Latest Reviews

History

Queensland Reviewers Collective (QRC) is the new name for an initiative that began eighteen years ago. Up until November 2016 it was known as M/C Reviews. In December 2015, the M/C Reviews website had a major security breach that took it down, and the editor of the book reviews section and some of the reviewers responded by starting a blog as a temporary site for book reviews until the website could be repaired. Unfortunately, it eventually became apparent that the website was not able to be restored, thus ending its long and illustrious presence as a place for the lively engagement with books and film through reviewing.

Once again, the editor and a small group of book reviewers decided they valued M/C Reviews enough to enable its rebirth as the Queensland Reviewers Collective. It no longer has an association with the Queensland University of Technology.

The website that M/C Reviews was initially a part of was M/C – Media and Culture, founded in 1998 as, according to the History section, ‘a place of public intellectualism, analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture’. It was meant as a place where the popular and the academic could meet, and ‘debates may have some resonance with wider political and cultural interests’.

The website was initiated and developed at the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia; since 2004, it has been hosted by the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology in Kelvin Grove. The first publication was the M/C Journal, still thriving today, followed by M/C Reviews, and then M/Cyclopedia of New Media.

Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Queensland Reviewers Collective acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Other Reviews

General Fiction

Willowman by Inga Simpson

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The author, Inga Simpson, says that the book came about from a challenge in a 2015 article entitled ‘Just not Cricket: Where are the Great Australian Cricket Novels?’ (401). I must admit I was not immediately drawn to this story as I am not a dedicated cricket fan. However, once I

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Historical Fiction

The Last Gift of the Master Artists by Ben Okri

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This particularly well-written book draws a contrast between Africa prior to, and after, white slavers began to prey on the native population. Yet this is not the prime purpose for which the book was written. While it is important that the author be free to write a tale of fiction, readers

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Crime/Mystery

Livid by Patricia Cornwell

Reviewed by Rod McLary In 1990, Patricia Cornwell in her first book Postmortem introduced the world to Dr Kay Scarpetta – a forensic pathologist.  Thirty-two years later, Dr Scarpetta appears in the 26th book featuring her along with her [now] husband Benton Wesley, her investigator Pete Marino, her niece Lucy and her sister Dorothy with

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Politics

Dreamers and Schemers by Frank Bongiorno

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Professor Frank Bongiorno has produced a political history of Australia by focusing on people types, those he can loosely call dreamers and some that are schemers, the assumption being that individuals fall into one character type or the other. Alternatively, he must argue that those falling outside these typologies must have

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Crime/Mystery

Hands Down by Felix Francis

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a racehorse-centred crime novel by Felix Francis, younger son of Dick Francis, the late great exponent of horse-racing mysteries. The central character is Sid Halley, retired champion jockey and investigator of racecourse intrigues. He was a character in four of Dick’s novels, starting with Odds Against (1965) and the

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Memoir/Biography

Dreamer by Dami Im

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Told in the first person, this book covers the life of a young Korean girl who came to Australia for her education and ended up a singing sensation. Eight pages of photographs divide the book into two sections. The first part highlights her life before she reached the grand final of

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Crime/Mystery

The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham

Reviewed by Ian Lipke John Grisham cannot help himself. No sooner has one legal thriller been dispensed with than he is into another. His latest, The Boys from Biloxi, is not to be taken too seriously but is a story of good versus villainous in the context of something called justice. Biloxi is pitched as

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General Fiction

A Brief Affair by Alex Miller

Reviewed by Rod McLary Alex Miller is one of Australia’s finest writers – and is the winner of Miles Franklin Literary Awards for The Ancestor Game [in 1992] and Journey to the Stone Country [in 2003] and has won several  other awards.  A Brief Affair is his fifteenth novel and, as he does in his

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Children

Smarty Pup by Anh Do

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Anh Do is a Vietnamese-born Australian author, actor, comedian, and artist. He has appeared on many Australian TV shows. He is probably best known for his book The Happiest Refugee, and his TV show Anh’s Brush with Fame. But this talented man has written over thirty children’s books in several series.

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If you would like to contact the coordinator of the Queensland Reviewers Collective, either to enquire about becoming a reviewer, to offer a book to review, or to make a comment on the blog generally, please use the form.

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