Snowdome by Bernard Cohen

What the critics say

snowdome cover


"Snowdome may be the single most brilliant work of intellectual fiction to have emerged from Australia in recent years" — Paul Hardacre, (Brisbane) Courier-Mail

"Cohen takes up the interconnected preoccupations of modern life and subjects them to intense and witty scrutiny ... the whole novel is like a fly's eye view of urban entropy set in a cityscape of insistent physicality and brilliantly surreal vision." Katharine England, Adelaide Advertiser

"Since Kafka and, later, Thomas Pynchon, paranoia has been a vital force in the modern world, and nowhere more so than here...Rather than imitate life in the realist manner, Cohen has re-imagined it. Snowdome is audacious, discontinuous, sometimes irritating, but finely, disturbingly persuasive."Barry Oakley, Australian's Review of Books

"Cohen makes the urban landscape as beautiful as a Jeffrey Smart painting. There is a startling synergy between the natural and artificial worlds: 'He wakes to trains crashing like waves, to the mosquito buzz of motorcycles, to the rustling of breaking glass.' But there is an unnerving sense of menace in the glistening horizontals and verticals. City towers are 'crucifixes' while reflections of the moon on water are streaks of industrial mercury."Thuy On, (Melbourne) Age

"Australian novels don't ask the big questions.
This is one of the reasons that Bernard Cohen's
Snowdome is so pertinent to our cultural future. Cohen shows how Australians are accepting the notion that Australian culture will happily reside, one day, in a plastic-domed, purchasable souvenir item.
Pick it up, turn it over, shake it... and watch the fake snow descend on all that is supposedly Australia.
If Cohen's vision is paranoid, as Castro perceptively states [of
The Blindman's Hat], then it's now time for us to follow through and redefine paranoia. Paranoia is about the individual taking responsibility for, and accepting sensitivity to, all that goes on around her/him. It's a disease in psychiatric thinking. But perhaps it's really a particular positioning which provides a key to the present and future.
What the individual thinks and states to be the case, might indeed be the case. Bernard
Cohen's novel celebrates two individual perceptions now and in a time to come. Personally, I can't fault either one of them." Nigel Krauth, Australian Book Review

"Snowdome is among the finest fiction this country has to offer. There has never been anything like it published in Australia. Bernard Cohen's deadpan style is spiked with humour and wit. This novel blends a hip sensibility with a more enduring seriousness, a kind of compact Perec. Cohen has managed to build a mirror ball of contemporary living." Tom Flood

"Brilliant and importantly distinctive writing"Brenda Walker