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If you’re looking for a literary masterpiece that will keep you captivated until the very end, then look no further than “Sixty Lights” by Gail Jones. Our audiobook review delves into the intricacies of this award-winning masterpiece, exploring its plot, characters, themes, and writing style.

Key Takeaways

  • “Sixty Lights” by Gail Jones is a literary masterpiece that is sure to captivate listeners with its intricate plot and thought-provoking themes.
  • The audiobook rendition of “Sixty Lights” brings the story to life through its compelling narration and expert voice acting.
  • Gail Jones’s writing style and language usage are both descriptive and thought-provoking, creating a vivid and immersive listening experience.
  • The pacing and atmosphere of the audiobook contribute to the overall mood and emotional connection felt by listeners.
  • Overall, “Sixty Lights” is a must-read (or must-listen) for anyone seeking a profound and captivating literary experience.

Overview of “Sixty Lights”

“Sixty Lights” is a novel by the acclaimed Australian author, Gail Jones. Set in the late 19th century, the story follows the life of Lucy Strange, an orphaned photographer, as she encounters a range of eccentric characters and navigates her way through the complexities of Victorian England. The novel is known for its intricate plot, evocative language, and richly drawn characters.

The narrative is primarily set in London but also includes Lucy’s travels to Paris and India. Throughout the book, readers are transported to a range of vividly described locations, each with its own distinct ambiance and character. At its core, “Sixty Lights” is a story about memory, identity, and the power of the imagination.

The main characters in the novel include Lucy Strange, her brother Thomas, their aunt Helena, and a host of other memorable figures who populate the London art scene and beyond. The intricate relationships between these characters drive the plot forward and form the foundation for the novel’s exploration of themes such as love, grief, and the nature of art.

The novel has received critical acclaim since its publication, earning a place among Gail Jones’s most celebrated works.

Narration and Performance

One of the most critical elements of an audiobook is the narration and performance of the voice actors. In the case of “Sixty Lights,” the audiobook’s central themes and characters are elevated thanks to the outstanding artistry of the voice actors. The narration is emotionally charged, providing a rich and intimate experience for the listener.

The performers bring a unique interpretation to each character and are particularly skilled at expressing the novel’s tone and mood. The pacing is smooth and understated, allowing the listener to fully immerse themselves in the story’s evocative atmosphere. Not only do the voice actors enhance the overall audiobook experience, but they also portray the nuances of Gail Jones’s writing styles and language effectively.

One of the standout performances in the audiobook was the portrayal of the female protagonist, Lucy Strange. The voice actor brilliantly captures Lucy’s complex character, conveying her sadness, intelligence, and strength with incredible nuance. By the end of the audiobook, the listener feels a deep connection to Lucy and her journey.

Overall, the narration and performance of the “Sixty Lights” audiobook are exceptional. The voice actors bring the characters and story to life, elevating the listener’s experience to new heights.

Plot Analysis

Gail Jones’s “Sixty Lights” has a intricate and thought-provoking plot that explores many themes. With each chapter, the story unfolds to reveal deeper layers of meaning and symbolism.


The author explores several themes through the plot of “Sixty Lights,” including love, death, memory, and the transformative power of art. Throughout the story, she weaves together these disparate threads into a deeply moving and memorable tapestry.


Symbolism also plays a key role in “Sixty Lights.” From the protagonist’s obsession with the camera and photography to the recurring image of the sixty lights, the story is rich with symbolic meaning. By analyzing these symbols, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the author’s craft and the intent behind the storytelling.

Narrative Structure

Gail Jones employs a complex narrative structure in “Sixty Lights,” using jumping timelines and perspectives to create a multi-layered and nuanced story. By analyzing the structure of the narrative, we gain a better understanding of how the story functions as a whole, and the author’s intent behind its construction.

Sixty Lights Cover

Overall, “Sixty Lights” is a rich and rewarding novel with a plot that rewards careful analysis and reflection. Through its themes, symbolism, and narrative structure, Gail Jones creates a truly unforgettable story that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned.

Character Development

In “Sixty Lights,” Gail Jones presents a captivating cast of characters whose development drives the narrative forward. The audiobook effectively portrays their intricacies and complexities, providing listeners with a vivid and emotional experience.

The protagonist, Lucy Strange, undergoes a transformative journey throughout the novel, evolving from a curious and rebellious child to an introspective and compassionate young woman. Her relationships with her brother, Thomas, and other key figures in her life shape her growth and reveal her innermost thoughts and feelings.

Other notable characters, including the enigmatic photographer and inventor, Max, and the conflicted artist and activist, Rose, also experience significant arcs that deepen our understanding of their motivations and desires. Through their interactions with Lucy and other characters, we witness the complexities of human relationships and the profound impact that they can have on one another.

