Scrolling While the World Burns

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By Damien Cave

THE LIVING SEA OF WAKING DREAMS
By Richard Flanagan

When the characters in Richard Flanagan’s intriguing new novel look at their phones, the sentences run on without punctuation. It’s a stylistic, reader-focused tic: We join the uninterrupted stream of photos and headlines from the catastrophic wildfires that scorched Australia a little over a year ago. We glide past “incinerated kangaroos in fetal clutches of fencing wire charred koalas burnt bloated cattle on their backs.”

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