The humor ‘The Bus on Thursday’ was going to prove divisive (as exhibited from the one-star Goodreads review criticising Eleanor for being a poor example for a teacher), however if you aren’t overly offended by the likes of Ottessa Moshfegh, then you can most likely deal with this one also. In general,’The Bus on Thursday’ is a little bit of a Marmite publication which I found strangely endearing in a very messed up manner. Eleanor tells her story through a set of brief blog articles in a chatty voice, being far more frank about the realities of cancer diagnosis and therapy and the effect it’s had on her psychological health than a lot of the very”honest” cancer sites. She struggles to find her place in the world after recovering from a severe illness and it is unsurprising that coming as an outsider within an isolated community does not especially help with this.  She begins an affair with an older brother of one of her pupils which finally leads her to learn more about what happened to Miss Barker. There are a few movies lately like’Discover’ and’Midsommar’ that are categorized as terror but also have some rather powerful comedic elements. It is quite rare to discover this form of genre in books, and even more difficult to do it nicely, but I believe’The Bus on Thursday’ succeeds in letting the humor to boost the genuinely unsettling happenings from the narrative and the silent feeling of something being not quite perfect.  The book starts with much more humour and less terror while the last few chapters are less humorous and more bizarre and hallucinatory. The end is open-ended rather than completely clear with a great deal of unresolved questions, together with the irregular tone maybe representing Eleanor’s precarious frame of mind. The Bus on Thursday from Shirley Barrett

‘The Bus on Thursday’ by Shirley Barrett will appeal to people who have a specific sense of humor, probably a dark one. It opens with Eleanor Mellett detecting she has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer in the time of age 31. After being dumped by her boyfriend, she has a new job teaching in a very small college in Talbingo (people: 241) at a particularly remote region of rural Australia.

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