July 2019

Australia's Original Languages by R.M.W. Dixon

Reviewed by E.B. Heath Professor Dixon is clearly a mild mannered man, but everyone has a breaking point, and his can be faintly detected in the first chapter of his latest book.  In Australia’s Original Languages: An Introduction Dixon is at pains to refute, for all time, any ideas that Australian Indigenous languages are impoverished

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Crossings by Alex Landragin

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Crossings, by Alex Landragin, has a very unusual storyline including love, which ‘thrives on ephemera: hunches, gut feelings, obscure clues, and all the fuel it needs’ (118); murder, leaving its victims with empty eye sockets; treachery, ‘knowing Chanel’s henchman would be listening… I took off my shoes…took my blue suitcase… (and)

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Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders The cover says it all. Two strapping young men striding forward, wearing suits and confident expressions. The image, viewed through a matrix of dots, suggests technology and a multitude of stars – or are they coins? Despite the blurring, both men are so similar that they could be clones. Clearly, these

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Something to Live For by Richard Roper

Reviewed by Rod McLary Social isolation, loneliness and dying alone [and not being found for days or weeks or even months] are the themes which run through this debut novel by Richard Roper.  The idea for the book was sparked by a law in England that, where people have died without family or friends to

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Fortune by Lenny Bartulin

Reviewed by E. B. Heath Lenny Bartulin bestows a reading experience of a very different kind!  Fortune begins as a light breeze.  Vast crowds gather as Napoleon parades through Berlin in 1806.  Within a few pages, gale force winds of war propel hapless characters, along with readers, through one hundred and ten years of history,

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Larrikins in Khaki by Tim Bowden

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Tim Bowden’s book has been given the royal treatment by his publishers Allen & Unwin who have produced a very attractive 400-plus page book. The cover design is a splendid one. There is something about irreverence that attracts Australian readers, and I have no doubt that this book on that very

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GriffithReview64 The New Disruptors

Reviewed by E.B. Heath The latest Griffith Review – The New Disruptors – aims to broaden readers’ perspective of the digital world beyond personal experience. The contributions range widely such as: Russian trolls attacking western democracy; the ‘forever war’ going on in Pine Gap; how democracy can be refreshed via sortition; the rise of the

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Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls

Reviewed by Rod McLary That I shall say goodnight til it be morrow.Parting is such sweet sorrow.Romeo and Juliet. Act 2:scene 2. Shakespeare’s play does not provide only the title for David Nicholls’ most recent book, it also provides the structure on which the plot hangs. In a thoroughly creative and imaginative way, the author

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Blood in the Dust by Bill Swiggs

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Bill Swiggs’s writing style shows the influence of Wilbur Smith, whether Swiggs knows it or not, and that’s not a bad thing. Swiggs tells a comfortable tale if murder and bushranging combined with fraud and deceit can still be comfortable. It is Swiggs’s writing style that dispenses comfort. The reader knows

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A Free Country: Australians' Search for Utopia 1861-1901 by David Kemp

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A Free Country: Australians’ Search for Utopia 1861 – 1901 is the second volume in a five part series that “describes the dominant stream of ideas behind this country’s development, the stream of liberalism…the volume is…carefully illustrative of the history, influence and adoption of the dominant ideas animating that development” (Philip Ayres

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