murraybramwell.com

April 01, 1994

Perfect Crime

Filed under: Archive,Books

1994

Strip Tease

by Carl Hiaasen

Macmillan

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

If you were to browse the shelves for Carl Hiaasen’s five novels you might tend to pass them by. Double Whammy has on its cover a buggy-eyed bass munching a hundred dollars US.  Tourist Season has a crocodile with an I-love-Florida cap hanging off its premolars and Skin Tight proclaims a close-up of an oiled navel with not enough bikini to write the price of the book on it. …

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December 01, 1993

Mind Forged Manacles

Filed under: Archive,Books

Brought to Book; Censorship
and School Libraries in Australia

by Claire Williams and Ken Dillon
Australian Library and Information Association
with D.W.Thorpe
174.pp RRP. $30

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

As the authors of this book drily enquire on their first page – “What the **** is Censorship ?” Well we know that it is a topic which seems to become more vexed as time goes on. It used to be the instrument with which only conservative groups sought to protect …

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December 01, 1992

Leunimous

Filed under: Archive,Books

1992

A Bunch of Poesy

Michael Leunig

Angus and Robertson

Everyday Devils and Angels

Michael Leunig

Penguin

One Big Happy Family

Mary Leunig

Penguin

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Mary Leunig’s drawings are truly terrible. Look at any page of One Big Happy Family or her earlier works – There’s No Place Like Home and A Piece of Cake – and you’ll see. The images are domestic usually- wretched women, anxious children, absent fathers, images of gore, despair and death. They’re …

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November 01, 1992

Collected Recollections

Filed under: Archive,Books

1992

More Please

Barry Humphries

Viking

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

In More Please, Barry Humphries’ fifteenth book, Australia’s most gifted theatre artiste drops his fourteenth veil. Those who thought that Humphries would Tell All and Name Names have him mixed up with that flaws in the glass bloke. These thoughts recollected in  tranquillity are anything but misanthropic. Instead they’re brim with the mellow fruitfulness of Camberwell in the 1930s. Even when his cosy childhood is overtaken by fractious maturity …

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May 29, 1992

Exhumations

Filed under: Archive,Books

1992

Dead Elvis

Greil Marcus

Viking

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Greil Marcus has a lot to say about Elvis Presley. That was clear when he quit as a reviewer for Rolling Stone to write Mystery Train, a micro-history of American popular music based on portraits of Robert Johnson, Robbie Robertson, Sly Stone – and most impressively, Elvis Presley. Mystery Train, published in 1975, took its title from the eeriest of the recordings Presley ever made for Sam Phillips in the …

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September 01, 1991

A Sport’s Round-up

Filed under: Archive,Books

1991

Oval Dreams

Brian Matthews

McPhee Gribble

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Brian Matthews has written a fair swag of occasional pieces but I have two particular favourites. One is a conference paper on Australian poetry, which began with a droll account of his childhood in St Kilda, the other an essay, published in these very columns , on the subject of Channel Nine cricket. The former, written fifteen years ago, for me signalled new possibilities for academic writing. Yes, Virginia, …

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June 01, 1991

Comfortable Words

Filed under: Archive,Books

1991

A Common Prayer

Leunig

Collins Dove

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

For the past twenty years Michael Leunig has turned wisps and smudges of paint and ink into sublime visual comedy. His Franciscan bestiary of parrots, foxes, cats, small dogs and ducks have been ubiquitous since the days of the Nation Review and latterly as spirits of The Age. These creatures have followed stars in billycarts and given solace to the downcast humanity who mope and muse and wonder …

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Comfortable Words

Filed under: Archive,Books

1991

A Common Prayer
Leunig
Collins Dove

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

For the past twenty years Michael Leunig has turned wisps and smudges of paint and ink into sublime visual comedy. His Franciscan bestiary of parrots, foxes, cats, small dogs and ducks have been ubiquitous since the days of the Nation Review and latterly as spirits of The Age. These creatures have followed stars in billycarts and given solace to the downcast humanity who mope and muse and wonder in …

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July 01, 1990

Salad Days

Filed under: Archive,Books

1990

May Week Was in June
Clive James

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

There is something prodigal about Clive James’s writing. An expense of spirit, you might say, in a waste of shame. Prolific almost to a fault, he has not only produced twenty books, including two overcooked novels and half a dozen volumes of comic verse less Augustan than Dysgustan, he has also become a television monolith producing the kind of glib, pleased-with-itself instant editorialising that, as critic for The …

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April 08, 1990

Remembering Forgotten Beauty

Filed under: Archive,Books

1990

Olivia Shakespear and W.B.Yeats
John Harwood
Macmillan

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

The reconstruction of any history is a gradual process and that of literary movements is no exception. The chronicling of Modernism has been a particularly baroque process. The key players were grandiose not only in mythologising themselves but in barracking for their chums as well. W.B.Yeats wrote himself into the Celtic dreamtime, Ezra Pound saw himself as Dante in a beret and T.S. Eliot smiled coyly while everyone …

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