The Norseman's Song (2010) 

Named one of the best novels of 2010 by The Age, MX and Readings

The Norseman’s Song is a weird and wonderful novel that weaves the violent, hallucinatory tale of a 19th century Norse whaler with that of wild, early days in Australian tabloid newspapers ... What I admire most about this novel — apart form the batshit insane bravado of its premise — is that it takes the reader ... through familiar streets and destinations and manages to make them ever stranger, more sinister and totally unfamiliar
— TIME OUT
Joel Deane, whoever he is, has written a fascinating and macabre book. It’s contemporary and old, and about whales and full of metaphors, imagery and the smell of death but Deane doesn’t push these things, he isn’t trying to make the story bigger than it is. He is simply telling the story and the story happens to be grand but basic, full of shaken up, confused men who have lived through (or are living through) violent times and events (all described graphically). And the story, the book, is so unexpected. Unexpected because this isn’t the usual realm of contemporary fiction. The pages almost steam with whale blubber and it really worked for me. The taxi driver and the old journo, the head in a box, the Norwegian, the whales - I can’t get them out of my head. ... It is a great feat of imagination
— READINGS BLOG
This is beautifully written crime noir by a writer in total command of his craft. A gripping, yet lyrical, read
— BIG ISSUE
A bold unfolding of a succession of nightmares
— SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Joel Deane’s bizarre, unforgiving The Norseman’s Song ... manages to relocate the seafaring spirit of Joseph Conrad to Melbourne by way of the New World
— THE AGE
A slice of Australian gothic that is a very welcome addition to Australian literature
— AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
Compelling ... We are in Gothic territory made that much more eldritch by its ordinary setting. The familiar made very, very strange
— AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW
A three-part opus for the male voice ... the diva of this novel is the Australian speech, superbly rendered. Blokes yarn: cut-throat tales of the cab-rank, news-round shockers, and finally the stuff of horror movies. Two modes of Gothic meet here, American and the Australian … (and) do battle in this novel
— SUNDAY AGE
Deane puts a new spin on the Gothic tradition, with Australian flavours peppering this dark tale ... in surprising ways
— HERALD SUN
The writing in this crime noir is gutsy, muscular and full of intense imagery, black humour, and blood and gore
— VICTORIAN WRITER
Sinister ... Deane has a gift for creating scenes of emotional intensity and for writing some truly beautiful descriptions
— MANLY DAILY
A bizarre saga ... Deane is an original, talented writer, but it’s a depressing, sometimes gruesome tale
— ADELAIDE ADVERTISER
A cracking piece of Aussie literature
— MX
The Norseman’s Song is a keen, clever piece of entertainment, and if you’re looking for a cleverly told yarn, it will certainly fit the bill; without a doubt, this will be one of the sharpest, most intriguing Australian thrillers released this year
— TRIPLE R BREAKFASTERS
Deane’s prose is as tightly knotted and stinging as a cat o’ nine tails when he wants it to be, misty and ambiguous when he wants it to be and unmistakably of an era when he wants it to be. We’re in the hands of someone who can really write. This is a novel that you can put down, but when you put it down, you do so to roll a sentence around your mouth a second time and then whistle in appreciation
— ADAIR ON BOOKS