Reviews

 

Clock Watching and Other DC Marvels

Clock Watching and Other DC Marvels

Robert Reid
Reviewed: Doomsday Clock series, DC Comics In the first issue of the four-part Before Watchmen: Doctor Manhattan series, released in 2012, Manhattan muses on the philosophical implications of the regularly misunderstood Schrödinger’s Cat experiment. ‘Boxes contain mysteries,’ Manhattan explains. ‘Boxes are mysteries. Until we open them, we can never really be sure what’s inside.’ Doomsday Clock is Geoff Johns, Gary Frank and Brad Anderson’s sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ ground-breaking 1986 series Watchmen ...
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Letter to the Australians

Letter to the Australians

Jessica Gildersleeve
Reviewed: Christos Tsiolkas, Damascus, Allen & Unwin, 2019 In an interview that followed the publication of his 2013 novel Barracuda, Christos Tsiolkas declared that he ‘learnt to feel Australian by travelling to Europe’.¹ It’s a sentiment perhaps best expressed in Dead Europe (2005), a novel in which to be Australian is repeatedly compared to naivety or childishness. Such expressions suggest that for Tsiolkas, we can only understand Australian national identity in relief, an idea hearkening ...
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Two Surveys, Two Milestones: One Premature Death

Two Surveys, Two Milestones: One Premature Death

Martin Langford
Reviewed: Robert Harris, The Gang of One: Selected Poems, ed. Judith Beveridge, Grand Parade Poets, 224 pp.; L.K. Holt, Birth Plan, Vagabond Press, 96 pp.; Lisa Gorton, Empirical, Giramondo, 84 pp.; Emma Lew, Crow College: New and Selected Poems, Giramondo, 122 pp. In 2017 Alan Wearne quite rightly decided that the work of Robert Harris deserved to be more widely available than through a scattering of individual volumes, and crowd-sourced funding for a selected—which may ...
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The Burden of Shame

The Burden of Shame

Kirsty Gover
Reviewed: Rachel Buchanan, Ko Taranaki Te Maunga: Knowledge Beats Shame, BWB Texts, 2019 When I was a child, Taranaki, in the North Island’s south-west, was a magical place. My grandmother lived there, in a small town called Hāwera, right in the middle of the region’s farming heartland. On our yearly trips north from our home in the deep frigid south, her little garden seemed practically tropical: a pervasive, steamy, lush warmth, the air muggy with ...
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Telling Tune

Telling Tune

Simon Ryan
Reviewed: Colin Varney, Earworm, Margaret River Press, 2018 Unusual narrators in fiction demonstrate how a willing suspension of disbelief touches every aspect of the reading experience. After a few pages of Ian McEwan’s Nutshell, we are reconciled to the fact that the narrator is a foetus. In Tibor Fischer’s The Collector Collector, we grow comfortable under the guidance of a narrator that is a 6000-year-old Mesopotamian bowl. Likewise, in Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, we ...
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An Unhappy Soul

An Unhappy Soul

Ruby Hamad
Early into his new essay collection Intimate Antipathies, the follow-up to his NSW Premier’s Award–winning An Elegant Young Man, Luke Carman shares Gore Vidal’s theory on the two kinds of writer. The first is the true wordsmith; obsessed with mastering the art of language, their passion lies not in what they write about but how they write it. The second is the writer whose chosen vocation is a kind of belated therapy; theirs is a ...
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Blood Will Have Blood

Blood Will Have Blood

Upulie Divisekera
Blood is not a single substance, but a collection of individual parts that comprise a magical fluid that maintains life. It’s made up of many components: red blood cells that carry oxygen to tissues and give blood its colour; cells from the immune system; and large biomolecules such as proteins, salts, nutrients, fats, hormones and medicines. Blood and blood vessels serve as the body’s highway, and blood can reveal much about your health. Before it ...
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Yellow Peril Isn't What It Used to Be

Yellow Peril Isn’t What It Used to Be

Jinghua Qian
As a proportion of the total population, there were more Chinese people in Victoria in the 1850s than there are now.According to the 1857 census, more than 6 per cent of the Victorian population was Chinese. In the 2016 census, 4.7 per cent of Victorian respondents selected Chinese ancestry (respondents could choose up to two). Nearly all of them were men. Ponder that for a moment: horse-drawn carriages rattling down the streets, most of Melbourne’s landmark ...
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