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Pulse Points [BOOKS] ✪ Pulse Points By Jennifer Down – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk The characters in Jennifer Down s Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators In the award winning Aokigahara The characters in Jennifer Down s Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators In the award winning Aokigahara , a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye In Coarsegold , a woman conducts an illicit affair while her recovering girlfriend works the overnight motel shift in the middle of nowhere In Dogs , Foggo runs an unruly gang of bored, cruel boys with a scent for fresh meat In Pressure Okay a middle aged man goes to the theatre, gets a massage, remembers his departed wife, navigates the long game of grief with his adult daughter.

  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Pulse Points
  • Jennifer Down
  • English
  • 06 May 2017
  • 1925355977

About the Author: Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down is a writer and editor from Melbourne Her work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Saturday Paper, the Lifted Brow and Overland Her first novel, Our Magic Hour will be published in Aokigahara won the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Award.



10 thoughts on “Pulse Points

  1. PattyMacDotComma PattyMacDotComma says:

    4She wanted it,and we all went, Yeah, and Fog said,Fat cand we all said the way we remembered it till we were sure it was right. Foggo had some rough years I think it f ed him up when his dad died But he came good Last I heard he was a senior constable working at the Swan Hill station Swan Hill is a Melbourne cop shop without Foggo, I feel quite certain , but Down shows us how he and his mates obviously escaped any charges by making sure they remembered right Foggo i 4She wanted it,and we all went, Yeah, and Fog said,Fat cand we all said the way we remembered it till we were sure it was right. Foggo had some rough years I think it f ed him up when his dad died But he came good Last I heard he was a senior constable working at the Swan Hill station Swan Hill is a Melbourne cop shop without Foggo, I feel quite certain , but Down shows us how he and his mates obviously escaped any charges by making sure they remembered right Foggo is just one of many memorable characters in Down s short stories Some are good sorts, salt of the earth, many are anxious and troubled, and some you wouldn t want to meet on a dark night There are quite a few children, and she has a good eye and ear for them.I particularly enjoyed We Got Used to Here Fast about a couple of kids, the first half told by older brother Sam and the second half years later told by Lally This is from the first half Lally picks up twigs and holds them like cigarettes Her breath comes out in clouds I can tell she s trying to be grown up but she looks constipated Overhearing a conversation between their grandparentsWhat s custardy,I say, even though it s not like Lally would know But she puts a finger to her lipsIt s who owns the kids,she whispers After a tragedy Lally bursts into tears They re terrible sobs that come up out of her legs The confusion of childhood, the depth of feeling, and the relationships between siblings show up in other stories, too Locations vary from urban and rural Australia to Europe and the US.There are many couples, some current, some exes, some about to split, some who should All good stories I didn t count, but I m sure most protagonists were women This woman s hair had just grown back and she s visiting an old friend she hasn t seen in a long timeIt suits you,she saidEven the grey suits you You look like a middle aged actress in a French film Am I f ing the swim instructor Or am I on a train contemplating suicide because my husband is f ing the swim instructor God, you re so difficult,Yoni said It was very easy to make her laugh Some people are sitting at deathbeds, some are avoiding coming to terms with inevitable changes, and some are just downright anxious and uncomfortable all the time Here s an example readers may recognise but which doesn t give away any plot points I like reading, but I get most of my books from other people or from the recently returned shelf at the library When I have to choose my own, I feel overwhelmed Suddenly I don t trust my own taste and I buy something with a metallic sticker on the front This is also how I choose wine when I need to spendthan ten dollars I had trouble with so many stories told in the first person when I didn t know who or what the person was until well into the story sometimes The story about the children was extra confusing because the first person point of view changed suddenly when the date changed.A warning that there s a fair bit of rough language and questionable activities and females squatting somewhere handy to take a p and guys who don t take no for an answer Reading the stories together made for some repetition of themes and characters for me, and I seldom got the feeling that the voice had changed The narrators sounded much the same.The last, Coarsegold, was the one of the longest and most complicated, with an interesting combination of relationships which I won t spoil here, other than to say the main character is bi sexual.There is a very long blurb on Goodreads about the stories, so I ll say no .This Aussie author has won a slew of awards for her writing, and I m not surprised Thanks to NetGalley and Text Publishing for the preview copy from which I ve quoted

