AustLit logo
Peter Torberg (International) assertion Peter Torberg i(A113309 works by)
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
2 8 y separately published work icon Snapshot Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Schnappschuss : ein Inspector-Challis-Roman ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2020 Z1204880 2005 single work novel crime detective

'It takes months for Australian social psychologist Janine McQuarrie to succumb to her husband’s pressure to attend spouse-swapping parties, but eventually she gives in. Then, driving with her young daughter one day, she gets out of her car to ask directions and is shot and killed. The little girl escapes when the gunman’s pistol misfires.

'Inspector Hal Challis of the Crime Investigation Unit is assigned the case, but his efforts are thwarted by his boss. The dead woman was Superintendent McQuarrie’s daughter-in-law, and he seems to be more interested in protecting his son than in finding his daughter-in-law’s murderer. Who might have a motive to kill this attractive young wife and mother? One of her clients? One of the swingers she’d gotten together with at a party? Or, the obvious suspect, her husband?'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Soho Crime ed.).

2 1 y separately published work icon Under the Cold Bright Lights Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Kaltes Licht ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2019 11575934 2017 single work novel detective

'The young detectives call Alan Auhl a retread, but that doesn’t faze him. He does things his own way—and gets results.

'He still lives with his ex-wife, off and on, in a big house full of random boarders and hard-luck stories. And he’s still a cop, even though he retired from Homicide some years ago.

'He works cold cases now. Like the death of John Elphick—his daughters still convinced he was murdered, the coroner not so sure. Or the skeleton that’s just been found under a concrete slab. Or the doctor who killed two wives and a girlfriend, and left no evidence at all.

'Auhl will stick with these cases until justice is done. One way or another.' (Publication summary)

2 12 y separately published work icon Whispering Death Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Leiser Tod ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2018 Z1779689 2011 single work novel crime 'Hal Challis is in trouble at home and abroad: carpeted by the boss for speaking out about police budget cuts; missing his lover, Ellen Destry, who is overseas on a study tour.

'But there's plenty to keep his mind off his problems. A rapist in a police uniform stalks Challis's Peninsula beat, there is a serial armed robber headed in his direction and a home invasion that's a little too close to home. Not to mention a very clever, very mysterious female cat burglar who may or may not be planning something on Challis's patch.

'Meanwhile, at the Waterloo Police Station, Challis finds his offsiders have their own issues. Scobie Sutton, still struggling with his wife's depression, seems to be headed for a career crisis; and something very interesting is going on between Constable Pam Murphy and Jeanne Schiff, the feisty young sergeant on secondment from the Sex Crimes Unit.

'In his sixth Peninsula murder mystery, Garry Disher keeps the tension and intrigue ramped up exquisitely on multiple fronts, while he takes his regular characters in compelling new directions. Disher is a grand master of the police procedural, operating at the peak of his craft.' (From the publisher's website.)
2 3 y separately published work icon Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly Adrian McKinty , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Dirty Cops ) Berlin : Suhrkamp , 2018 10406617 2017 single work novel crime

'Belfast 1988: a man has been shot in the back with an arrow. It ain't Injuns and it isn't Robin Hood. But uncovering exactly who has done it will take Detective Inspector Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on the high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave. Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.' (Publication summary)

2 11 y separately published work icon KittyHawk Down Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Flugrausch ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2015 Z1004277 2003 single work novel crime detective

'A missing two-year-old girl, an unidentified drowning victim, arson, and the threat of murder bring Homicide Squad Inspector Hal Challis of the Mornington Peninsula Police Force and his staff to Bushrangers Bay, an Australian seaside resort outside Melbourne. Allis not idyllic in this resort community—far from it. Cars are stolen and torched; letter boxes are burned; and the Kittyhawk airplane of an attractive aerial photographer suffers malicious damage.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Soho Crime ed.).

2 7 y separately published work icon Gun Street Girl Adrian McKinty , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Gun Street Girl ) Berlin : Suhrkamp , 2015 8317112 2015 single work novel crime

'Belfast, 1985. Gunrunners on the borders, riots in the cities, The Power of Love on the radio. And somehow, in the middle, Detective Inspector Sean Duffy is hanging on, a Catholic policeman in the hostile Royal Ulster Constabulary.

