No 254 - September, 2003

Permanent URI for this collection

Gideon Haigh reviews David Flint's The Twilight of the Élites
Brian Matthews reviews Gary Linnell's Playing God and Steve Strevens: Bob Rose
Shirley Walker reviews Sean Monahan's A Long and Winding Road


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 36
  • Item
    Endless Crescendo. "Thicker Than Water" by Lindy Cameron, "The Castlemaine Murders" by Kerry Greenwood and "The Cutting: A Nullin Mystery" by Lee Tulloch. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Dempsey, Dianne
    Organisations such as Sisters in Crime Australia claim as part of their charter the need to correct the imbalance in the treatment of women in the field. This is odd, given that Australian female writers and female sleuths are prolific and popular, and that the writing, as evidenced by these three novels, is generally rich and entertaining.
  • Item
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09)
    This item is the August 2003 Bestsellers and Subscription Form page of this issue.
  • Item
    Sea of Possibilities. "How the Light Gets In" by M. J. Hyland and "Tristessa and Lucido" by Miriam Zolan. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Byrne, Madeleine
    M.J. Hyland’s novel "How the Light Gets In" has attracted attention because of its forthcoming publication by the Scottish publisher Canongate, but also because the author’s life resembles that of the novel’s central character, Lou. Where Hyland’s writing is cool and precise, Miriam Zolin’s "Tristessa and Lucido" is a highly emotional description of thirty-something Theney and her life in Prospect, Nebraska.
  • Item
    Maintain Your Order
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Lees, Stella
    This article is a review of Children's Picture Books, including: "Junkyard Dogs" by Margaret Balderson (illus. Janine Dawson), "Dancing Night, Tonight" by Ian Bone (illus. Anna Pignataro), "Hooray for Chester" by Rina A. Foti (illus. Ellen J. Hickman), "Cat and Fish" by Joan Grant (illus. Neil Curtis), "The Magic Fire at Warlukurlangu: A Dreaming Narrative Belonging to Dolly Daniels Granites Nampijinpa" Christine Nicholls (ed), "The Spotted Cat: A Dreaming Narrative Belonging to Molly Tasman Nappurrurla" Christine Nicholls (ed), "Dragons of Galapagos" by Bruce Whately.
  • Item
    Missing Drafts
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Ridge, Judith
    This is a review of Young Adult Fiction including the works: "Infamous" by Justin D'Ath, "An Earful of Static" by Archimede Fusillo, "Ferret Boy" by Sue Lawson and "Night Singing" by Kierin Meehan.
  • Item
    Changing Scenery. "The Boy in the Green Suit" by Robert Hillman. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) McGirr, Michael
    The heart of this book is an account of one year in the life of its author. This is a book in which no one stays still for very long. It only sketches the reasons why this might be.
  • Item
    Dainty Horror. "Australian Surrealism: The Agapitos/Wilson Collection" by Bruce James. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Anderson, Patricia
    When ‘Surrealism’ was first minted, it was easy to find a shower of retrospective applications for it. The congested canvases of Hieronymus Bosch, for one, still spring to mind, though we need to retrace our steps no further than that cauldron of economic and philosophical instability — the period between the two world wars — to pinpoint its official beginnings. If Europe had André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Surrealism’s most histrionic exponent, Salvador Dali, then Australia had James Gleeson. Bruce James convinces us that, while Gleeson was its sturdiest practitioner, he was the tip of the iceberg.
  • Item
    Ageing with Film. "The Mad Max Movies" by Adrian Martin, "Walkabout" by Louis Nowra and "The Devil's Playground" by Christos Tsiolkas [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) McFarlane, Brian
    The Currency Press's series ‘Australian Screen Classics’ is off to a good start. With playwright Louis Nowra’s "Walkabout", thorough in its production, analysis and reception mode, novelist Christos Tsiolkas’s "TheDevil’s Playground", a study in personal enchantment, and Age film reviewer Adrian Martin’s "The Mad Max Movies", an action fan’s impassioned response to the trilogy, the series makes clear that it will not be settling for a predictable template.
  • Item
    Late Bloomer. "Farewell Cinderella: Creating Arts and Identity in Western Australia" by Geoffrey Bolton, Richard Rossiter and Jan Ryan (eds) [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Were, Wendy
    As one who has lived in Western Australia for the greater part of her life and currently works in the arts, Wendy Were's interest was piqued by the claim of the editors of this collection that Western Australia may bid farewell to the defensive term ‘Cinderella State’, once adopted in relation to its arts and culture. "Farewell Cinderella" is a collection of essays, each with a specific focus on areas of cultural development in the state. The chapters document past struggles and celebrate the achievements that, according to the editors, furnish the evidence that the late bloomer has now arrived at the ball.
  • Item
    Orreries and Putti. "The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science" by J. L Heilbron (ed) [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Williams, Robyn
    What should you expect from a companion? Resolute reliability? Occasional inspiration? Whimsical, even capricious distraction? The editor in chief of the work is J.L. Heilbron, who divides his time between Berkeley, Oxford and Yale. The editorial committee is mainly from the US, with one or two members from Europe. They have overseen more than two hundred contributors, including three from Australian universities. The result is surprisingly even in style, and very readable. All the entries passed my tests of informed gossip and recent revelation.
