Reviewer: FL

By this author

Books 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 …

Books February 11, 2017

Old Growth

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 to show that we are all …

Books December 24, 2016

Books 2016 #2

Reviewers' picks from the year in print.

Books November 19, 2016

The Woman on the Stairs

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 the mid-1970s, a …

Books October 29, 2016

Victoria: The Queen

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, Victoria the Queen. She …

Books September 03, 2016

Stroke of Genius

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 even on an eye unused …

Books August 13, 2016

Hands: What We Do with Them – and Why

There are truckloads of books that purport to reveal the one essential thing that makes us human. The brain is the biggie, with language, consciousness, religion and art among the chief subcontenders and the Brazilian wax and pigeon fancying some way …

Books July 23, 2016

The Hate Race

Sure, I’ve heard of unconscious racism. And my guess is that, being human, I harbour my share of it. Acknowledging that deep-running streak in oneself, a reader of The Hate Race is watchful of one’s reactions. Maxine Beneba Clarke’s account …

Books June 25, 2016

A Burglar’s Guide to the City

For a burglar to be a burglar – and not just a thief or spy or saboteur – they must unlawfully enter a structure. As Geoff Manaugh puts it, “burglary requires architecture”. Manaugh, a New York-based architect and blogger, regards burglars …