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Book review: No Fortunate Son by Brad Taylor


the cover of the book

Pike Logan has no official resources, no time, and no information – and his friend’s niece is missing, along with the vice-president’s son. Can Pike find one or both of them before it’s too late?

Book review: On The Wealth Of Nations by P. J. O'Rourke


the cover of the book

If this was the average quality of writing found in textbooks, I would have ACED high school, surrounded by greater student interest in economics, to name one subject.

Book review: Another Sun by Timothy Williams


the cover of the book

Guadeloupe may look like a tiny island paradise owned by the French, but under the lazy tropical sun, Guadeloupe is like a political powder keg. How can an outsider like Marie Laveaud have any hope of representing the law of France here, when the reality is so different?

Book review: No Logo by Naomi Klein


the cover of the book

If this was... my copy of the book, handed to Ms Klein, I'd be interested to hear her thoughts. My brother bought it in Thailand and it's obviously pirated. The cover looks OK until you try to bend it, the body paper is almost transparent, and there's evidence of low-grade scanning every other page. Large-scale piracy of Western goods, as the flipside of sweatshop labour, is a topic she leaves untouched.

Book review: American Hoax by Charles Firth


the cover of the book

If this was lunch, it would be a Wendy's hot dog with everything.

Book review: In The Pond by Ha Jin



Some people are entirely happy with their lot in life; with work and a roof over their heads and a decent meal they can be satisfied. Some people live lives of quiet dissatisfaction. And some people have a way to strike back. Such is the political and very entertaining tale of Shao Bin, Harvest Fertilizer Plant worker by day, artist by night, who takes of the corrupt powers that be.

Book Review: The Marx-Engels Reader by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels



You know how you went to uni and there were arts students. I was one.

Book review: El Infierno by Carlos Martinez Moreno



Stopped

Okay, so I didn't get through this one. It's not because it isn't good. It could be because too many mainstream thrillers have desicated my brain like a coconut. It could be that I just can't face this brand of highbrow literature in the heat. Or it could be that I just don't feel like finishing it right now. Whatever the case, I have a feeling that "It's not you, it's me" would be the correct thing to say to El Infierno, and one day I might pick it up again and have another go. When I'm feeling more intellectual, and the weather is cooler and more conducive to thought, perhaps.

Book review: American Tabloid by James Ellroy



I don’t think the thrill of a good conspiracy can be underestimated. And, while the Kennedy era and the surrounding assassination, drugs, mafia, CIA/FBI, Cuba and, a bit later, Vietnam aren’t quite the dinner party circuit agenda, they were not so long ago and they still hold a spark of interest for a good couple of generations of people. Take me as an example, for instance. I was born in 1980, well after the whole malarkey. But, I still know the names of the Kennedy brothers and their assassins, and Jimmy Hoffa, and an entire selection of corrupt government officials. I’ve heard the speculation. I’ve seen the movies. And nothing has grabbed me quite so much as James Ellroy’s take on the whole thing. I know it’s fictitious speculation. That doesn’t stop it from being a dirty, rollicking thrill of a read with a cast of duplicitous double agents and their complex juggling of events. In fact, one of the most admirable traits of the book is how much behind the scenes action occurs in concert with the facts.

Book review: Homegrown Democrat by Garrison Keillor



If this was a family, they’d play sport on Saturday, go to church on Sunday, all have at least one degree or formal qualification, read recreationally, and have a number of surprisingly earthy in-jokes, some of which would turn up in junior’s first novel.

Book review: The Truth (With Jokes) by Al Franken



If this was a TV program, it would be the Daily Show Election Special where they actually say what they feel.

Book review: Stark by Ben Elton



Ah, the first novel of Ben Elton... comedian, comic genius behind such hilarities as The Young Ones and Blackadder, and, after this and some of his other gems, man with an environmental conscience. I loved Stark so much that before long my copy had no front cover... and then slowly dissolved from over reading and over lending. Granted, I was an idealistic young thing at the time with an environmental preoccupation... but still, that’s a fairly good sign. Furthermore, proud Fremantle rumour has it that Mr Elton scribed this book while sitting at Gino’s making notes on a paper napkin, and while I’m not overly convinced that this is the absolute truth, there are some characters lurking about the pages of Stark that made me think that maybe Ben was drawing inspiration from some real-life members of the Gino’s community.

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