Lennie Lower (1903-1947)

Brief Biography

Lennie Lower was born in Dubbo, NSW, in 1903 and subsequently educated in Sydney. he joined the army for a short time before turning his hand to journalism. He worked on various papers in Sydney including Beckett's Budget (a scandal sheet), Labor Daily, Daily Guardian, Smith's Weekly, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Australian Women's Weekly, before finishing back at Smith's Weekly in 1940.

Lennie Lower died in 1947.

Bibliography

Novels
Here's Luck 1930

Collections
Here's Another 1932
Life and Things 1936
The Bachelor's Guide to the Care of the Young and Other Stories 1941
Loweritis 1940
Lennie Lower's Annual 1941
The Best of Lennie Lower 1963 - edited by Cyril Pearl
Here's Lower 1983 - edited by Tom Thompson
The Legends of Lennie Lower 1988 - edited by Tom Thompson

Biography
Lennie Lower: He Made a Nation Laugh 1993 by Bill Hornadge


Here's Luck 1930
Cover illustration: Allan Stomann.

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Lennie Lower's wild and uproarious humour has never been surpassed by any other Australian writer. With a truly native sardonic wit and comic imagination he was to our literature what "Mo" was to our stage. Here's Luck was his only novel, and it quickly became, and remained, a best seller.

"Set in Sydney during the early depression years, the novel has for its hero and narrator Mr Gudgeon, who refuses to be dismayed either by financial uncertainty or by - to use his own phrase - the 'gimme girls' of the flaming twenties. Mr Gudgeon's wife, Agatha, leaves him as the story opens, the cause of their quarrel being their son, Stanley, an inventive but unrelaible young man. Fatehr and son manage to fend for themselves very hilariously in pubs, gambling dens, cafes, race-courses, and in their own increasingly battered home, where they are joined by Agatha Gudgeon's wealthy brother from the bush and, from time to time, by a weird and wonderful assortment of charcaters of the type who always amterialize to enlivent hat kind of party which Mr Gudgeon invariably intends to be a "quiet, respectable turnout", but which, somehow, never is."

Quotes:
"It remains pre-eminently Australia's funniest book, as ageless as Pickwick or Tom Sawyer, a work of 'weird genius', as one reviewer put it, written by 'a Chaplin of words'" - Cyril Pearl

First Paragraph

It is absolutely ridiculous to call a man of forty-eight old. A restricted vocabulary might account for such a remark, and then of course there are people whose observations are superficial and even frivolous.

Temple, however, is a man who is never frivolous and I was astounded when he said it.

"Gudgeon," he said, "you're getting old."

"I'm not old!" I protested.

"You look old!" he insisted.

That was a lie. I pride myself on my looks. I have not a grey hair in my head, and numerous acquaintances have favourably remarked on my appearance. I am perhaps, a little under medium height, but then mere height is nothing. Notice the relative importance of Napoleon and the giraffe. I have been called fat by envious persons less kindly treated by nature and there was one who at the height of his jealousy called me "Barrel."

From the Angus and Robertson paperback edition, 1977.

Notes:
You can read the full text of this novel at the SETIS site run by the University of Sydney.

Return to Bibliography


This page and its contents are copyright 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

[Prev] Return to Larrikin Literature Page.

Last modified: April 11, 2001.