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Publisher's Summary

Inner-suburban Melbourne in the 1970s: a world of communal living, drugs, music and love - Garner captures the fluid relationships of a community of friends. 

Helen Garner’s gritty, lyrical first novel divided the critics on its publication in 1977. Today, Monkey Grip is regarded as a masterpiece - the novel that shines a light on a time and a place and a way of living never before presented in Australian literature: communal households, music, friendships, children, love, drugs and sex.  

When Nora falls in love with Javo, she is caught in the web of his addiction; and as he moves between loving her and leaving, between his need for her and promises broken, Nora’s life becomes an intense dance of loving and trying to let go.

©1977 Helen Garner (P)2020 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This is the power of Garner’s writing. She drills into experience and comes up with such clean, precise distillations of life." (The Australian)

What listeners say about Monkey Grip

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The worst book I have ever read

Repetitive, no plot, self indulgent pap..garner should be embarrassed to have written this much less narrated it

1 person found this helpful

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I love helen

really enjoyed this snapshot into a life of a women in melbourne especially being read by the author was really special

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Don't waste your time

struggled to finish it. Hard to believe it made "Books that made us" ABC TV

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like reading a diary

Not really a story. just a snapshot of a few years in lived in Melbourne. I enjoyed this as a must read classic. There was no real plot. Just life meandering along. Helped that it was read by the author.

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