Topic archives: guest reviews

Guest review: Rachel Edwards on <i>Bearings</i> by Leah Swann

Guest review: Rachel Edwards on Bearings by Leah Swann

September 10, 2011

Affirm Press, 9780980790429 (Aus) Reviewed by Rachel Edwards Australia has seen an increase in the publishing, and the recognition of, short stories and their authors over the last few years. Cate Kennedy and Nam Le set the bar high, and Affirm Press are presenting reading audiences with some refined new voices through their innovative publishing of the […]

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on <i>The Amateur Science of Love</i> by Craig Sherborne

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on The Amateur Science of Love by Craig Sherborne

June 9, 2011 2

Text Publishing, June 2011 9781921758010 (trade paperback, ebook) Reviewed by Raili Simojoki If you’ve read any of Craig Sherborne’s writing, you’ll know not to expect a rosy-eyed view of the world. The Amateur Science of Love follows the grim journey of a love affair gone wrong. Colin leaves the unglamorous environs of his parents’ farm […]

Guest review: Imogen Baratta on <i>Blue Skies</i> by Helen Hodgman

Guest review: Imogen Baratta on Blue Skies by Helen Hodgman

May 2, 2011

Text Publishing 9781921758133, March 2011 (Aus) (also UK) Reviewed by Imogen Baratta Helen Hodgman’s Blue Skies tells the story of an unnamed young wife and mother living in the ‘heart shaped island’ of Tasmania. The agonising banality of her day-to-day life plays out within the confines of stark, suffocating suburbia, amid the manicured lawns and […]

Guest review: Alice Grundy on <i>Mr Peanut</i> by Adam Ross

Guest review: Alice Grundy on Mr Peanut by Adam Ross

April 26, 2011

Vintage, 9780099535379 (Aus, UK, US) Reviewed by Alice Grundy The cover of Adam Ross’ first novel, Mr Peanut, is swathed in praise from no lesser lights than Stephen King and Michiko Kakutani. The title page features a reproduction of Escher’s ‘Mobius’ flagging the role of the double in the plot. All the signs point towards […]

Guest review: Lisa Down on <i>Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four</i>

Guest review: Lisa Down on Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four

April 19, 2011 1

Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four (Aus) Ed: Rebecca Starford January 2011 reviewed by Lisa Down Call me a philistine, but I wasn’t previously familiar with the Australian quarterly Kill Your Darlings. It means I don’t have a standard by which I can judge this edition but I walked away satisfied that it had provided the […]

Guest review: Matthew Giles on <i>Parting With My Sex</i> by Lucy Chesser

Guest review: Matthew Giles on Parting With My Sex by Lucy Chesser

March 21, 2011

Sydney University Press 9781920898311 reviewed by Matthew Giles In his CAL/Meanjin essay of last year, Paul Daley argued that young Australians aren’t coerced by the state to think about their history in militaristic terms. He said that they do it on their own, because a militarised history is naturally more interesting. He was rebutting Marilyn […]

Guest review: Matthia Dempsey on <i>What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us</i> by Laura van den Berg

Guest review: Matthia Dempsey on What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us by Laura van den Berg

February 22, 2011 1

Scribe Publications, February 2011 (Aus, US, UK) 9781921640896 Reviewed by Matthia Dempsey Laura van den Berg has particular skill in capturing the strangeness that can come at times—the sense of being a stranger to your own life and the world. For many of the women in her stories this feeling is the result of a […]

Guest review: Greg Westenberg on John Mateer’s <i>The West: Australian Poems 1989–2009</i>

Guest review: Greg Westenberg on John Mateer’s The West: Australian Poems 1989–2009

December 21, 2010 2

Fremantle Press, 2010 (Aus, US, UK) 9781921361869 Remember that Renaissance sculpture you admired, briefly, in a Roman or Florentine church, cool and hard and chiselled and, perhaps a little too dramatically posed? Reading John Mateer’s collection of poems The West, gives an analogous sensation. The sculptors worked in marble that kept its material nature, the hardness […]

Guest review: Genevieve Tucker on Colm Tóibín’s <i>The Empty Family</i>

Guest review: Genevieve Tucker on Colm Tóibín’s The Empty Family

November 9, 2010 1

Picador November 2010 9781405040235 (Aus, US, UK) Reviewed by Genevieve Tucker Much has been made around the traps of the fact that Colm Tóibín published a story in his last collection that used the word empty (and words deriving from it) fourteen times, though no one has bothered to acknowledge that the story in question was […]

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Shane Jones’ <i>Light Boxes</i>

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Shane Jones’ Light Boxes

October 7, 2010 4

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.) […]

