HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Strange Objects by Gary Crew
Loading...

Strange Objects (1991)

by Gary Crew

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
994122,024 (3.54)1 / 7
  1. 00
    The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo (bookel)
  2. 00
    Cathy's Book by Sean Stewart (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: These books have a similar scrapbook style (though Cathy's Book is more first person-based and more interactive) with hints of the paranormal about them.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 4 of 4
A little gruesome, definitely for teens with a strong stomach and for adults who want to learn about other perspectives, including a bit of English, white Australian, and 'Abo' Australian. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A Gary Crew weaving that leaves the reader wondering and tracking back through the text for meaning. One is left disturbed and uneasy in this mystery. The great blending of historic early meetings between indigenous inhabitants and shipwrecked arrivals grounds the text and prevents it from drifting into confusion. Crew cleverly presents the text through reports and a range of 'factual' sources. At the conclusion of this curious tale the reader feels surrounded and lost by the breadth of the West Australian landscape and it's indigenous people. Worth a read but left with very few resolutions. ( )
  jeffjackson | Mar 9, 2011 |
This mystery/horror story is so deeply rooted in the western Australian landscape that you can almost feel your mouth dry up as you read it. I enjoyed the story and the style, but most of all I enjoyed the landscape.
The story is a collection of letters, journal entries and newspaper clippings, giving different views on events in the modern times, and in the wake of a 1629 shipwreck.
At the very beginning, we're told that sixteen-year-old Steve Messenger was involved in finding relics from a notorious shipwreck, and that he has been missing for two years. The story picks its way between the past and the present, interlacing translations of historical diaries with evidence from Aboriginal rock art to show us what may have happened to the people who come under the power of a terrifying golden ring.
This is also a delightful mingling of fact and fiction - the story of the Batavia is real, and two sailors were left behind as punishment for mutiny and murder - what happened to them is still a mystery.
I'd give this to someone interested in history, suspenseful stories, or who likes a slightly creepy atmosphere. ( )
  francescadefreitas | Sep 9, 2008 |
Biography:

Gary Crew was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1947. As a child Crew suffered from poor health and, as a result, spent a lot of time reading, drawing and making models. His interest in reading continued into adulthood and provided him with a solid literary background. Crew never considered himself to be especially good at anything until he was 15 years old when he suddenly realised that he could write and draw well.
Crew was forced to leave school at sixteen because of his family’s economic hardships, and worked as a draftsman for an engineering firm. His hatred for this job compelled him to finish his school education at night school, and he eventually went to university. He loved everything about university and study, and decided to become a high school English teacher because he loved books so much. During this time Crew’s wife, also a teacher, encouraged him to start writing and he won a short story writing competition. Crew’s first novels came out of his experience as a teacher, having observed teenagers who were confused and unhappy about themselves and the world around them.

Crew’s enjoyment of academic study and research has influenced his fiction-writing process. He researches his subject in great depth and fills his journal with clippings, drawings, notes and anything else that’s relevant to his subject matter. Crew claims that he avoids writer’s block by drawing people and places in preparation for writing.

Crew believes that his personal experiences and childhood memories give him rich material for writing. He believes that the world can be a wonderful place, and that its possibilities are open to you and your imagination.

Gary Crew is the father of 3 children: Rachel, Sarah and Joel.
Gary is a Senior lecturer in Creative Writing, Children’s and Adult Literature at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He is the Chair of the Queensland Writers’ Centre.

Summary of Strange objects

Crew’s exploration of Australian history began with his third novel, the award-winning Strange objects.
The novel’s hero, Stephen Messenger, is a sixteen year old who discovers a leather-bound journal and other mysterious objects in a cave. The relics are believed to have belonged to two survivors from the Batavia, a ship that wrecked off the coast of Australia in 1629.
These relics provide Messenger with a direct link to his country’s earliest European inhabitants. In this story Crew examines the relationship between the Europeans and the Aboriginal peoples. The author challenges the reader to consider some unpleasant aspects of the European settlement of Australia. The reader is encouraged to reassess what forces shaped this nation and the effect the white invasion has had on the indigenous inhabitants.

Background of the story

The novel is based on the true story of the shipwreck of the Dutch vessel Batavia off the Western Australian coast on the 4th June 1629, whilst on her maiden voyage to Batavia, now Jakarta. Although the initial loss of life had been minimal, once the passengers and crew were settled on the God-forsaken Abrolhos Islands, they began to murder each other. Captain Pelsaert managed to get back to Batavia and return, 14 weeks later, with a rescue yacht. He tried the murderers (over 120 of the marooned had been stabbed, bashed, raped, beheaded, drowned or strangled) and hanged most of the culprits, but decided to castaway two on the barren mainland coast of Australia.
It was the fate of these two castaways that intrigued Crew and created the basis for Strange objects.

