Reviews

Non-Fiction

The Man of the Crowd by Scott Peeples

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Scott Peeples is a professor of English at Charleston. He has a particular interest in the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Peeples has published two other books on Poe. His current work is a book that bears an identical name to Poe’s story. To compound the confusion, Peeples includes a chapter

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General Fiction

When I Come Home Again by Caroline Scott

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke In chapter one of this book I was confronted, in the first paragraph, with a five and a half line or sixty-four word sentence which required me to backtrack and re-read it to get the full benefit of all those words. This was followed by the introduction of the central characters

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Biology

Metazoa by Peter Godfrey-Smith

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Peter Godfrey-Smith is a philosopher scientist who writes with a clarity and beauty of language which make his latest work, Metazoa, easily accessible to the lay person who has a natural curiosity and an appreciation of science, especially biology. Life on Earth began with minute organisms with an intricate structure on

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General Fiction/Poetry

GriffithReview70: Generosities of Spirit

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The media release summarises this edition of the Review perfectly.  Number 70, entitled ‘Generosities of Spirit’ is a veritable ‘treasure trove of literary gems and curiosities from a shining selection of Australian writers.’ Kristina Olsson has, in her characteristic style, written a beautifully thoughtful piece.  Her roots, in the inner Brisbane

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Art/Architecture

Brutal Aesthetics by Hal Foster

Reviewed by Ian Lipke We, who did not live through the disruption and devastation of the early part of the twentieth century, can only imagine man’s image of himself as one crisis followed another. As Walter Benjamin states (cited in Foster, 2), “Many people returned from the Front [World War I] in silence”, harbouring a

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Crime/Mystery

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham

Reviewed by Ian Lipke In a postscript to A Time for Mercy Grisham writes, “The point…is to apologize for any mistakes. I’m just too lazy to go back and read the earlier books” (367). Laziness has not been confined to reading past editions but has crept into later versions of Grisham’s stories. A blatant admission

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Memoir/Biography

Stalin: Passage to Revolution by Ronald Grigor Suny

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Suny’s monumental work is not the first to attempt to tell the story of how a young seminarian became the horrific butcher who left this world in 1953. Such misbegotten luminaries as Leon Trotsky and Isaac Deutscher made attempts that are viewed with some degree of askance today. Robert Tucker made

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General Fiction

All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton

Reviewed by Rod McLary Trent Dalton’s first book – Boy Swallows Universe – was a best-seller and may soon be made into a film.  Partly based on the author’s life, the book told the story of Eli and is one of love, family and coming-of-age – all told with a touch of magic. The magic

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Crime/Mystery

Daylight by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The third volume of the Atlee Pine trilogy is called Daylight. Readers can find out for themselves why this name was chosen. It is significant that not one of the critiques I have read so far makes any attempt to explain the title. Atlee Pine, an FBI agent, is still taking

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Children

Dr Karl’s Surfing Safari Through Science by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The title suggests skimming through Science in the way an intrepid surfer rides the waves. This lavishly illustrated book offers far more, from the much admired and loved Australian icon, Dr Karl. Surfing involves a passion for the sport.  None can deny that the enthusiasm and knowledge Dr. Karl imparts has

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Crime/Mystery

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I have lost count of the number of novels Michael Connelly has written. I can remember such classic stories as The Poet and The Scarecrow. I remember claiming that with these books, Connelly had peaked, when in fact he was just getting started. With the publication of Fair Warning, I thought

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Children

Pierre’s Not There by Ursula Dubosarsky

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve A child with imagination, who loves drama, theatre, adventure, AND dogs, will love Pierre’s Not There. This delightful piece of escapism was inspired by the author, Ursula Dubosarsky our Children’s Laureate, having the good fortune to accidentally visit the Queen’s theatre in Versailles when she was much younger. Following a ferry

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Crime/Mystery

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

Reviewed by Ian Lipke There seems little doubt that Sophie Hannah is the right person to continue Agatha Christie’s literary legacy. The current publication is not identical with Christie’s work, but the differences are so slight that they are hard to grasp, let alone define. Christie’s stories were intelligent and timeless. There is nothing ‘just

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Memoir/Biography

Mosul by Ben Mckelvey

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders To read Mosul is to take a journey into another world. In fact, it is several worlds that are connected by terrorism and war. At once secret, brutal, tragic, and chaotic, the worlds are populated by heroes and villains – most of whom are troubled individuals with axes to grind and

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General Fiction

The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The prologue to The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home, with its juxtapositioning of a fall from a rickety ladder with the drift into an anaesthetic induced sleep, was an interesting introduction to this novel. Dr Joanna Nell, the author of this book, spent a considerable amount of time in nursing homes

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