Guest review: Annie Stevens on Melissa Febos’ <i>Whip Smart</i>

Guest review: Annie Stevens on Melissa Febos’ Whip Smart

October 1, 2010 1

Whip Smart: A Memoir Picador, 2010 9780312561024 (Aus, US, UK) review by Annie Stevens Reading Melissa Febos’ memoir, Whip Smart, reminded me of when I first read Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho.  So graphic and stomach-churning is some of the content that I had to have short ‘rests’ between chapters. What makes Whip Smart even more […]

Guest review: Sam Cooney on <i>The Lifted Brow</i> no. 7

Guest review: Sam Cooney on The Lifted Brow no. 7

September 20, 2010 3

The Lifted Brow no. 7 ed. Ronnie Scott 2010 (website) Reviewed by Sam Cooney The Lifted Brow no. 7. It’s good. (Could I leave it at that? Yes.) Ronnie Scott’s short editorial is about penises, sneakers and a forgotten Halloween special. I will extract two declarations from the editorial that sum up this Brow: ‘I’ve never […]

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Kelly Link’s <i>The Wrong Grave</i>

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Kelly Link’s The Wrong Grave

September 2, 2010

The Wrong Grave Kelly Link Text 9781921520730 (Aus) Reviewed by Lyndon Riggall It took me a little while to work out exactly what The Wrong Grave was. A book of short stories, yes. But why these stories, and why in this order? You see, some of the tales featured here appear in her book Pretty Monsters and others […]

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on <i>harvest: issue 5</i>

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on harvest: issue 5

August 17, 2010 2

harvest: issue 5 reviewed by Raili Simojoki Harvest ’s gentle, reflective, sometimes anxious writing appeals to Gen Y romantics who, dissatisfied by the disconnected, disposable information generated by mass media, are drawn instead to the poetic, intricate, and meandering. Editor Davina Bell speaks directly to this audience in her essay ‘To my Generation of Precious […]

Guest review: Greg Westenberg on Maxine Clarke’s <i>Gil Scott Heron is on Parole</i>

Guest review: Greg Westenberg on Maxine Clarke’s Gil Scott Heron is on Parole

August 2, 2010

Gil Scott Heron is on Parole Maxine Beneba Clarke Picaro Press Reviewed by Greg Westenberg The rhythm: insistent, consistent, beat-heavy in places but with enough sunlight in the words to take us out of the club, into a community’s irregular syncopation; the rhythm, that I couldn’t always get (white boys, everybody knows it, can’t dance). […]

Guest review: Sam Cooney on <i>The Big Issue</i> no. 359: <i>Toasty Tales</i> fiction special

Guest review: Sam Cooney on The Big Issue no. 359: Toasty Tales fiction special

July 20, 2010 12

The Big Issue no. 359: Toasty Tales fiction special Available now from street vendors, launched Wednesday 21 July at Readings Carlton Reviewed by Sam Cooney For me, The Big Issue is like a tub of Neapolitan ice-cream. It’s reliable. It’s unpretentious and doesn’t pretend to be anything except exactly what it is. You buy it every […]

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Josephine Rowe’s <i>How a Moth Becomes a Boat</i>

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Josephine Rowe’s How a Moth Becomes a Boat

July 18, 2010 4

How a Moth Becomes a Boat Josephine Rowe Hunter Publishers, 2010 (Aus) 9780980397420 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bryer In Meanjin 67:2, 2008, Wayne Macauley describes the painstaking process he underwent in his search for a publisher for his allegorical novel, Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, which went on to receive rave reviews and was even picked for […]

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on <i>Janus Faces: Ampersand Magazine, Issue 2</i>

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on Janus Faces: Ampersand Magazine, Issue 2

July 1, 2010 1

Sydney-based arts and culture journal Ampersand Magazine sits somewhere between literary journal, art glossy, and street mag.  Eschewing cool irony, it explores notions of humanity and societal change through rare, unorthodox topics with a historical or technological bent. The publisher, Ampersand, is now the local distributor of niche artistic and literary journals like New York’s Cabinet Magazine and San Francisco’s The […]

Guest review: Rhys Tate on Mary Richardson’s <i>Truckers</i>

Guest review: Rhys Tate on Mary Richardson’s Truckers

September 15, 2009 7

Truckers Mary Richardson Mark Batty Publisher June 2009 (USA) (Also available in Aus) 9780979966682 Reviewed by Rhys Tate. A few months ago, as an ex-truckie and sometime poet, I was invited to submit some lines to Sydney outfit Red Room and their collection of trucker poetry, a pairing even I find incongruous. My poem was […]

A callout of sorts, plus some killing, space and Eggers

A callout of sorts, plus some killing, space and Eggers

August 2, 2009 6

Hello litnibblets, Exciting things are afoot. Book launches, Melbourne Writers Festival, my first spoken word poetry gig, an illustrated short story zine project, and in a few months, National Young Writers Festival and Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (I’m doing panels at both). How did you like Sam Cooney’s guest review? I’m looking to do […]