single human and his or her milieu. Stephen Orr’s seventh novel, a compelling and at times distressing portrait of a twentieth-century Australian painter and his family, is one such book. Roland Griffin’s resemblance to that of Russell Drysdale is clear from early on, not only through Orr’s descriptions of the type of creator Griffin is – a painter of ‘small towns, deserted pubs ... it was all he knew’ – but also through the portrait of the artist’s troubled son (Drysdale’s only son suicided at the age of twenty-one). Drysdale’s family story obviously worked as a catalyst for Incredible Floridas but rather than chronicling that story itself, Orr employs his own creative divinations to construct a breathing and tactile fictional amalgam from its outlines and contours.' (Introduction)

Last amended 25 Oct 2018 14:50:49
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