books

books   December 2, 2023

Rogue Corporations

In 1984, Geoffrey Edelsten opened his first “super clinic” in Western Sydney. The facility replaced the subdued atmosphere of the traditional doctor’s consulting room with unabashed tack: pink faux-mink couches, luridly dressed hostesses and a...

books   December 2, 2023

The Secret Life of John le Carré

Adam Sisman’s 2015 work, John le Carré: The Biography, did a great job of narrating the writer’s life. The man who created Smiley and Leamas in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was born David Cornwell, the son of an astonishing con man, and worked...

books   December 2, 2023

Started Out Just Drinking Beer: The Mental As Anything Story

While iconic Australian rock band Mental As Anything always presented as not taking themselves too seriously, the exact opposite can be said about their approach to music-making. As Stuart Lloyd chronicles in his engaging new book, Started Out Just...

books   November 25, 2023

Question 7

Who could be grateful for the bombing of Hiroshima at 8.15am on August 6, 1945: an unprecedented, world-changing act of warfare that saw, as Richard Flanagan puts it, “60,000 Japanese souls ascending to heaven”? Flanagan might be. Without the bomb,...

books   November 25, 2023

Best Australian Political Cartoons 2023

Cartoonists are the court jesters of the news section. While journalists are constrained by fact, cartoonists speak truth. Consider Glen Le Lievre’s frame of the ghosts of robo-debt at the foot of Scott Morrison’s bed, captioned with “I don’t accept...

books   November 18, 2023

So Close to Home

The man who wants to pay Aaron, an 18-year-old heroin addict, for sex, is known simply as “The Man”. He is closer to 70 than 60, has black hair, tailored suits and an expensive car. “Everything about him says money, real money and opportunity” – or...

books   November 18, 2023

Right Story, Wrong Story

“ If you want to know where to find your contribution to the world, look at your wounds. When you learn how to heal them, teach others .” – Emily Maroutian Stepping into the betrayal and bitterness of his history, Tyson Yunkaporta’s Right Story,...

books   November 18, 2023

Days of Innocence and Wonder

Lucy Treloar’s third novel begins with two small girls playing together in a fenced kindergarten. They crush flowers into perfume and promise always to love each other. A man appears at the fence and, when he leaves, he takes one of the girls. The “...

books   November 11, 2023

Prophet Song

Paul Lynch’s Booker Prize-shortlisted Prophet Song is a work of speculative fiction that poses the following question: what if the things we see on television happening in far-off places occurred in a country in the West? Or, more specifically: what...

books   November 11, 2023

Paradise Estate

Max Easton’s 2021 novel, The Magpie Wing , was a striking debut. Tracing the lives of its characters across almost two decades, it brought a powerful class consciousness to its depiction of the social and physical landscape of Sydney’s west, while...

books   November 11, 2023

Women & Children

There’s a storyline running through Tony Birch’s Women & Children that I found not only relatable but had to an extent lived myself. Our loveable and scallywag young hero, Joe Cluny, becomes fascinated by a moneybox in his classroom – a Black...