October, 2011

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20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

, Oct 19, 2011

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that’s beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I had vague ideas about Gulliver’s Travels. I remembered Ted Danson being tied up by some little people in a film version I […]
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Guest review: Lisa Down on Making News by Tony Wilson

, Feb 03, 2011

Murdoch Books July 2010 9781741969238 (Aus) reviewed by Lisa Down Remember the old saying, ‘Write what you know’? It’s an adage former AFL player, author and columnist Tony Wilson must have taken to heart. His latest offering, Making News, revolves around, well… a retired soccer player, an aspiring young columnist and an author, who make […]
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‘If only a nippleless bra could make it all work’: Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story

, Oct 29, 2010

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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Guest review: Elena Gomez on Mic Looby’s Paradise Updated

, Oct 13, 2009

9780980374667 September 2009 (Aus/ Kindle) Affirm Press If you didn’t already know that Mic Looby was once a Lonely Planet writer and editor, it’s not difficult to guess, reading his debut novel, Paradise Updated. In it, the satirically named ‘SmallWorld’ publishers dominate the guidebook industry and the bloke who made them what they are today, legendary […]
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Uncorrected Proof by Louisiana Alba

, Nov 07, 2008

ElephantEars Press, 9780955867606, 2008, UK (Aus, US) Can something be playfully and overtly postmodern and still be readable – driving you through a compelling plot? Louisiana Alba proves it can be done. Uncorrected Proof is a postmodern novel that entertainingly riffs on form, style, character, tense, person – but with an overall thriller/quest type plot […]
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Capitalism is funny – a review of Max Barry’s Company

, Oct 10, 2008

Company, Max Barry, Scribe, 9781921215643, 2008 (Aus, US) Jones joins Zephyr as an enthusiastic employee, without even knowing what the company does. This doesn’t seem to be an odd thing at Zephyr, where Jones’ coworkers in the Training Sales department just accept that Zephyr is a ‘holdings’ company, and get on with their menial, perpetual […]
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‘I Wanted to Talk About Being Completely Screwed Over by the Corporate Machine With a Smile on My Face’ – William Kostakis on Loathing Lola

, Oct 07, 2008

Loathing Lola, William Kostakis, Pan Macmillan, 2008, Australia, 9780330424165 You rewrote the whole book to be in first person (no mean feat!), in Courtney’s point of view. How did you come to this decision? Okay, so originally, Loathing Lola was in the third person, with three leads, Courtney, Tim and Katie. Well, four leads, if you included […]
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Loathing Lola – William Kostakis

, Oct 02, 2008

Pan Macmillan, 2008, Australia, 9780330424165 Courtney Marlow becomes the star of new reality TV Show Real Teens despite the fact that she doesn’t watch much reality TV. Her boyfriend, Liam, had encouraged her to audition. Is she following through just for him? And how will she cope with cameras in her face just months after […]

What’s Science Ever Done For Us? by Paul Halpern

, Sep 19, 2007

9780470114605, Wiley, 2007. (Aus ebook, US, pb/Kindle) The Simpsons is written by intelligent individuals who generally come from educated backgrounds. This is evident in the subversive satirical elements of the show, but as Paul Halpern points out in What’s Science Ever Done For Us?, it also means they know a lot about ‘physics, robots, life […]