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October, 2010


‘If only a nippleless bra could make it all work’: Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story

Granta, September 2010, through Allen & Unwin in Australia (Aus, US, UK) 9781847081032 Super. Here’s a too-easily-imaginable near-future world where everyone is attached to a device, books are obsolete, people walk around half-naked and rate each other’s bits, the American empire is failing, and it’s hard to make a true and lasting connection. Sad. The [...]

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Bite-sized book reviews

Here’s the first batch of mini reviews I commissioned from some of my Twitter followers. They get a free book, I retweet the review to my followers and publish it here (slightly edited). It can be over two tweets. Enjoy! @toria_jayne: Boys of Summer by Peter Skrzynecki. Great coming of age story set in Sydney’s [...]

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The Mary Smokes Boys by Patrick Holland

Transit Lounge August 2010 9780980571790 A version of this review originally appeared in the Byron Shire Echo. Grey North lives in the small town of Mary Smokes, outside of Brisbane. Grey’s mother dies giving birth to his little sister, Irene, and from this traumatic event the novel, and Grey’s character, emerges. On the night his [...]

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Guest post by Jonathan Walker: Little Dorrit

In the Summer of 1989, I left my father’s home, which was never my home, not after my mother died. I couldn’t stand it there, in my father’s home, in the dark there, with the recessed windows and the ceilings, so low I used to bang my head on the doorjambs. The smell was what [...]

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A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part two)

Read part one here. Angela Meyer: Just going back to what you were sort of talking about, the excessive nature of Kraken (Aus, US, UK) and chucking everything in – I’m really interested in your writing and I just find it so rich but at the same time I found I still was reading it [...]

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A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part one)

China Miéville’s Kraken (Aus, US, UK) is savvy, exuberant, sci-fantastical fiction – a novel about a stolen giant squid and the ensuing adventures of museum curator Billy Harrow. It’s a super-fun read, set in a richly imaginative alternate London, filled with sassy, dirty, sweet, dangerous and apparitious characters. It was great to be able to have [...]

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Guest review: Derek Motion on Tiggy Johnson’s First Taste

Page Seventeen, 2010 9780980813609 Reviewed by Derek Motion                 I often have to catch the bus out to the university, and from the stop near my house the journey takes around 15 minutes. This parcel of time is – if you get straight on to the task and don’t waste any time looking out the window [...]

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Read and received lately

Read Freedom Jonathan Franzen Fourth Estate Of course you’ve heard of it. I liked it. I appreciated it, really. It took over me a little while I was reading it. I felt really blue. The characters get inside of you, because they’re so fully-formed, and there’s much space for them. The opening reminded me of Richard [...]

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Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Shane Jones’ Light Boxes

Hamish Hamilton July 2010 9780241144954 (Aus, US, UK) Reviewed by Elizabeth Bryer This is one of those books that comes with baggage. Cult status? Check. Author plucked from obscurity? Check. Endorsement by guy with cultural cache? Check. (The latter was Spike Jonze, by the way, who at one stage acquired film rights to the title.) [...]

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Moon dust will cover you: the story of David Bowie and me

After James Bradley’s ‘Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’. David Bowie was really the first artist I found on my own as a young adult. Bowie came to me in a humorous, intertextual way, through watching Zoolander at the age of about 16 at Birch, Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Coffs Harbour. I worked there so movies [...]

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Womens Agenda

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