Reviewer: FL

By this author

book October 21, 2017

Why Time Flies

“Where does the time go?” my mother implores. At 84, she’s certain that time gathers speed as she gets older. In Why Time Flies, Alan Burdick looks at the evidence for the widespread impression that inspired his title. It turns out that …

book August 19, 2017

The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

When he was 22 and a mint-new member of the Victorian parliament, Alfred Deakin won wild applause with a maiden speech in which he tendered his resignation. In a political career spanning almost 40 years, Deakin would nearly always be on the verge of …

book July 22, 2017

The Last Man in Europe

Eric Blair died for want of a typist. Self-exiled to a remote Scottish island and hollowed out by tuberculosis, he quailed at the prospect of typing a clean manuscript copy of his just-completed novel. Despite an SOS to his publishers, no typist eventuated. …

book May 27, 2017


Even to its practitioners, there are things about anaesthesia that remain a mystery – such as, where exactly it fits on the spectrum of consciousness. A state of general anaesthesia is rendered not by a single drug, but by a lights-out cocktail comprising …

book February 11, 2017

Old Growth

[TOC:ul In this story] One of Australia’s leading poets, as well as professor of sustainability and literature at Curtin University, John Kinsella has stated that the “purpose” of his poetry is “to draw attention to the damage being done and …

book December 24, 2016

Books 2016 #2

Reviewers' picks from the year in print.

book November 19, 2016

The Woman on the Stairs

[TOC:ul In this story] You’d be forgiven for thinking, from its cover – sepia-soaked, rough wooden stairs ascending to darkness – that this must be a ghost story. What’s missing from the picture is the woman: beautiful, spirited, naked Irene. In …

book October 29, 2016

Victoria: The Queen

[TOC:ul In this story] For many readers of The Saturday Paper, the Victorian age has never really ended. In her namesake state and the city christened after her first and favourite prime minister, there are traces everywhere of Victoria Regina, …

book September 03, 2016

Stroke of Genius

[TOC:ul In this story] You know the photograph. Even if you don’t know you know it, almost certainly you do. An old-time cricketer captured side-on, in full stride, his bat raised high behind him. The exquisite geometry of the image imprints itself …