  2. Marchpane Marchpane says:

    Jennifer Down s stories are precise, bracing and observant of small details freighted with emotion In places, Pulse Points reminded me of Sally Rooney s work, another preternaturally wise young author But the stories in Pulse Points are too varied for a direct comparison to hold.Some of the stories are quiet a few can suck the air right out of the room Some deal with confronting themes, like suicide or rape or grief or mental illness, but always wi Jennifer Down s stories are precise, bracing and observant of small details freighted with emotion In places, Pulse Points reminded me of Sally Rooney s work, another preternaturally wise young author But the stories in Pulse Points are too varied for a direct comparison to hold.Some of the stories are quiet thoughtful, while others arekinetic a few can suck the air right out of the room Some deal with confronting themes, like suicide or rape or grief or mental illness, but always with empathy delicacy It s impressive how well Down can conjure such realistic characters from different walks of life You certainly don t get the feeling, as can sometimes be the case, that the protagonists are just proxies for the author These characters are male and female, young and old, gay and straight etc etc Settings range from Australia, to Japan, England and the U.S All of it rings so true Down describes her own style perfectly in the Acknowledgements, when she thanks her parents for tuning me in to the frequency of other people s lives Good parenting there Pulse Points is a consistently masterful collection from an exceptional talent and I highly, highly recommend it

  3. Simon Simon says:

    I would 4.5 this if I could.

  4. Carolyn Carolyn says:

    Pulse Points is a collection of short stories by a very talented young Australian author, each giving a unique window into a moment of time in an ordinary life Except those lives are not ordinary, but reflect the full range of the human condition from love and joy to grief and loss Each story is brief but complete and somehow each voice is individual and fully realised Many of the characters are underdogs living on the edges of society but their fears and feelings are universal My favourite Pulse Points is a collection of short stories by a very talented young Australian author, each giving a unique window into a moment of time in an ordinary life Except those lives are not ordinary, but reflect the full range of the human condition from love and joy to grief and loss Each story is brief but complete and somehow each voice is individual and fully realised Many of the characters are underdogs living on the edges of society but their fears and feelings are universal My favourite story was the award winning Aokigahara , the story of a girl visiting Japan s suicide forest to say goodbye to her brother but the writing was such that every story made a strong emotional message With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Text for a copy to read and review

  5. Anna Spargo-Ryan Anna Spargo-Ryan says:

    If Jennifer Down s acclaimed 2016 debut novel Our Magic Hour was a love letter to Melbourne, her new collection Pulse Points is a letter to love itself.Down covers a lot of ground in this collection the titular opening story, in which a couple fail to save a man and maybe themselves a sister s pilgrimage to Aokigahara Japan s suicide forest a father and a daughter trying to find their way back to one another Fundamentally, they are studies of human experiencethan they are plot driv If Jennifer Down s acclaimed 2016 debut novel Our Magic Hour was a love letter to Melbourne, her new collection Pulse Points is a letter to love itself.Down covers a lot of ground in this collection the titular opening story, in which a couple fail to save a man and maybe themselves a sister s pilgrimage to Aokigahara Japan s suicide forest a father and a daughter trying to find their way back to one another Fundamentally, they are studies of human experiencethan they are plot driven stories, of the way we are connected and disconnected Down demonstrates self awareness of this theme in Peaks , one character asks of another, What are you reading and the reader responds, It s lots of short stories mostly about sad men As in Our Magic Hour, Down s prose is precise, deliberate Not a clause on any page of this book is anything less than resolute It is almost businesslike even in its poetic phrasing, knowing exactly where it intends to take the story And in that way, it is hugely successful.The stories themselves reflect the title they are heartbeats Each one finishes before the end is expected, sometimescharacter sketch than fully realised narrative For the most part, it s startling and discomforting in a good way The characters are always well developed and the paths they travel are both ordinary and interesting at once There are so many different people in here, and it is a pleasure to meet them Down has a wonderful knack for drawing a whole life in few words.Read my full review at Kill Your Darlings

