Reviewer: FL

By this author

Books February 06, 2016

A Murder without Motive

[TOC:ul In this story] I wanted to begin this review with an observation regarding Martin McKenzie-Murray’s journalism for The Saturday Paper, to the effect that it displays an uncommon acuity of feeling. But such a remark, I realised, was …

Books January 30, 2016

The North Water

[TOC:ul In this story]A whaling novel that begins with a three-word sentence, The North Water gives us the story of Patrick Sumner, a hapless Irish medic with a nose for hellish postings. As an army surgeon, he survived the 1857 Siege of Delhi …

Books December 19, 2015

Books 2015 #2

Reviewers' picks from the year in print. Best New Talent, Guilty Pleasure, Most Overrated, Most Disappointing.

Books September 26, 2015

Faction Man: Bill Shorten’s Path to Power

[TOC:ul In this story] When pollsters ask us who we would like to lead the government and the Opposition, we answer Malcolm Turnbull and someone else. That’s a grim verdict, but Shorten has Abbott on his side. Not anymore, he doesn’t. The …

Books September 12, 2015


[TOC:ul In this story] Takeover traces an arc from the colonial era, when “protectionist” and “free-trader” were the primary political hues, to a credible near-future of investment made stateless by bitcoin. Federation had to overcome …

Books August 29, 2015

Atmosphere of Hope

[TOC:ul In this story] Ten years after The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery recalibrates the message on climate change. The goals and deadlines keep getting pushed back, while the predicted magnitude of global warming keeps climbing. A worldwide …

Books August 01, 2015

Catch and Kill

[TOC:ul In this story] I’d always thought of Steve Bracks as an accidental premier – a sweet, goofy guy who, as nightwatchman opposition leader in 1999, toppled Jeff Kennett by sheer fluke. Joel Deane’s Catch and Kill set me straight. …

Books June 20, 2015

Across the Seas

[TOC:ul In this story] The passage of the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 was one of the Australian federal parliament’s first legislative achievements and would form the basis of the White Australia Policy for the next 70 years. Klaus Neumann’s …

Books May 23, 2015

Charlie Anderson’s General Theory of Lying

[TOC:ul In this story] In the Mad Men era, he’d have been valorised by his peers as “Lucky Charlie”. Married to the beautiful and brilliant Anna, father to three (ditto) daughters, blessed with a roster of energetic and obliging lovers, …