These three stories vindicate Murray Bail's reputation as one of Australia's most celebrated novelists. In the title story, a middle-aged piano-tuner becomes a camouflage roof-painter during World War Two. In the company of chummy American conscripts, he confronts for the first time the detachment and disappointment that characterised his civilian life. "The Seduction of My Sister" is the story of a teen-aged boy who - through the bizarre practice of hurling gramophone records into the night air - watches as his richer, more confident new neighbour steals his sister from her youth and the narrator's reluctant tutelage. "The Drover's Wife," the shortest and least conventional of the collection, uses a painting to unfold the failure of a marriage. In Bail's terse, honest language, Camouflage describes the lives of three paralysed observers, all at different ages - youth, maturity, age - and all forever looking on as life slips away.
Camouflage Hardback edition by Murray Bail