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Lost Boy may be about Peter Pan, but make no mistake: this is no fairytale. With vivid imagery and lots of carnage, I devoured Lost Boy like a crocodile, in one whole bite.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  Read on >
  • The Sound, the second book from novelist SARAH DRUMMOND, is set around Western Australia’s King George
Sound. Based on a true story, the novel tells of Wiremu Heke, a Maori man from across the Tasman who sails from Tasmania to WA in 1825 on a mission of vengeance. We asked Sarah to tell us about Wiremu and about The Sound. Read on >
  • Born in London, retired doctor TONY ATKINSON spent the first years of his life in a cage dangling out of a window. But he went on to serve the Queen and Winston Churchill during his early career as a footman and waiter, which he recalls in hilarious stories in he memoir, A Prescribed Life. Read on >
  • For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17. Read on >
  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? Read on >
  • JANINE
 BURKE is an
 Australian
art historian,
author,
biographer,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her life. Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • The author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And other inspiring stories of pioneering brain transformation, busts long-held conceptions about how our minds function. Read on >
  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. Read on >
  • RICHARD ROXBURGH has been extraordinarily versatile over the
decades of his acting career. The Albury-born actor has played both Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, appeared as Count Dracula in the 2004 movie Van Helsing and played the lead role in Rake, a TV show he co-created. But he’s just as talented
on the page as he is on screen and stage; Roxburgh has written and illustrated a new kids’ book, Artie and the Grime Wave. We asked him about his influences and what lead him to this new project. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This is both a very Australian story and a universal one. I was genuinely taken aback by how affected I was by this concise yet powerful story. It is a journey of self-discovery, endurance in the face of horrific odds and ultimately the triumph of resilience. Read on >

  • Titch and Irene Bobs and their neighbour, Willie Bachhuber, the three main characters in A Long Way Home live in Bacchus Marsh, 60 km north-west of Melbourne, Australia. Celebrated author Peter Carey was born in Bacchus Marsh. Read on >

  • Flights is a very strange book. In fact, I’m certain the author intended it that way. It is concerned with all manner of odd things: the psychology of restlessness, missing and broken people and the anatomy of our bodies, to name a few.  Read on >

  • This is a profoundly moving novel, such is the power with words and depth of feeling by the leading Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi.  Read on >

  • Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House is an intriguing, if not completely absorbing, tale.  Read on >

  • This novel explores sexual identity, underage sex, societal double standards and the accessibility of pornography and considers their impacts on friendship and personal development. While Cole is an unsympathetic though credible protagonist, Handler imbues him with a trace of vulnerability, to remind us that we were once self-centred, hormonal teenagers, too. Read on >

  • What an entertaining novel.  Read on >

  • Flanagan creates a thought-provoking story with a searching look into Australia, its authors, its history and future, its admiration of anti-heroes and the persona or masks we can all wear. Read on >

  • Connolly really makes you feel for Stan and his lost love, his only real true (platonic) love – Oliver Hardy.  Read on >

  • The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of four years, as he navigates the unfamiliar rituals of the Hitler Youth, the fear and sorrow of loss, sabotage with his uncle in the dead of night and his perceived betrayal of the British as they rain bombs down upon everything he ever knew. Read on >

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