“The Shark Net” by Robert Drewe

Assessment Component 3: Shared Studies

Task 2: Analytical Essay

“In The Shark Net, Robert Drewe writes in a distinctive style that only serves to intensify the macabre connections within his story. How effective is this approach in maintaining reader interest?

The novel, The Shark Net , by Robert Drewe immediately attracts and maintains the reader’s interest through its subtle and humorous writing. Drewe’s unique writing style, with all its dynamics is apparent throughout the whole novel. Reoccurring techniques such as humor, and unsensational writing style and by simply presenting the facts to his audience are evident and identify trademarks of the author, Drewe. His intricately crafted memoir of self-discovery in the small city Perth, of the fifties and sixties is riddled with tragedies and unpredictable catastrophe. Drewe grows up along side the brutal and bizarre killings taking place in his local community. The story presents an additional complication when Drewe discovers that he knows the murderer, Eric Cooke. This is the main connection that guarantees the reader is drawn in and occupied in the story.

Drewe’s understated writing style is one of the main techniques displayed throughout the novel. This is a style that only serves to intensify the horrific events this book is filled with. When we see Drewe faced with his mother’s death, a result of ‘boiling brain’, his subtle and understated technique truly becomes apparent. Rather than embellishing the events surrounding his mother’s death, Drewe simply displays the facts to the audience in a subtle yet impacting manner, which only emphasizes the weight of this experience for Drewe. He sums up her death in just a few words“That afternoon she died. Boiling brain had finally got her.”  

Join now!

Despite the overall seriousness of this novel, Drewe creates a balance through his distinct humour. As a grown man unfolding his childhood and teenage memories of the “Sand People”, who plagued the white-sanded, sunny coastline of Perth, Drewe includes insensitive humour, “Some boys ate themselves… nose-skin, cheek-skin, forehead-skin and especially shoulder-skin.” By simply stating what he remembered from these people, Drewe incorporates a twisted sense of humour that ultimately enlightens the reader and adds some friendliness to the novel, an intentional and successful technique. By describing other episodes in his life in a lighthearted manner, we see Drewe’s dynamic ...

This is a preview of the whole essay