  • Item
    The Meaning of Recognition. [essay]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) James, Clive
    This essay reflects on the meaning of recognition as opposed to celeberity, as James reads and analyses selections from the poetry of Philip Hodgins (1959-95).
  • Item
    Letter from Baghdad
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Potts, J. T.
    In "Letter from Baghdad' D. T. Potts recounts the aftermath of the looting of the Iraq National Museum that took place in April 2003, the international response to it and his own efforts to assist the museum staff in reconstituting their record system.
  • Item
    Liberal Tides. "Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard" by Judith Brett. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Hollier, Nathan
    This book is dedicated to Judith Brett’s grandparents, ‘none of whom ever voted Labor’, and their grand-children, ‘most of whom do’; and concludes with the observation that ‘the relationship between … emerging social formations and nationally based political parties is not yet clear — or at least not to me’. Brett’s primary aim is to extend her and our understanding of the cultural bases of past and present Liberal Party policy, a project she began in her earlier work, "Menzies’ Forgotten People" (1992).
  • Item
    Advances, Contents, Letters, Imprints and Contributors.
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09)
    This item includes miscellaneous pieces from this issue.
  • Item
    Beasts in the Jungle. "The Bride Stripped Bare" by Anonymous. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Richardson, Owen
    When Nikki Gemmell described her sense of liberation on deciding to publish "The Bride Stripped Bare" anonymously, she seemed to have in mind only a desire not to offend people close to her. She would also have liberated herself from the literary celebrity machine. But, once the game was up, she got even more of it than she would otherwise have done.
  • Item
    The Lost Gasometer. "A Game of Our Own: The Origins of Australian Football" by Geoffrey Blainey. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Crosswell, Brent
    For the football enthusiast, "A Game of Our Own" will provide intriguing insights into the way the various rules and styles of play evolved. Despite Blainey’s qualification that some of his conclusions will be provisional, one feels that ‘most of the salient events and changes’ have been ‘pieced together’ and that this history is now a definitive work on the subject.
  • Item
    A Rain of Dollars. "Playing God: The Rise and Fall of Gary Ablett" by Garry Linnell and "Bob Rose: A Dignified Life" by Steve Strevens. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Matthews, Brian Ernest
    Bob Rose epitomised all that was good about the era he played in; and he survived and triumphed over its pitfalls — everything from bog-muddy grounds and generally antediluvian player conditions through to a species of on-field violence now unheard of. The most appalling family tragedy simply brought out another level of his extraordinary personal, as distinct from well-known physical, gifts and capacities. Ablett’s is a terrible story, but it is not the only dark note in "Playing God", even if it is the most resonant. Just as Strevens refuses to romanticise the now legendary past in which Bob Rose had his hour, so Linnell is, by fairly clear implication at least, unimpressed with the corporate culture of modern football, the sometimes predatory behaviour of the media and the clubs’ ambiguous capacity for on the one hand callousness and on the other a dangerous, reality-denying protectiveness.
  • Item
    Threads of PR. "Party Games: Australian Politicians and the Media from Wars to Dismissal" by Bridget Griffen-Foley. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) O'Regan, Mick
    Griffen-Foley has provided readers with the information needed to make sense of relationships that now help to determine the practice of politics in Australia. The role of PR advisers, the power of the media, the capacity of politicians to provide ‘favours’ for media barons, are constant elements in public debate.
  • Item
    The Paradox of Jazz. "Drumming on Water" by Geoff Page. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Gilbey, David
    Like a series of attenuated conversation poems, "Drumming on Water" is a narrative in forty-five riffs. The individual poems are like extended song lyrics — spoken jazz: ‘ad lib, of course / but also well thought out.’ The words are notes to sound and repeat, scoring the brief and unmemorable career of a jazz drummer with the Lizzie Rivers’ All-Girl Band of 1938 and regular gigs on Sydney Harbour ferries, until the mysterious death of its lead singer who disappears overboard — the fulcrum of the poem.
  • Item
    Honest Governor. "James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia" by Pamela Statham-Drew. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-09) Hutchison, David
    Pamela Statham-Drew’s account of Stirling’s governorship is very detailed and will enhance his reputation for competence. Statham-Drew has been well served by the publishers. This is a handsome volume, with good maps and generous colour illustrations. The author was well qualified by earlier research to undertake this work, and she has had access to family archives, not previously researched. The result is an excellent biography whose detail only occasionally interrupts the narrative flow. It will be definitive for at least a generation.
Copyright to all textual material owned by Australian Book Review Inc. Flinders Dspace has made every effort to contact the copyright owners of other material, and will remove items upon request.