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Oblong Fetish

I’ve decided to stop posting here for now, and publish instead at my new website Oblong Fetish. I’ll be writing there about books, plus film, a bit of music, and a little bit of random other stuff. I’m still posting booky things at my (renamed) Instagram page. Hope to see you over at Oblong Fetish.

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Born Into This, by Adam Thompson book cover
Book reviews

Born Into This, by Adam Thompson

Born into This (published by University of Queensland Press, February 2021) is a collection of sixteen short stories, the debut work of Adam Thompson, an Indigenous author living in the Australian state of Tasmania. Set in Thompson’s home state, the stories look at the place of Indigenous, or First Nations, people in contemporary Australia, and …

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The Earth Does Not Get Fat, by Julia Prendergast book cover
Book reviews

The Earth Does Not Get Fat, by Julia Prendergast

From what I can tell, the title of The Earth Does Not Get Fat (published by UWA, April 2018), the debut novel of Melbourne based Australian writer Julia Prendergast, takes its inspiration from an old poem of the same name, composed by the Ngoni people of Malawi, in Southern Africa. The poem suggests the Earth …

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Bluebottle, by Belinda Castles book cover
Book reviews

Bluebottle, by Belinda Castles

What’s the average half-life of the run-of-the-mill family secret? Couple of hours? A few weeks? Until the family reunion at the next long weekend? After all, how long do secrets remain secret? But how about something a little darker, more sinister perhaps, than “average”? How long might something like that remain under wraps, before being …

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The Reluctant Spy, by Holly Kerr Forsyth, book cover
Book reviews

The Reluctant Spy, by Holly Kerr Forsyth

If only we all could lead the charmed life. Or the mostly charmed life. One where everything just seems to fall into place. Like a fairy tale. Now we all know the fairy tale life is not all beer and skittles. There trolls and tragedies to confront. There are dangers and challenges to surmount. Which, …

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Lucky's by Andrew Pippos book cover
Book reviews

Lucky’s, by Andrew Pippos

If Lucky’s (published by Picador/Pan Macmillan Australia, 2020), the debut novel of Sydney based Australian writer Andrew Pippos, is anything to go by, then there’s far more to your local cafe than meets the eye. For instance, have you ever thought about the history standing behind the place where you wait for your coffee or …

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Jane in Love, by Rachel Givney book cover
Book reviews

Jane in Love, by Rachel Givney

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could travel back in time and change your life? If it were possible, what might you do? Right a wrong? Put something that’s on the wrong track on the right one? Or would you start all over again? If I could meet my past self, I’d …

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The Yellow Villa by Amanda Hampson book cover
Book reviews

The Yellow Villa, by Amanda Hampson

Do you really need to move to the other side of the world to start a new life? That’s what thirty-something former Sydneysiders Mia and Ben think, in The Yellow Villa (published by Penguin Random House, 2018), the fourth novel of Sydney based Australian author Amanda Hampson. The couple have moved lock, stock, and barrel …

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The Wife and the Widow book cover
Book reviews

The Wife and the Widow, by Christian White

Come closer. I’ll let in you on a secret. I’m going to tell you what happens in The Wife and the Widow (published by Affirm Press, 2019), the second novel of Australian writer Christian White, but I’m not going to give away anything. I mean it. What I’m talking about is one of the mightiest …

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The Paper House book cover
Book reviews

The Paper House, by Anna Spargo-Ryan

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the story for the words in The Paper House (published by Picador/Pan Macmillan Australia, 2016), the debut novel of Australian journalist and writer, Anna Spargo-Ryan. But let me elaborate before going any further. Heather and Dave are a young couple who move to Melbourne, so Dave can take up a …

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