Reviewer: JD

By this author

book August 26, 2017

City of Crows

Women who cast spells and brew potions to dispel illness and fuel desire have historically been vilified as servants of the devil. Contemporary culture has, to a large degree, drained the menace and repositioned witches as figures of frivolity in TV shows …

book July 29, 2017

On the Java Ridge

The Java Ridge is a boat ferrying Australian surf tourists from Bali to the killer breaks found off remote Indonesian islands to the south. Stand-in captain Isi Natoli is at the helm, while her partner, Joel, is in Perth, trying to save the business. …

book June 10, 2017

The Destroyers

The Greek islands are often romanticised in fiction, employed as a destination for disaffected middle-class wastrels wishing to rediscover what life is really about by eating feta salads on sun-kissed patios and tumbling into bed with handsome salt-of-the-earth …

book April 29, 2017


Walkaway begins with a chapter entitled “Communist Party”, then lists the 22 hipster names of protagonist Hubert, Etc, which his parents chose from the 1890 census. The party in question is an outré rave, set in an abandoned bed-making factory, …

book March 11, 2017

Scoundrel Days

[TOC:ul In this story] There is an argument to be made that the writing of the beat generation has had a detrimental effect on the literary pretensions of male writers in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Bukowski, Kerouac and their ilk are often …

book December 03, 2016


[TOC:ul In this story] Just as the unnamed narrator does in this Caribbean intrigue, Mischa Berlinski lived in Haiti for four years, writing a novel and snoozing in a hammock while his wife worked for the United Nations peacekeeping mission. Except here, …

book October 01, 2016

The Best of Adam Sharp

[TOC:ul In this story] Graeme Simsion’s first two novels, the sparky and quirky comedy romances The Rosie Project and its sequel The Rosie Effect, have been the biggest Australian literary success story in recent memory. So expectation …

book August 20, 2016


[TOC:ul In this story] Cathy McLennan’s first job as a law graduate was in Townsville’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, an experience that steered her in the direction of advocacy for Indigenous Australians and now, 20 years …

book August 06, 2016

The Island Will Sink

[TOC:ul In this story] Science fiction writing has regrettably little prominence in Australia. A snapshot of fiction here betrays a depressing 20th-century nostalgia focusing on the broken family unit and rural inertia. It is as if tech-assimilated contemporary …