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It begins with the normally healthy Beth—aged-care worker, wife of David, mother of Lettie and Gem—feeling vaguely off-colour. A locum sends her to Dr Yi for some tests. ‘There are a few things here that aren’t quite right,’ says Dr Yi, ‘and sometimes it is these little wrongnesses that can lead us to the bigger wrongs that matter.’
Beth is sent on to Dr Twoomey for more tests. Then to another specialist, and another…Referral after referral sees her bumped from suburb to suburb, bewildered, joining busloads of people all clutching white envelopes and hoping for answers.
But what is actually wrong with Beth—is anything, in fact, wrong with her? And what strange forces are at work in the system? As the novel reaches its stunning climax, we realise how strange these forces are.
Unnerving and brilliant, Some Tests is about waking up one morning and finding your ordinary life changed forever.
‘Macauley has published some of the most memorable fiction going in this country. His books and stories are satirical fables in which the properties are recognisably contemporary and Australian…His narratives [can] take off into the bizarre without ever losing their cool.’
…A fierce and uncomfortable novel about contemporary Australian life that drives us to ask why we are who we are, as it simultaneously makes us wish we were better.‘
‘The pace is headlong; the disintegration relentless. Startling, discomforting, and not likely to be underrated.’
‘Macauley imbues the shenanigans with just the right tough of satire and his social observations are spot on. More, please’
‘A darkly surreal tale of how illness of any kind turns a person’s world inside out—and a philosophical lament at the alienating effects of modern medical systems. This is Macauley at his brilliant, poetic best, using the fable form to broadcast an existential wake-up call to his readers, asking us to reconsider how we live and die—but at the same time, as the best art does, reminding us that we do not suffer alone.’