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

[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 …

Books December 24, 2016

Books 2016 #2

Reviewers' picks from the year in print.

Books 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 …

Books 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, …

Books 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 …

Books August 13, 2016

Hands: What We Do with Them – and Why

[TOC:ul In this story] 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 …

Books July 23, 2016

The Hate Race

[TOC:ul In this story] 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 …

Books June 25, 2016

A Burglar’s Guide to the City

[TOC:ul In this story] 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, …