Reviews of Australian Books #57

On the "Crime Down Under Website", Damien reviews Matt Rubinstein's A Little Rain on Thursday, which "was the runner-up for the 2001 Australian / Vogel Award, an award for unpublished manuscripts by writers under 35 years of age, entered under the title Vellum. It is full of symbolic beauty, an insidious darkness and dangerous paranoia, but it is also slow to develop and difficult to fathom the ultimate destination."

He follows this up with a review of Peter Corris's latest Cliff Hardy novel, Appeal Denied. It appears that times are changing in the Hardy universe: "The style of Peter Corris is essentially economical with a lean, clear emphasis on the plot, allowing the mood to be relayed to us through Cliff Hardy's state of mind. It's obvious that events are beginning to take their toll on Hardy with more frequent reflection on the changes in his life and a questioning of his best way forward from here. He has always been an independent, lonely character but there is an even greater impression of a desire by him to move on...There is a marked difference in that the story is tinged with far greater emotion than you usually see from a Cliff Hardy mystery."

I'm starting to wish Damien would slow down a bit, he's starting to give the rest of us a bad name.

"The Complete Review" looks at The Biplane Houses by Les Murray, rating it a B+, "a slightly uneven mix, but much that impresses."

Philip Hensher, in "The Telegraph", is impressed with Clive James's work in his book Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time but wonders is it actually amounts to much: "I like James's evident curiosity and his cheerleading for language-learning, and how, like few people now, he leads us to some unexpected places through his readerly energy. But I wish I understood why, at the end of 876 pages of argument, what I had mostly found out was what I already knew. And most of that was about Clive James in any case."

In the same paper, David Runciman reviews Shane Warne: Portrait of a Flawed Genius by Simon Wilde, and finds that Warne had just the one strategy for cricket and for the rest of his life: "Simon Wilde's fascinating biography treats leg-spin as the key not just to Warne's celebrity but to his personality. Leg-spinners are often fragile souls, because it is such a difficult art, and the fact that you are bowling the ball slowly means if you get it wrong, you are going to get hit out of the park. Early on, Warne lacked confidence, despite his prodigious gifts. He soon learnt that the secret was not to think too hard about what could go wrong. So that he could do what came naturally, introspection was banished from all aspects of his life."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 20, 2007 9:11 AM.

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