'Duffy is initially left cold by the murder of a wealthy couple, shot dead while watching TV. And when their troubled son commits suicide, leaving a note that appears to take responsibility for the deaths, it seems the case is closed. But something doesn't add up, and people keep dying. Soon Duffy is on the trail of a mystery that will pit him against shadowy US intelligence forces, and take him into the white-hot heart of the biggest political scandal of the decade. ' (Publication summary)

2 10 y separately published work icon Bitter Wash Road Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Bitter Wash Road : Kriminalroman ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2015 6164642 2013 single work novel crime

'When Hirsch heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate the gunfire he finds himself cut off without back-up. A pair of thrill killers has been targeting isolated farmhouses on lonely backroads, but Hirsch’s first thought is that ‘back-up’ is nearby—and about to put a bullet in him.

'That’s because Hirsch is a whistleblower. Formerly a promising metropolitan officer, now demoted and exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia’s wheatbelt. Called a dog by his brother officers. Threats; pistol cartridge in the mailbox.

'But the shots on Bitter Wash Road don’t tally with Hirsch’s assumptions. The truth turns out to be a lot more mundane. And the events that unfold subsequently, a hell of a lot more sinister.' (Publisher's blurb)

2 3 y separately published work icon The Cold, Cold Ground Adrian McKinty , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Der katholische Bulle ) Berlin : Suhrkamp , 2014 Z1858744 2012 single work novel crime detective Northern Ireland. Spring 1981. Hunger strikes. Riots. Power cuts. A homophobic serial killer with a penchant for opera. And a young woman's suicide that may yet turn out to be murder. On the surface, the events are unconnected, but then things - and people - aren't always what they seem.
3 y separately published work icon I Hear the Sirens in the Street Adrian McKinty , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Die Sirenen von Belfast ) Berlin : Suhrkamp , 2014 6307955 2013 single work novel crime

'Sean Duffy knows there's no such thing as a perfect crime. But a torso in a suitcase is pretty close.

'Still, one tiny clue is all it takes, and there it is. A tattoo. So Duffy, fully fit and back at work after the severe trauma of his last case, is ready to follow the trail of blood - however faint - that always, always connects a body to its killer.

'A legendarily stubborn man, Duffy becomes obsessed with this mystery as a distraction from the ruins of his love life, and to push down the seed of self-doubt that he seems to have traded for his youthful arrogance.

'So from country lanes to city streets, Duffy works every angle. And wherever he goes, he smells a rat ...' (Publisher's blurb)

2 8 y separately published work icon Blood Moon Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Rostmond ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2012 Z1572827 2009 single work novel crime

'When hordes of eighteen-year-olds descend on the Peninsula to celebrate the end of exams, the overstretched police of Waterloo know what to expect. Party drugs, public drunkenness; maybe even drink-spiking and sexual assault.

'What they don't count on is a brutal bashing that turns political. The victim is connected. And for Detective Inspector Hal Challis, newly embarked on a relationship with his sergeant, Ellen Destry, this is not the best time to have the brass on his back. Especially when a bludgeoned corpse is found outside town and it becomes clear something much darker than adolescent craziness is going down.' (From the publisher's website.)

3 13 y separately published work icon Gunshot Road Adrian Hyland , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Kaltes Feuer: ein neuer Fall für Emily Tempest ) Berlin : Suhrkamp , 2010 Z1694727 2010 single work novel crime thriller Now, somehow, Emily's become the Aboriginal Community Police Officer for the outback (not to mention throwback) township of Bluebush.

'Being allergic both to authority and to keeping her big mouth shut, she's immediately at odds with her new boss. And a death at the Green Swamp Well Roadhouse just makes things worse.

'Officially it's a simple case of two old drunks and a hammer.Emily's not convinced.

