ItemLooking At Both Sides. "The Cruise of the Janet Nichol Among the South Sea Islands: A Diary By Mrs Robert Louis Stevenson" by Roslyn Jolly (ed), "Robert Louis Stevenson: His Best Pacific Writings" by Roger Robinson (ed) and "Albert Wendt and Pacific Literature: Circling the Void" by Paul Sharrad [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Darian-Smith, KateWhether it's fate or mere coincidence, the life stories of the two most celebrated writers of the Pacific — Robert Louis Stevenson and Albert Wendt — dovetail together on the small tropical island of Upolu in Western Samoa. ItemBlind Spot. "The Girl in the Golden House" by John Biggs. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Cornell, Christen"The Girl in the Golden House" remains stuck behind its author’s blind spot — it is evocative of Western fantasies of Hong Kong and its people, but offers little more illumination than this. ItemSwings and Roundabouts. "Spinning Around" by Catherine Jinks. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Tetaz, CarolynThis novel explores, exposes and ultimately celebrates a woman’s transformation from well-groomed single to maternal mess. It is part domestic farce, part journey to greater contentment, which, Jinks suggests, is achieved by graciously riding the ‘swings and roundabouts’ of marriage and being less of a ‘miserable, long-faced party pooper’ and ‘more glass-half-fullish’. ItemScorsese's Couch. "Scorsese's Men: Melancholia and the Mob" by Mark Nicholls. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Buchanan, RachelDue to his use of psychoanalytic theory, Nicholls does not aim to communicate with the mass audiences who enjoy Scorsese flicks at the local suburban multiplex cinema. Rather, the author targets those familiar with the developing interdisciplinary field of masculinity studies, particularly the sub-specialty of how men are portrayed in film. Within these parameters, "Scorsese’s Men" is an original and challenging work, filled with provocative insights. ItemStylish Début. "The Ghost Writer" by John Harwood. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Ley, JamesJohn Harwood, who is the son of the late Gwen Harwood, has had a long career as a poet and critic leading up to "The Ghost Writer", and it shows. First novels don’t come much more stylish than this one. ItemSites of Resistance. "Very Big Journey: My Life As I Remember It" by Hilda Jarman Muir. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Spark, Ceridwen"Very Big Journey" is Hilda Jarman Muir’s story. Nevertheless, a good deal of the book’s joy lies in the author’s hearty self-assertion, and how this seems to have been enabled by a broader indigenous community. ItemKokoda Truths. "A Bastard of a Place: The Australians In Papua" by Peter Brune. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Beecham, RodneyBrune’s narrative is at its best when evoking the small details of battle, and makes good use of the many interviews he has conducted with veterans of the campaign. The book is handsomely presented, and the maps are excellent. At the same time, Brune is no Alistair Horne or Antony Beevor: in dealing with larger issues, he lacks the authority and polish of the great military historian. In the first part of the book, also, there is an annoying number of misprints and instances of awkward expression that should have received editorial attention. ItemGifts of the Senses. "Tiepolo's Cleopatra" by Jaynie Anderson. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Porter, PeterMelburnians are rightly proud of the great painting by Giambattista Tiepolo in the National Gallery of Victoria: "The Banquet of Cleopatra". Now restored to its prominent position in the gallery, it will continue to attract admiration from generations of visitors. Jaynie Anderson’s handsome book is a wholehearted and scholarly homage to Tiepolo in general, and to this picture in particular. ItemJuanita's Fate. "Killing Juanita: A True Story of Murder and Corruption" by Peter Rees. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Clark, PhilipLike any good biography, "Killing Juanita" is the story of its time as well as of the main protagonist. The book provides a compelling picture of what inner-city Sydney was like around the Cross and Woolloomooloo. The cops and politicians were corrupt; developers and powerful men regularly employed thugs and criminals to further their ends. ItemThe House of Stoush. "John Wren: A Life Reconsidered" by James Griffin. