Joe Cinque's Consolation by Helen Garner

Joe Cinque's Consolation

By Helen Garner

  • Release Date: 2007-11-10
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 100 Ratings
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A true story of death, grief and the law

"Garner's book is a writer's profound response to a tragedy and to questions about human responsibility over time as well as at precise moments" The Age

In October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. Some of the dinner guests-most of them university students-had heard rumours of the plan. Nobody warned Joe Cinque. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder.

Helen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court. Compassionate but unflinching, this is a book about how and why Joe Cinque died. It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as 'evil'; and explores conscience, culpability, and the battered ideal of duty of care.

It is a masterwork from one of Australia's greatest writers.

Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime 2005

Winner of the ABIA Book of the Year 2004


  • Interesting and riveting

    By TraceypGC67
    I really enjoyed this book. It kept me riveted and interested.
  • A great book

    By Tula1961
    Compelling! Read it in 2 days. Can't wait to see the film.
  • Unbelievable!

    By BE238
    This is the second time I've read this book. Thank you Helen for speaking for Joe. Without you it would only be his grieving family and friends remembering him, a fine young man who got caught up in something way beyond his control and imagination. The so called friends in Canberra abandoned him, so many opportunities to save him and nobody did! I will remember Joe Cinque and send my sympathy to his family.
  • be warned, but read it anyway

    By vasiliad
    An incredibly thoughtful book. Be warned: you will feel a little sick, and angry - what happened was quite horrible, and Garner describes it just enough for you to never forget what happened to Joe Cinque. However, you think about it, and you go on thinking years after you put the book down. I read this three years ago and a lot of details are still so clear in my mind. I don’t think I’ll ever forget about this book.
  • Compelling, beautiful, reflective

    By Leisha B
    A book to cherish - a true story that is told so well that lingers in your soul, not just your mind.