'Fast, funny and action-packed - Gunshot Road is Australia's literary thriller of the year. (From the publisher's website.)
3 33 y separately published work icon The Time We Have Taken Steven Carroll , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Die Zeit, die wir uns nahmen : Roman ) Munich : Liebeskind , 2009 Z1344340 2007 single work novel (taught in 3 units)

'One suburban morning in Summer 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of the television and wireless shop, realises that his suburb is 100 years old. He contacts the Mayor, who assembles a Committee, and celebrations are eagerly planned. That same morning, just a few streets way, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband's snores. It is years since Vic moved north, and left their house of empty silences, yet his life remains bound up with hers. Their son, too, has moved on - Michael is at university, exploring new ideas and the heady world of grown-up love. Yet Rita still stubbornly stays in the old street, unable to imagine leaving the house she has tended so lovingly for so long. Instead she has taken on the care of another house as well - that of the widowed Mrs Webster, owner of the suburb's landmark factory, now in decline. As these lives entwine, and the Committee commissions its centenary mural and prepares to commemorate Progress, History - in the shape of the new, post-war generation represented by Michael and his friends - is heading straight for them...'

(Source: Publisher's blurb)

2 15 y separately published work icon Diamond Dove Adrian Hyland , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Outback Bastard : Kriminalroman ) Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp , 2009 Z1286202 2006 single work novel crime Emily Tempest has been away from Central Australia for along time--uni, travel, dead-end jobs. Finding trouble all over the world. Now she's back at Moonlight Downs, the community where she grew up, half in the Aboriginal world, half in the white. And true to form, there's trouble. An old friend brutally murdered and mutilated. An old enemy the only suspect. Until Emily starts asking questions. (Backcover)
3 16 y separately published work icon The Gift of Speed Steven Carroll , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Die Gabe der Geschwindigkeit ) Munich : Liebeskind , 2007 Z1134135 2004 single work novel

'The history of his summer is written in the grass ... In 1960 the West Indies arrive in Australia, bringing with them a carnival of music, colour and possibility. Michael, who is sixteen, is enthralled. If, like his heroes, he has the gift of speed, he will move beyond his suburb into the great world ... And yet, as his summer unfolds, Michael realises that there are other ways to live. When the calypso chorus accompanying Frank Worrell and his team fades, Michael has learnt many things ... about his parents, his suburb, a girl called Kathleen Marsden, and about himself.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

3 18 y separately published work icon The Art of the Engine Driver Steven Carroll , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Die Kunst des Lokomotivführens : Roman ) Munich : Liebeskind , 2006 Z900860 2001 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'On a hot summer's night in the 1950s, the old and the new, diesel and steam, town and country all collide - and nobody will be left unaffected.

'As a passenger train leaves Spencer Street Station on its haul to Sydney, a family of three - Vic, Rita and their son Michael - are off to a party. George Bedser has invited the whole neighbourhood to celebrate the engagement of his daughter. Vic is an engine driver, with dreams of being like his hero Paddy Ryan and becoming the master of the smooth ride. As the neighbours walk to the party, we are drawn into the lives of a bully, a drunk, a restless girl and a young boy forced to grow up before he is ready. The Art of the Engine Driver is a luminous and evocative tale of ordinary suburban lives, told with an extraordinary power.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2 13 y separately published work icon Past the Headlands Garry Disher , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Hinter den Inseln ) Zurich : Unionsverlag , 2003 Z893121 2001 single work novel

'The woolshed at Mistake Springs has an east-west alignment...

'There is tricky magnetic country near Mount Behn...

'The Wyndham airstrip is sticky when wet...

'There was a time when Neil Quiller's logbooks had kept him safe in the air. But it's 1941 now, he's a photo-reconnaissance pilot in Malaya, and Kimberley landmarks are no good to him at all.

'Betrayed by a spy and shot down over the jungle, Quiller escapes to Singapore ahead of the advancing Japanese. Here he finds love and freindship but is also unsettled to encounter his cousin, Cameron Dunn, who demands from him an impossible promise.

'Meanwhile, as Japanese fighter-planes and cyclonic winds lurk along the north-west coast of Australia, Jeannie Verco runs Haarlem Downs, the Kimberley cattle station where Cameron was born and Neil grew up, and waits for war news that never comes.

