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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » Top 40 Australian books (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Top 40 Australian books
Wyatt Earp
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Doesn't seem to be any non-fiction. If there were, you'd have expected The Fatal Shore to do fairly well. And maybe Pilger's A Secret Country.

The Female Eunuch?

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Spearmint Rhino
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I haven't heard of any of them. Nor, to my knowledge, read any Australian books.

Ooh, hang on, Andrew Mueller's Rock And Hard Places is excellent. And I managed one third of Nick Cave's And The Ass Saw The Angel before I gave up.

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and I am the life
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Jesus. I've never heard of any of those books apart from The kelly gang and Oscar and Lucinda which was made into some class of a movie.

Ned Kelly's dad was from outside Carrick on Suir (Where sean kelly the cyclist is from) He was transported to Australia for stealing a pig from the fair in Cahir.

Think of all the trouble they could have avoided if they just ignored the pig incident.

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Rory Bunk
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I've just read True history of the Kelly Gang and I found it an excellent read. It was my first Peter Carey and won't be the last.

I was never greatly interested in the Kellys story - it was always too dominated by its remarkably iconic ending, meaning when I heard the name Ned Kelly, I'd think "Bushranger", "armour" and animatronic recreations of the shootout at Glenrowan.

Carey fleshes the story out and adds depth and humanity to the caricature. I read the transcript of a speech he gave where he said that he remained true to what was known of Kelly, but filled in the blanks to make a person. So if Ned Kelly was known to have walked in a door on a particular date, he didn't change that, just what happened in between these known events and what was gong on in Kelly's head.

Unsurprisingly, Ned Kelly comes out pretty well - as an honourable man who was loyal to others to his own detriment. This is in keeping with the public's view of him as a folk hero who was fighting the system as the little man who was wronged. I'm certainly keen on reading a more formal history of the man.

Style-wise I was expecting it to be a chore as it's written in the style of Ned Kelly's Jerilderie Letter, with no commas or full stops within paragraphs, but it was mercifully easy to read.

As for the rest of that list. Dirt Music was about it for me, previously. True History was an effort to get to know this country's novels a little better. I might try and get a couple more in this year.

[ 23.01.2008, 05:32: Message edited by: Rory Bunk ]

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ad hoc
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I agree it is an excellent book. Though a friend of mine who is a Kiwi and much better read in antipodean literature was upset by it because he claims that Carey plagiarised a large chunk of it.

When you move on to other Carey, avoid the Tax Inspector like the plague. Ocars and Lucinda, on the other hand, is excellent, as are Carey's collection of short stories called something like The Fat Man in History.

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VTTBoscombe
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What qualified these? you had to be a born and bred aussie?

I know Neville Shute was born a pom but he pretty much emigrated to Melbourne, and wrote "Town Called Alice" which if I was pushed to name an Australian novel I would have said that.

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VTTBoscombe
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Plus of course there is of course
"On The Beach".

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Max Payne.
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No room for Shantaram then?

Still, it's what the shit for brains critics think. I bet every book in that list is as interesting as continental shift in slow motion.

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Rory Bunk
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Thanks for the tips ad hoc. I'd be interested to know what parts your friend claims Carey plagiarised (and from where), because as I read the book I was constantly wondering what bits were Carey and what ones were from elsewhere.
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Pants
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I love Peter Carey. Agree that 'The True History Of The Kelly Gang' is outstanding: I love the way he sustains the style, keeps you interested and gets across the tragedy of the story. Also agree that 'Oscar and Lucinda' is great. Also, check out 'Bliss' - one of his best novels.

Not sure which stories are in the collections ad hoc mentioned, but his 'Collected Stories' are excellent. And his book about Japan ('Wrong About Japan') is brilliant - it works best as a primer for people visiting Japan for the first time, but I'd recommend it if you have any interest at all in Japan.

Haven't got round to 'Theft' or his latest one ('His Illegal Self') yet. Has anyone else?

[ 24.01.2008, 10:00: Message edited by: Pants ]

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boris
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Bliss is my favourite Carey novel, although I really enjoyed Kelly Gang, Illywhacker, and Jack Maggs. My least favourite was The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, although I'd be at pains to specify why - it just made me feel uncomfortable throughout.

Don't know why ad hoc has such a downer on The Tax Inspector. I liked it. My Life As a Fake is interesting too, and certainly worth reading if you're a Careyphile.

Not read Theft or His Illegal Self yet either, but I shall endeavour to at some stage.

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Trimster
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Interesting to see this thread resurected after nearly five years!

I've only read three of those forty books from cover to cover.... "My Brother Jack", "Oscar and Lucinda" and Marr's life of Patrick White.

I've read bits of "A Fortunate Life" and seen the TV cartoon adaptation of "The Magic Pudding".

I've never been able to bring myself to read Tim Winton.... I used to find Patrick White almost unreadable.

Years ago I used to play football with one of those authors, Peter Goldsworthy.... he once wrote a short novel about a football player, called "KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid" which I recomend.

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Rory Bunk
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Trim, whereas Patrick White is indeed heaby going, the couple of Tim Winton ones I've read have been a pleasure to read. I can recommend both - Dirt Music was an excellent novel, and The Turning was a collection of short stories with some very tantalising overlaps. Both are very uniquely Australian.
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Hieronymus Bosch
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Peter Carey also wrote an entertaining book about Sydney six or seven years ago. I think it was called 30 Days In Sydney or something like that.
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lyra
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I've only read about 3 or 4 of these. Of which my favourite was probably The Vivisector. I don't think that was heavy going but haven't read any more White yet.

I didn't mind Oscar and Lucinda, but I hated Kelly Gang with a passion.

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