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) McConville, ChrisThe last institution of old Collingwood, the Collingwood Football Club, is poised to take flight from yuppified terraces in the former industrial suburb, for new headquarters, on the site of what was once John Wren’s motordrome, Olympic Park. Now is a perfect moment in which to read this intriguing story of the one-time patron of Collingwood’s football, politics and gambling — its masculine working-class culture, more or less. Published fifty-one years after Wren’s death, will Griffin’s biography finally allow the ghosts — not of Collingwood, but of its fictional shadow, the Carringbush of Frank Hardy’s "Power Without Glory" (1950) — to rest? Probably not. ItemA Cautionary Tale. "Off Course: From Public Place To Marketplace At Melbourne University" by John Cain and John Hewitt. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Fraser, MoragShould the recent turbulent history of one university in one state of Australia matter to us? Some of the critics of Cain and Hewitt's "Off Course" think not. But there is a residual, stubborn, Robert Menzies-inspired public conception of what a university means and what nation-building role it should play in a democracy. ItemSpreading the Academic Nets. "Consortia: International Networking Alliances of Universities" by David Teather (ed). [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Nieuwenhuysen, JohnThis book suffers from the occasional drawback of edited volumes that disparate contributors have difficulty achieving the coherence and power of a spirited sole author's sustained writing. Nonetheless, this is an important set of essays, with well-chosen examples. Overall, it is a pointer to the need for continued monitoring and analysis of consortia between universities in the increasingly competitive world of tertiary education. ItemFlip-flops. [essay](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Griffen-Foley, BridgetOn-air banter. It’s a staple of radio and television shows seeking to project a friendly, accessible image. There have been many flip-flops in Australian broad-casting, with perhaps the most spectacular backflips of all being executed by the witty, left-leaning Mike Carlton, who now chats (un)easily with John Laws on Sydney’s 2UE. ItemThey Make A Desolation and They Call It F.A. Hayek: Australian Universities on the Brink of the Nelson Reforms. [essay](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Marginson, SimonThis essay explores the role of the economist F.A. Hayek on the reforms to Australian Higher Education. It argues that the Nelson reforms bring Australian cost levels and structures closer to those of the US. ItemPEN: Asiye Guzel Zeybek(Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Birman, WendyAsiye’s case attracted wide interest, particularly from International PEN’s Writer in Prison Committee and Sweden’s Lawyers without Borders. Extraordinarily, "Asiye’s Story: One Woman’s Journey from Torture to Triumph", her account of rape and torture was smuggled out and published while she was still in prison. ItemNothing But the Truth. "Reflections on Life, Love and Society" by Nicolas-Sebastian Roch de Chamfort (ed and trans Douglas Parmee). [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Caterson, SimonAlthough this selection of nearly 500 pieces is necessarily fragmentary, Parmée has arranged the texts in such a way as to suggest certain preoccupations. By turns witty, cynical and wise, despairing and hopeful, Chamfort’s reflections are always stimulating and frequently enlightening. ItemCopious Corruption. "The Philosophy of Sir William Mitchell (1861-1962): A Mind's Own Place" by W. Martin Davies and "Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia" by James Franklin. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Pataki, TamasSex had nothing to do with Socrates’ conviction, though that is not James Franklin’s view. In his new book, "Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy", he says that the charge that provides the main title of the book is 'absolutely true'. Socrates, he thinks, sexually corrupted the youth. There is no shortage of argument in W. Martin Davies's "The Philosophy of Sir William Mitchell". It is a book for specialists. Sensitive to idealist concerns, deeply interested in science, Mitchell is as remarkable for the range of influences he absorbed as for an originality that in many ways is discernible only now against the backdrop of contemporary developments. ItemHigh Praise. "Australian Constitutional Landmarks" by H.P. Lee and George Winterton (eds). [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-04) Kirby, MichaelEven if there is a little hyperbole, the book demonstrates in a readable way how, when it has faced major tests concerning the welfare of the Australian Commonwealth, the High Court has usually come down on the side of wisdom. No doubt an alternative book could be written on the mistakes, failings and wrong turnings of the judges. In Australia, too much praise is strangely unsettling.