'When Singapore falls, Quiller, armed with hand-drawn maps, a school atlas and an increasing longing for home, begins a treacherous journey across land and sea.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2 21 y separately published work icon Land of the Golden Clouds Archie Weller , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Der Mondredner ) Stuttgart : Klett-Cotta , 2000 Z190692 1998 single work novel fantasy

'Three thousand years after a devastating global thermonuclear war, the desolate wastes of Australia support a myriad of primitive tribal nations, bound by superstition and xenophobia. Legend says the world was destroyed by the fiery love of Sister Sun, who betrayed her husband, Father Moon, to have an illicit affair with her own sister. Young Ilgar of the nomadic Ilkari is a Moon-talker, a sort of shaman whose nocturnal visions carry prophetic messages from Father Moon. Returning home after a particularly troubling vision, Ilgar and his friends are attacked by Nightstalkers, the cold, pale People of the Caves who only come out to hunt at night. Ilgar survives with the help of S'shony, a young Nightstalker female who's grown disillusioned with her race and longs for a richer life. Quickly the two fall in love, and Ilgar takes S'shony with him, disguising her as one of the mythical Children of Father Moon. After learning of the attack, Ilgar's tribe sends him off with S'shony and a few others to gather an army from all the tribes to destroy the Nightstalkers once and for all'.

Source: bookseller's website.

2 8 Do You Love Me? Peter Carey , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Liebst Du mich? : Geschichten ) Eggingen : Edition Klaus Isele , 1996 1975 single work short story (taught in 3 units)
— Appears in: Tabloid Story , 28 June no. 15 1975; (p. 47-51) The Most Beautiful Lies : A Collection of Stories by Five Major Contemporary Fiction Writers: Bail, Carey, Lurie, Moorhouse and Wilding 1977; (p. 88-98) War Crimes : Short Stories 1979; (p. 17-31) The Fat Man in History 1980; The Faber Book of Contemporary Australian Short Stories 1988; (p. 343-353) The Fat Man in History 1990; (p. 44-54)
3 69 y separately published work icon The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith Peter Carey , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Das seltsame Leben des Tristan Smith : Roman ) Stuttgart : Klett-Cotta , 1996 Z508427 1994 single work novel (taught in 2 units) Peter Carey has wholly reimagined the world in The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith. It is vaguely futuristic, underlain with the sediment of a recently ruined past, just post-colonial, culturally monolithic, and although everything seems familiar, nothing is quite recognizable. Our guide here is Tristan Smith himself: a freak of nature, a 'cracked and mended pot' of flesh that hides a 'normal' human being. Tristan is everything one could ask for in a companion and interpretive center of attention - one way or another - wherever he goes, he is sharp-eyed and quick-witted, unsentimental and unforgiving: the perfect witness to the fact and extraordinary effect of his own 'monstrosity.' Tristan takes us barrelling through his life and times (learning to be invisible and viable, coming of age, losing his mother, searching for his father, transforming himself from something people are afraid even to imagine into something already sanctioned for their imaginations), down a riotously populated, circuitous path that leads, finally, to the Sirkus: the newest entertainment opiate, the inspiration of slavish devotion in audiences, and, perhaps, the source of Tristan's ultimate transformation. The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith is the picaresque made post-modern, a tragicomedy in constant, convulsive motion. (Source: Trove)
9 94 y separately published work icon The Tax Inspector Peter Carey , ( trans. Peter Torberg with title Die Steuerfahnderin : Roman ) Stuttgart : Klett-Cotta , 1993 Z195169 1991 single work novel (taught in 1 units) Counter From Granny Catchprice, who runs her family business--and her family--with senility, cunning, and a handbag full of explosives to sixteen-year-old Benny, who dreams of transforming a failing automobile franchise into an empire--and himself into an angel--the Catchprices may be the most spectacularly contentious family since Dostoevsky's Karamozovs. But when a beautiful and very pregnant agent of the Australian Taxation Office enters their lives, the resulting collision becomes, in Carey's hands, masterpiece of coal-black humour and compassionate horror. (Source: Library of Congress Catalogue)