  6. Text Publishing Text Publishing says:

    Down writes about love and friendship with an emotionally resonant sparsenessRather than offering answers to life s big questions, the stories offer glimpses into people tackling themA collection pulsing with emotion a writer crackling with potentialKirkus ReviewsJennifer Down is, simply put, one of the most exciting emerging writers in the country Pulse Points , her recent collection of short stories, is full of a kind of gentle melancholy that insistent sense of sadness that lurksDown writes about love and friendship with an emotionally resonant sparsenessRather than offering answers to life s big questions, the stories offer glimpses into people tackling themA collection pulsing with emotion a writer crackling with potentialKirkus ReviewsJennifer Down is, simply put, one of the most exciting emerging writers in the country Pulse Points , her recent collection of short stories, is full of a kind of gentle melancholy that insistent sense of sadness that lurks about the edges of a lazy Sunday in the suburbsBragThe stories are both paradigms and gentle subversions of the short story form Down draws on the ordinary and everyday to deconstruct the myth of class mobility in this haunting and resonant collectionJudges comments, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian NovelistsAfter reading Jennifer Down s first novel Our Magic Hourlast year, I was keen to read her short story collection Pulse Points , which showcases her range and talent Though Down s stories travel from regional Victoria to Middle America and Japan, they are distinctly Australian and overwhelmingly about class Gretchen Shirm, Australian, Books of the Year 2017All the rapture and calamity of youth Jennifer Down is a writer of rare insight and heart Carrie TiffanyDown s evocation of Audrey s grief is astute, perceptive and always convincing It s compelling writing AustralianAn emotionally sophisticated and impressive novel Australian Book ReviewWith precise and beautiful prose, the short stories in Jennifer Down s Pulse Points carry an emotional clarity and intensity that is truly impressive Books PublishingA master of short fiction, this short story collection brings together works including her prize winning Aokigahara Down s prose isn t afraid of dark subject matter, and handles this with a sharpness and clarity that is a delight to read Herald SunA haunting and evocative collection of stories about quietly courageous characters facing loss in its many forms Abigail Ulman Pulse Points exceeds all expectations Pulse Pointshas the precise, arresting prose and depth of feeling of Our Magic Hour,but the short story form magnifies Down s skill There are no weak moments here A human pulse runs through this collection these stories live and breathe, and as a result Pulse Pointsis powerful and deeply affecting Readings Pulse Points isn t just made up of technical proficiencies and clever motifs, it is a quick heartbeat Writers BlocJennifer Down is a subtly extraordinary writer, and Pulse Pointsis one of the best Australian literary offerings we ll see this year Good ReadingThis is a finely crafted collection that reminds us how sad and beautiful it is simply to be alive Down s debut novel, Our Magic Hour,was shortlisted for the NSW Premier s Award for New Writing and she was named a 2017 SMHBest Young Australian Novelist It s probably insulting to comment upon how young she is, but the emotional depth of her writing displays a gift that will no doubt continue to unfold as her body of work grows Saturday Paper Pulse Points is beautiful It s a bit like opening a sketchbook and brushing a hand against all the charcoal nudes inside Down has insight into the human condition beyond her years and a talent for writing realism in unwaveringly sharp prose In Pulse Pointsshe uses these skills to make a statement about the many different hearts beating in the one universe, however unrelated they may seem As with Our Magic Hour,readers will feel safe in the hands of such a skilful writer, one able to turn her awareness of the human condition into measured and universal storytelling Anna Spargo Ryan, Kill Your DarlingsI honestly couldn t recommend Pulse Pointshighly These are snapshots of ordinary people grappling with the small joys and deeper heartaches of ordinary lives, and the result is a powerful and deeply affecting collection ReadingsTaking the reader from Melbourne to the USA, each beautifully crafted story is a fascinating escape into someone else s life Sunday LifeDown is exemplary at drawing whole characters and quickly giving them depth Stories are heavy with atmosphere, and words are chosen with care She has a knack of talking honestly about the nature of contemporary life, and I look forward toSydney Morning HeraldOne of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I have ever read Hot Chicks With Big Brains Pulse Points is an impressively poised and even collection Down s stories are alive with psychological acuity and technical dexterity They offer thoughtful, sometimes heartbreaking, insights into our anxieties and desires Readers of her intelligent, subtle, and affecting prose clearly have much to look forward to Australian Book ReviewThese stories are studies in concision and with their strong social justice message they function like shocks Though they are often about the disempowered, they ripple out with a seismic intensity, hinting at just how far this dazzling young writer might go AustralianDown s ability to inhabit the minds of her characters is eerily good, and no two voices in this collection seem alike Her prose is tight and original This is the sort of book that bibliophiles will delight in underlining, collecting those sentences too good to leave on the page It is a collection which will bring you to your knees AU Review Pulse Points is fluid, graceful and shocking Down serves life up ruthlessly to us, in small, heart wrenching packages, overturning expectations swiftly from story to story, but leaving us faintly uplifted in the end OverlandIn this astonishing collection of short stories, Jennifer Down weaves intricate and moving portraits of love and loss A powerful new talent Weekly TimesDown s back with a collection of stories, cementing her status as one of Australia s finest literary talents Marie ClaireJennifer Down is going to be a major part of the future of Australian literature The quality of her writing, as well as her ability to tap into the loves, fears and anxieties many of us experience guarantee this Readings Pulse Points consolidates Down s reputation as a remarkable young writer Her stories are effortlessly global yet strongly anchored in place They testify to Down s remarkable powers of observation and her ability to create bleak but engaging worlds Michelle de Kretser, Best Books of 2017, Australian Book Review