The narrative structure of Strange objects is an interesting combination of genres: fact, fiction, reportage, journalese, personal and stream-of-consciousness writing. This collage of genres mirrors written history itself which is also a collage of genres.

Verisimilitude is a wonderful word which means the appearance of truth, and it applies so much to Crew’s story. Every detail, every event is impregnated with truth.

The author’s research
Crew not only read everything that existed on the Batavia wreck, he also went to the Western Australian Maritime Museum to see what remained of it and its cargo.

He also read all that he could find on the psyche of mass murderers and that dreadful condition known as folie a deux, or ‘madness together’, by which people engaged in mass suicide and/or mass murder.

Some other novels by the author:

Fiction

The house of tomorrow
Angel’s gate
The blue feather (with Anthony West)
Gothic hospital
The diviner’s son
The plague of Quentaris
Me and my dog
The lace maker’s daughter
Sam Silverthorne: Quest
Quetta

Picture books

Automaton (with Declan Lee)
The figures of Julian Ashcroft
First light
Gulliver in the South Seas
The watertower
The lost diamonds of Killiecrankie
Caleb
Memorial
In the wake of the Mary Celeste

Some titles in the After dark series:
The well
The windmill

Websites of interest to the book:

VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) shipwrecks
http://www.vocshipwrecks.nl/out_voyages2/batavia.html

Batavia Shipwreck Site and Survivor Camps Area 1629 - Houtman Abrolhos - factsheet
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/national/sites/batavia-factsheet.html

Archaeological survey of sites relating to the Batavia shipwreck: May 1974. Report - Department of Maritime Archaeology
www.museum.wa.gov.au/collections/maritime/march/documents/No.%20081%20Beacon%20Island.pdf

Information about the Batavia
http://www.netherlands-australia2006.com/geschiedenis/au/html/ontdekkingsreizige...

The VOC ship Batavia (displayed in the Western Australia Maritime Museum, Fremantle)
http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/collections/maritime/march/shipwrecks/Batavia/batavi...
includes photos and illustrations

Ideas behind the writing of Strange objects
http://www.griffith.edu.au/school/art/text/speciss/issue1/crew.htm

About Gary Crew, how he writes, his awards
http://www.home.gil.com.au/~cbcqld/crew/crew.htm

What’s in the library
The resurrection of the Batavia (video)
910.453 (Res.)

Strange journeys: the works of Gary Crew (by McKenna and Sharyn Pearce)
823.914 CRE:M
Includes photographs of his journal notes and sketches, including those for Strange objects.

Biography:

Gary Crew was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1947. As a child Crew suffered from poor health and, as a result, spent a lot of time reading, drawing and making models. His interest in reading continued into adulthood and provided him with a solid literary background. Crew never considered himself to be especially good at anything until he was 15 years old when he suddenly realised that he could write and draw well.
Crew was forced to leave school at sixteen because of his family’s economic hardships, and worked as a draftsman for an engineering firm. His hatred for this job compelled him to finish his school education at night school, and he eventually went to university. He loved everything about university and study, and decided to become a high school English teacher because he loved books so much. During this time Crew’s wife, also a teacher, encouraged him to start writing and he won a short story writing competition. Crew’s first novels came out of his experience as a teacher, having observed teenagers who were confused and unhappy about themselves and the world around them.

Crew’s enjoyment of academic study and research has influenced his fiction-writing process. He researches his subject in great depth and fills his journal with clippings, drawings, notes and anything else that’s relevant to his subject matter. Crew claims that he avoids writer’s block by drawing people and places in preparation for writing.

Crew believes that his personal experiences and childhood memories give him rich material for writing. He believes that the world can be a wonderful place, and that its possibilities are open to you and your imagination.

Gary Crew is the father of 3 children: Rachel, Sarah and Joel.
Gary is a Senior lecturer in Creative Writing, Children’s and Adult Literature at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He is the Chair of the Queensland Writers’ Centre.

