Recently in Australia we celebrated Love Your Bookshop Day and Book Week. Here are some books by Australian authors that I’ve recently completed. Interestingly, my tastes are changing: I have a preference for non fiction these days.
The Girl On The Page by John Purcell.
A beautiful,young and wealthy editor is given the task of assisting an elderly author, married to another author, to write a contemporary novel that will sell. The crux of the novel is what makes “great literature” versus today’s Best Seller. “There’s uphill reading and downhill reading. As you can imagine, uphill reading requires more effort. Downhill, less so. Readers will do both in their reading lives.”
All this protagonist needed was a father who owned a pub, right? This could have been a really good story with its insight into the world of publishing with the author being a bigwig at Booktopia. The sex scenes ruined it. I’m no prude but we’re talking multiple cheap and nasty episodes and I suspect the author got his rocks off writing it. Erotic? In your dreams, matey.
Just Another Digger by John-Thomas Francis
Poems about war by a local author with sixteen years of military service behind him including service in Korea. Enjoyed this one; his poetry tells of stories which are full of feeling without getting maudlin.
I took a few weeks to get through this one despite it being a slim volume. I’m just a pleb having grown up in a country that worships the doggerel.
Fortune Cookie by Bryce Courtney
Fourth generation Chinese-Australian man goes to Singapore to work as a creative director in an Ad agency. Triads, drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, sleazy businessmen are all included in spades. A saga that commences with the Chinese in the Gold fields in 1850’s Australia.
Fascinating history but would have benefited from the work of a decent edit. Repetitious and a good 100 pages too long.
Snake Island by Ben Hobson
Vern’s son is doing time for numerous episodes of domestic violence. When Vern hears that the son of the local drug lord is bashing his son in prison, he attempts to rectify the situation, at first peaceably, and later using his skills as a WW2 soldier in New Guinea. It becomes a train wreck.
This is an interesting read as every single character is flawed and unlikable. I think we’ve met them all! Extremely Australian in flavour, I guess I’m just a little over Domestic Violence as a theme. This blokey psyche that has men thinking that just because they don’t beat their women makes them a good fella makes my blood pressure soar. Where’s that garden hoe?
A good read.
Crime Writer, Michael Robotham, gave a presentation on his latest release, Good Girl, Bad Girl, at my local watering hole the other week.
With a dozen books as a ghost writer under his belt – including Rolf Harris ( which he didn’t see coming) – as well as his crime novels this chappie is fascinating and full of stories. It’s actually a bit disconcerting to find that authors that deal in horrendous crimes, blood and gore, are really such funny buggers in real life.
I’m hoping to find a copy of this one under the Xmas tree 🙂