  7. Michael Livingston Michael Livingston says:

    This is a beautiful collection of stories, capturing precise moments of sadness, fear and loss The title story and Aokigahara are probably my favourites, but there are moments in each of them that grab you by the heart.

  8. Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books Elaine Mullane || At Home in Books says:

    4 stars Pulse Points is a stunning collection of short stories, a weaving of powerful portraits about real people, real love and real loss Stories of life are perfectly encapsulated by Jennifer Down and presented to us in neat little packages that are overflowing with emotion The prose is concise but revealing, and overflowing with both heart wrenching emotion and intelligence.Each story is about an ordinary person or ordinary people all grappling with the complexities of human emotion he 4 stars Pulse Points is a stunning collection of short stories, a weaving of powerful portraits about real people, real love and real loss Stories of life are perfectly encapsulated by Jennifer Down and presented to us in neat little packages that are overflowing with emotion The prose is concise but revealing, and overflowing with both heart wrenching emotion and intelligence.Each story is about an ordinary person or ordinary people all grappling with the complexities of human emotion heartache, anxiety, joy, grief, helplessness The standout story, and my favourite, is Aokigahara , in which a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye to her brother It is searing with emotion and is delivered with an intensity yet a clarity that is truly mesmerising Dogs is dark and gripping Pressure Okay is a poignant story of grief and of loss.In each of these stories, no word is spared The prose is sharp and affecting, offering fully fledged characters who jump off the page, yet each story is impressively concise I was truly stunned by Down s ability to bring stories and people alive, giving them such depth and emotion, but doing it in a way that is so minimalist, with no two voices the same Everything within the pages of this book is handled wit the utmost care, making Down a master of the short story.I haven d read Our Magic Hour but am eager to after this wonderful reading experience Highly recommended a magnificent collection

  9. Jaclyn Crupi Jaclyn Crupi says:

    A very strong collection of intense, distinct and memorable stories I love Down s writing and she doesn t disappoint here I was hoping to read Melbourne in some of the stories after loving her depictions in Our Magic Hour but it wasn t to be Every story hits its emotional mark and I m still reeling from some of them.

  10. Tamsien West (Babbling Books) Tamsien West (Babbling Books) says:

    Powerfully told, vividly written, unforgettable short stories Each story was so intimate, with such precise details that it felt like Down was pulling memories from my mind that I had forgotten An incredible talent.Trigger warnings across the collection Rape, suicide suicidal thoughts mentions, addiction.

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