September 2019

Gulpilil by David Rielly

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke How this book came about is just as interesting as the information it contains. When acknowledging his information sources, Derek Rielly says ‘It will come as no surprise to anyone who has spun, even briefly, in David Gulpilil’s orbit that this book only happened via the magic of cosmic coincidence. To

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Khaki Town by Judy Nunn

Reviewed by Rod McLary On 15 February 1942, Singapore fell to the invading Japanese Army.  Within days, Japan bombed Darwin and it was believed by many that this threatened a direct threat of attack on Australian soil. On 30 March 1942, the Allied South West Pacific Area command (SWPA) was formed and U.S. General Douglas

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The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves by Andrew Lownie

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Andrew Lownie is a writer that I have come across before now. Not surprisingly, he has produced a very competent piece of writing based, as always, on wide-ranging and thorough research. As a result, his readers find themselves enjoying a well-balanced viewpoint on history while, incorrectly, retaining the feeling that this

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On Drugs by Chris Fleming

Reviewed by E. B. Heath On Drugs is the title, and the cover image features a beautiful, sultry adolescent staring, spaced-out, at the prospective reader.   So, naturally, themes of Drugs, Sex and Rock ‘n’ Roll spring to mind. However, in this memoir by Chris Fleming, topics are more Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and drugs rocking reality.  This

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An Interview with Lucy Treloar – author of Wolfe Island

An interview by Rod McLary on behalf of the Queensland Reviewers Collective To me, Wolfe Island seems set in a world which is uncertain and insecure.  A world which is under threat even from the ocean which appears ready to swallow Wolfe Island at any time.  In fact, water in all its forms – ocean,

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The Institute by Stephen King

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It is always unwise to write Stephen King off as a ‘has been’, as a writer who is ‘long past his best’. I think I might have been one of those who judged prematurely. I did not like Sleeping Beauties. When The Outsider came along, I put it on my shelf

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Walking Towards Thunder by Peter Fox

Reviewed by Ian Lipke No matter how dark the clouds, bright the lightning or loud the roar of thunder, don’t be afraid of the trouble ahead, keep walking and face up to it. Eventually the storm will pass, and you will emerge in the sun (269). I suppose it is normal to be sceptical about

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The Maths of Life and Death by Kit Yates

Reviewed by Ian Lipke When offered this book to review I came close to rejecting it. That I struggle when dealing with mathematical concepts is beyond debate. But I could not resist the title. A mathematics of life I could comprehend, but of death? Yates grabbed me when he stated that understanding the number systems

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The Rich Man's House by Andrew McGahan

Reviewed by Rod McLary The Rich Man’s House is a substantial book – not only in terms of its length as it is just shy of 600 pages – but in terms of its scope and subject matter.  Ostensibly a thriller, it is far more than that.  Using a well-tried technique in the thriller genre,

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The Resistance in Western Europe 1940 – 1945 by Olivier Wieviorka

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I came to Olivier Wieviorka’s history of the famed resistance in Europe during World War II with a great deal of almost-contained enthusiasm. I’d been brought up with stories like Odette and Carve Her Name with Pride; I loved the tales of The White Mouse, although televised versions I found wanting.

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Ghost Fire by Wilbur Smith

Reviewed by Ian Lipke To my constant love, my soulmate, my playmate, MOKHINISO, Spirits of Genghis Khan and Omar Khayyam reincarnated in a moon as lucent as a perfect pearl. This statement introduces Wilbur Smith’s book Ghost Fire. I’m sure that it is intended as a public statement of love for his fourth wife. While

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The Last Adventure of Napoleon Sunshine by Pascal Ruter

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve With a penchant for excitement, action and change, mingled with kindness and goodwill, Napoleon Sunshine crams more incidents into this last stage of his life than many in their lifetime. He is determined to make the most of every minute. He astounds his family by suddenly announcing he is divorcing his

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Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Nora Roberts has been criticized on the grounds that her plots are recipe-driven and her characters stale and uninteresting. Yet this American grandmother has hundreds of thousands of fans who do not support that view. Not only has Roberts continued to churn out romances, a new one very six months or

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The Palace of Angels by Mohammed Massoud Morsi

Reviewed by Ian Lipke To say I have read the book does it no justice unless I tell something of the tragedies that immerse themselves in the very soul, and in the darkest moments, sprinkle bright sunshine in the pages. This is a book whose tentacles source every emotion. It’s a comforting book and a

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The Good, the Bad and the Unlikely by Mungo MacCallum

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Toby Tosspot, Pig Iron Bob, Black Jack, The Laird of Melbourne, Lying Rodent, Ming the Merciless, Eggwit, The Silver Bodgie, The Mad Monk, Dr. Death!    I love Australia!  Only here would Prime Ministers be given such irreverent epithets. Not Australian born, and woefully ignorant of its political history, I really appreciated

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