Summary of Strange objects

Crew’s exploration of Australian history began with his third novel, the award-winning Strange objects.
The novel’s hero, Stephen Messenger, is a sixteen year old who discovers a leather-bound journal and other mysterious objects in a cave. The relics are believed to have belonged to two survivors from the Batavia, a ship that wrecked off the coast of Australia in 1629.
These relics provide Messenger with a direct link to his country’s earliest European inhabitants. In this story Crew examines the relationship between the Europeans and the Aboriginal peoples. The author challenges the reader to consider some unpleasant aspects of the European settlement of Australia. The reader is encouraged to reassess what forces shaped this nation and the effect the white invasion has had on the indigenous inhabitants.

Background of the story

The novel is based on the true story of the shipwreck of the Dutch vessel Batavia off the Western Australian coast on the 4th June 1629, whilst on her maiden voyage to Batavia, now Jakarta. Although the initial loss of life had been minimal, once the passengers and crew were settled on the God-forsaken Abrolhos Islands, they began to murder each other. Captain Pelsaert managed to get back to Batavia and return, 14 weeks later, with a rescue yacht. He tried the murderers (over 120 of the marooned had been stabbed, bashed, raped, beheaded, drowned or strangled) and hanged most of the culprits, but decided to castaway two on the barren mainland coast of Australia.
It was the fate of these two castaways that intrigued Crew and created the basis for Strange objects.

The narrative structure of Strange objects is an interesting combination of genres: fact, fiction, reportage, journalese, personal and stream-of-consciousness writing. This collage of genres mirrors written history itself which is also a collage of genres.

Verisimilitude is a wonderful word which means the appearance of truth, and it applies so much to Crew’s story. Every detail, every event is impregnated with truth.

The author’s research
Crew not only read everything that existed on the Batavia wreck, he also went to the Western Australian Maritime Museum to see what remained of it and its cargo.

He also read all that he could find on the psyche of mass murderers and that dreadful condition known as folie a deux, or ‘madness together’, by which people engaged in mass suicide and/or mass murder.

Themes:
Batavia (ship); shipwrecks; murder; history of Australia.

Some other novels by the author:

Fiction

The house of tomorrow
Angel’s gate
The blue feather (with Anthony West)
Gothic hospital
The diviner’s son
The plague of Quentaris
Me and my dog
The lace maker’s daughter
Sam Silverthorne: Quest
Quetta

Picture books

Automaton (with Declan Lee)
The figures of Julian Ashcroft
First light
Gulliver in the South Seas
The watertower
The lost diamonds of Killiecrankie
Caleb
Memorial
In the wake of the Mary Celeste

Some titles in the After dark series:
The well
The windmill

Websites of interest to the book:

VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) shipwrecks
http://www.vocshipwrecks.nl/out_voyages2/batavia.html

Batavia Shipwreck Site and Survivor Camps Area 1629 - Houtman Abrolhos - factsheet
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/national/sites/batavia-factsheet.html

Archaeological survey of sites relating to the Batavia shipwreck: May 1974. Report - Department of Maritime Archaeology
www.museum.wa.gov.au/collections/maritime/march/documents/No.%20081%20Beacon%20Island.pdf

Information about the Batavia
http://www.netherlands-australia2006.com/geschiedenis/au/html/ontdekkingsreizige...

The VOC ship Batavia (displayed in the Western Australia Maritime Museum, Fremantle)
http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/collections/maritime/march/shipwrecks/Batavia/batavi...
includes photos and illustrations

Ideas behind the writing of Strange objects
http://www.griffith.edu.au/school/art/text/speciss/issue1/crew.htm

About Gary Crew, how he writes, his awards
http://www.home.gil.com.au/~cbcqld/crew/crew.htm

What’s in the library
The resurrection of the Batavia (video)
910.453 (Res.)

Strange journeys: the works of Gary Crew (by McKenna and Sharyn Pearce)
823.914 CRE:M
Includes photographs of his journal notes and sketches, including those for Strange objects. ( )
  tsheko | Sep 8, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Crewprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rogers, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
"For there are strange objects in the great abyss, and the seeker of dreams must take care not to stir up, or meet, the wrong ones..."

H.P. Lovecraft, Dragon and other Macabre Tales, Panther.
Dedication
First words
On 29 August 1986, when 16-year-old Steven Messenger was reported missing from his trailer unit at the isolated Midway Roadhouse, Highway One, Western Australia, local police treated his disappearance as a routine case of a 'short-term runaway', believing that he would probably return when his limited finances had been exhausted.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

After discovering valuable relics from a seventeenth-century shipwreck, a sixteen-year-old Australian disappears under mysterious circumstances.

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
4 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 6
3.5
4 3
4.5 2
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,555,355 books! | Top bar: Always visible