Late Connections by Aileen La Tourette

2008, Ilura Press, 978921325052 It’s a shame to read a story that feels as though it has been wrestled into the wrong medium. Aileen La Tourette’s Late Connections might have made a good dramatic play with its style, overt exposition, and historical setting. We begin in Paris, where seamstress Annie Doulard works on the dress … Continue reading Late Connections by Aileen La Tourette

Blood & Tinsel: A Memoir by Jim Sharman

9780522853773, Miegunyah Press, August, HB (Aus, US) A version of this review was first published in the June 2008 issue of BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2008 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC).   Jim Sharman relays the story of his life rhythmically, like a play or film. Childhood memories of boxing sideshows are cut between … Continue reading Blood & Tinsel: A Memoir by Jim Sharman

The Miernik Dossier by Charles McCarry

Scribe, February - Trade Paperback, 9781921215605 (Aus, US) Scribe have wisely decided to reinvigorate cold war spy novel The Miernik Dossier , which centres around paranoia, suspicion and misconceptions. A mixed band of secret agents (American, British, African and suspected Soviet) travel from Switzerland, through Eastern Europe to the Sudan. American spy Paul Christopher attempts … Continue reading The Miernik Dossier by Charles McCarry

The Spell Book of Listen Taylor – Jaclyn Moriarty

Macmillan, September 2007, 9780330423489 (Young Adult) (Review first published in Viewpoint, vol. 15, no. 4, Summer 2007) The Zing family have a secret. Every Friday night they meet in the garden shed to discuss it. Listen Taylor’s Dad has just moved in with Marbie Zing. Listen wonders if it might be the secret of happy … Continue reading The Spell Book of Listen Taylor – Jaclyn Moriarty

The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon

Random House Vintage, 9781740510325, November 2007, $32.95 (TPB) (UK pb). First published in the October 2007 issue of BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2007 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC) http://www.bookseller+publisher.com.au/ Wilfred Lampe has experienced a whole century in the Snowy River town of Dalgety. He’s a part of the landscape, its consistencies and … Continue reading The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon

Patriot Act by James Phelan

9780733620980, Hachette Australia, 2007 (link). Lachlan Fox is an investigative journalist for GSR (Global Syndicate of Reporters). He’s an ex-Aussie Navy operative now in New York City. He is attempting to uncover just who may be trying to access the powerful information database ‘Echelon’, and to what purpose. The information could enable any smaller power … Continue reading Patriot Act by James Phelan

Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon by PD Smith

August 2007, Penguin, 9780713998153. (Aus, US/Kindle) At the beginning of the 20th Century, nuclear weapons were the stuff of science-fiction. Writers like HG Wells imagined a future where the incredible power of the atom could be unleashed to great destruction, and thus create no need for warfare. He, and other writers, artists and visionary scientists, … Continue reading Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon by PD Smith

Dead Birds – Trevor Shearston

9780733320903, ABC Books, September 2007First published in the August 2007 issue of BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2007 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC) http://www.bookseller+publisher.com.au/ A New Guinean tribesman is killed by a spirit with lightning (a white man with a gun). His head is preserved in a jar and it’s from this point … Continue reading Dead Birds – Trevor Shearston