The Wonderswonders cover usa web

What happens when three ordinary people undergo radical medical treatments that make them international curiosities? They become wonders.

Affirm Press (AUS), Simon and Schuster (USA)
Winner of the Norma K Hemming Award 2015
Nominated for the Kirkus Prize

The Wonders Book Club Discussion Questions

‘In a novel that feels both sharply realistic and wildly, indelibly imaginative, O’Reilly offers a story about the stars of an impossible, glamorous freak show that sidesteps any expectations of sentimental quirk with wit and deep feeling…The impossible slides skillfully into the believable here; O’Reilly’s delightful novel never shirks its responsibility to emotional truth as it tells a story about being known and being different.’ Kirkus starred review

‘an extraordinary demonstration of wondrousness – a terrific read’  Radio National

The Wonders, O’Reilly’s third novel, is a surreal and exotic thing, a finely wrought interrogation of the ways we navigate being human and the presumptuous shambles we make of much of it.’  The Australian

‘bold and highly imaginative… Long after the book was closed, the Wonders continued to haunt me.’  Australian Book Review

‘Full of the humour and quick wit that attracted readers to O’Reilly’s previous novel, The Fine Colour of Rust…. The Wonders asks how and why those who differ from the norm are desired or condemned by those who sit comfortably within it. This insight into the private lives of extraordinary people is reminiscent of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, and The Wonders has a similarly broad appeal.’  Books + Publishingwonderspile

‘O’Reilly’s skills are deployed in making the bizarre come to seem ordinary, and then jolting us into re-examining such a perception.’ The Age

‘a riotously clever, dark-hearted look at fame and the human body – and what happens when the two collide.’ Newtown Review of Books

‘It’s a brilliant conceit, dystopian but not unimaginable, and the ideas Paddy O’Reilly explores are vital: the value of life, the nature of ability and disability, and the crushing importance of celebrity in our culture.’  The Saturday Paper

‘a powerful, moving meditation on the beauties and abominations to which humanity and celebrity give rise.’ The West Australian

‘O’Reilly has a light touch when it comes to irony, allowing her to explore themes of difference, disability and celebrity in a way that is both playful and profound before changing gear and ramping up the psychological tension… O’Reilly pulls off a unique brand of magical realism with flourish.’  Booktopia Book of the Month

‘This is a novel that will engage your interest and your empathy, make you laugh and perhaps cry, but it will also make you think deeply about your own behaviour. … These clever inversions of our ideas and assumptions makes The Wonders a compelling book’  ANZ Litlovers

‘This is a terrible book.’  Marieke Hardy

Buy from your local bookshop or online in Australia

For more information on the book, see the interviews page


Barnes and Noble