sometimes witty book reviews
Title: Seeing George
Author/Year: Cassandra Austin, 2004
Found: on the shelf of a literature student
Read time: two solid procrasti-reading sessions
Violet is getting on, in fact she’s dying. She’s ready to go but her husband Frank needs a bit more time with her. Just her. I.e. without George hanging around.
You see George won’t accept that Violet is dying, he doesn’t want her to go.
Because George can’t die,
or at least he won’t for centuries yet.
George, you see, is a dragon.
And Violet is the only one who can see him.
A poignant little tale (tail?) about love and loss starting with Violet at 19, newly married and shocked to discover that no one else in the office can see that George is hugely tall, scaly and a greeny-purple colour. To all but Violet, it seems, George is a tallish man in a well-cut suit. Jumping backwards and forwards from the present to various points in the George-is-a-dragon debacle, this neat little novel gives a lovely twist to the (sometimes racily misinterpreted genre of) adult fairy tale.
Someone native to Victoria, Australia will particularly enjoy the geographical descriptions and characterisations but Seeing George is approachable for all. With many humorous moments and few deceptively simple answers (to questions like, how can he be a dragon? why can Violet see him? who else can see George?), Seeing George leaves one in a pleasant nostalgia (though I can’t recall the last time I actually saw a dragon, or a unicorn for that matter, myself…).
Best read to an audio track (or actuality) of Melbourne Sunday traffic.