Weekend Round-Up 2006 #44

The Age

John Marsden's latest novel, Circle of Flight is the third and last in his series, "The Ellie Chronicles", which started in 2003. Frances Atkinson thinks "it's been a hell of a ride", and is rather sorry to see the series end: "Closing the door on Ellie must have been hard for Marsden, but even his most ardent fans will agree that bowing out on a high note is the way to go. Before you reach the final page, you'll discover that Marsden has included a few startling revelations about the kinds of things that have been the mainstay of every book in the series: friendship, love, loyalty and honour.

"Goodbye Ellie, it was a pleasure knowing you."

Rachel Hills reviews Adult Themes: Rewriting the Rules of Adulthood by Kate Crawford, which "looks beyond young and old to investigate what defines adulthood, how it's changing and what it means to be one in the 21st century." Overwork, underpaid and unloved probably. No, sorry, that's just me. "Adult Themes provides a refreshingly informed and nuanced alternative, going beyond X and Y to cut to the core of the ubiquitous generation wars and offer some hopeful alternatives for us all."

Short notices are given to: The Labor Market Ate My Babies: Work, Children and a Sustainable Future by Barbara Pocock who "argues that if children are not to suffer, child care must be more regulated, the government must invest in support for parents and amend labour laws to increase job flexibility and autonomy for workers"; The War on Democracy: Conservative Opinion in the Australian Press by Nially Lucy & Steve Mickler: "This latest salvo in the culture wars is a gloves-off riposte from the academy in defence of progressive and liberal thought"; The Patrician and the Bloke: Geoffrey Serle and the Making of Australian History by John Thompson whose "biography takes a cue from Serle's own biographical practice, never straying far from the public and intellectual life".

The Australian

Poetry gets a look-in this week as Tom Shapcott reviews Wren Lives by Billy Jones, Universal Andalusia by B.R. Dionysius and Lemon Shark by Luke Beesley, all published by Papertiger Media Inc. He is impressed, first by the printings and then by the contents: "this is no semi-amateur effort; as a statement of ambition, these titles command attention." Of Jones he says: "In all his books, Jones has accompanied his poems (often more invocations than what is traditionally accepted as poetry) with detailed, often exquisite drawings; the two complement each other resonantly." In Dionysius's volume he finds that this "This is a meaty, robust meal of a book and if the conclusion is the obvious one ('glad to be home'), the trip along the way has been rocky but full of enough insights to make you snort and splutter." And of Beesley: "More than a poet to watch: this is a poet already out there and revelling in it."

Peter Ryan reviews The Patrician and the Bloke: Geoffrey Serle and the Making of Australian History but writes a profile of the subject rather than a true review. "An interest should be declared: I was Serle's friend for more than 50 years, his publisher for 26."

Short notices are given to: The Tesla Legacy by Robert G. Barrett: "The cleverly written comedy of street-wise manners will still appeal to the constituency that Barrett, that self-styled conduit to the average punter"; The Murderer's Club by P.D. Martin who "manages the rhythm and pace well but there's too little telling journalistic detail, artful writing and plain old-fashioned gravitas"; The Perfect Suspect by Vincent Varjavandi: "his plotting is more lateral than Martin's, even if the writing is far bumpier"; Written on the Skin: An Australian Forensic Casebook by Liz Porter who shows how evidence simply doesn't lie and how technology can offer order, retributive justice and compensatory values in a world where these are repeatedly found lacking"; Dovetail Road by Graham Kenshaw who "is a passable writer but he hasn't learned to take risks with his material and this fabricated friction is rather anodyne"; Dark Roots by Cate Kennedy: "is a revelation. Here's a writer who can be dark, moody, funny and provocative, often in the same story"; The Secret Familiar by Catherine Jinks, readers of which should be "possessed of a strong stomach."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 27, 2006 10:22 PM.

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Australian Bookcovers #40 - Lilian's Story by Kate Grenville is the next entry in this blog.

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