Overall, Gail Jones’s masterful characterization in “Sixty Lights” is skillfully brought to life in the audiobook, providing listeners with a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of humanity and growth.

Writing Style and Language

In “Sixty Lights,” Gail Jones exhibits a literary style that leaves a profound impact on the reader, and the audiobook is no exception. Jones’s unique sensory descriptions are an integral part of the narration. The audio medium allows the listener to experience Jones’s descriptive prowess in a new way, bringing the scenes to life in vivid detail.

The author’s use of metaphors and literary techniques, such as foreshadowing, juxtaposition, and imagery, add depth and complexity to the narrative. The audiobook captures the elegance and lyricism of Jones’s prose, all while maintaining a seamless flow.

The language used in “Sixty Lights” reflects the time period and cultural setting of the novel. However, Jones also employs a hybridization of this style, incorporating elements of modern, colloquial language, to produce a unique fusion, as seen in the following excerpt:

“I stop the boxes telling. I do not ask Maudie. I am an independent woman. I buy my own pearl” (Jones, 127).

This melding of traditional and contemporary language results in a distinct flavor that sets the book apart. The audiobook format enhances this experience by emphasizing the rhythmic qualities of Jones’s unusual style, ultimately creating a mesmerizing listening experience.

Pacing and Atmosphere

In the “Sixty Lights” audiobook, the pacing and atmosphere are masterfully crafted to enhance the listener’s experience. The narration by the voice actor(s) sets a steady tempo that guides the story forward without rushing the listener through crucial plot points. The deliberate pacing allows for smooth transitions between scenes and enables the listener to fully immerse themselves in the story.

The atmosphere of “Sixty Lights” is also notably captivating. The vivid descriptions of setting and character emotions create a sensory experience for the listener, painting a clear picture of the story’s world. The audiobook’s use of sound effects and background music further enhances the immersive atmosphere, creating a multi-dimensional listening experience.

The overall pacing and atmosphere of the audiobook contribute significantly to the listener’s emotional connection to the story. By carefully controlling the tempo and immersive qualities, the audiobook delivers an engaging and profound experience.

Comparison to the Print Version

While both the print version and the audiobook of “Sixty Lights” offer unique experiences, there are notable differences that deserve exploration.

One of the key advantages of the audiobook is the ability to immerse oneself in the story without the distractions of the physical book. The listener can fully engage with the narrative and characters, thanks to the skillful narration and vocal performance. However, some may argue that the tactile experience of holding a book and flipping through the pages provides a more intimate connection with the text.

The audiobook also offers a new perspective on the language and writing style of Gail Jones. Hearing the words spoken aloud can enhance understanding and appreciation of the literary techniques and nuances. On the other hand, some readers may prefer to savor the language at their own pace, taking the time to appreciate the beauty of each sentence on the page.

Ultimately, the choice between the print version and audiobook of “Sixty Lights” depends on the personal preference of the reader. Each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the important factor is to choose the one that will provide the most enjoyable and meaningful experience.

Reception and Awards

Gail Jones’s “Sixty Lights” has been widely acclaimed by critics and readers alike, with the audiobook version also receiving recognition for its exceptional narration and production quality.

Award or Recognition Category Year
Miles Franklin Award Literary Award 2005
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book (South East Asia and South Pacific Region) 2005
AudioFile Earphones Award Best Audiobook 2009
Indie Awards Audio Book of the Year 2010

The novel has been praised for its lyrical prose, evocative imagery, and compelling characters. The audiobook production, which features skilled narration and successful adaptation to the audio medium, offers a unique listening experience that enhances the enjoyment of the novel.


In conclusion, the “Sixty Lights” audiobook is a remarkable work of art that showcases Gail Jones’s literary prowess and storytelling abilities. The narration and performance of the voice actor(s) bring the characters and their complex relationships to life, immersing the listener in the story’s captivating atmosphere.

The plot analysis reveals the intricate narrative structure and thoughtful themes employed by Gail Jones, making it a profound and thought-provoking experience. The character development is equally impressive, adding a layer of depth and complexity that enhances the audiobook’s emotional impact.

Gail Jones’s writing style and descriptive language transport the listener to 19th century London and Australia, making the experience even more captivating. The pacing and atmosphere of the audiobook are perfectly executed, creating a compelling and engaging listening experience.

Comparing the audiobook to the print version, the former offers an enhanced experience, with the narration adding an emotional depth that may not be as palpable in print.

Overall, if you’re looking for a captivating audiobook that offers an immersive and thought-provoking experience, “Sixty Lights” by Gail Jones is a must-listen. Highly recommended for all audiobook enthusiasts and literary fans.

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