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Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn is the author of three novels, the most recent of which is Mammoth (2020). His latest book is a collection of short fiction, Here Be Leviathans (2022).

Chris Flynn reviews 'The Norseman’s Song' by Joel Deane

May 2010, no. 321 01 May 2010
A Norwegian giant stands astride the deck of a whaling ship trapped in the Arctic ice, watching the other vessels in the fleet burn. Axe in hand, he patiently awaits the arrival of some disgruntled Eskimos, whom he expects to have to fight. Plagued by visions of a lost love, the Norseman commits the tale of his violent life to paper. One hundred and forty years later, a gaunt, dishevelled man clim ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'The Silence' by Bruce Mutard

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
Painter Dmitri Pangalidis stares out over the baking Sydney rooftops as he waits for his partner, Choosy McBride, to come home from the gallery where she works as a curator. The city is besieged by heat and Pangalidis spends his day lounging on the couch, trying to motivate himself. The first five pages of The Silence contain no dialogue, with Pangalidis wasting yet another day at home, frustrated ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'Known Unknowns' by Emmett Stinson

July–August 2010, no. 323 01 July 2010
Emmett Stinson has been fiction editor of Adelaide’s Wet Ink magazine since its conception, and came to prominence when his story ‘All Fathers the Father’ won The Age Short Story Competition in 2004. That story is included here in his first collection, as are ‘The Russians are Leaving’ and ‘Great Extinctions in History’, which appeared in the Sleeper’s Almanac in 2007 and 2008, res ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'The Example' by Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson, 'Flinch' by James Barclay et al., and 'Summer Blonde' by Adrian Tomine

July-August 2009, no. 313 26 August 2022
It is fair to say that graphic novels are now an accepted form of literary endeavour. One could even argue that this happened quite some time ago, with the benchmark publishing event that was Alan Moore’s Watchmen (1986). Comics had long been threatening to make the leap of legitimacy into the publishing mainstream, and Moore’s unashamedly adult opus was the perfect platform for DC comics to m ... (read more)

Chris Flynn 'See You at the Toxteth: The best of Cliff Hardy and Corris on crime' by Peter Corris, selected by Jean Bedford, and 'The Red Hand: Stories, reflections and the last appearance of Jack Irish' by Peter Temple

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
Two of the greatest Australian crime writers died within six months of each other in 2018. Peter Temple authored nine novels, four of which featured roustabout Melbourne private detective Jack Irish, and one of which, Truth, won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2010. Temple died on 8 March 2018, aged seventy-one. Peter Corris was more prolific, writing a staggering eighty-eight books across hi ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'Maybe the Horse Will Talk' by Elliot Perlman

December 2019, no. 417 22 November 2019
Elliot Perlman’s fourth novel is tentatively billed as a corporate satire and has a striking opening line: ‘I am absolutely terrified of losing a job I absolutely hate.’ The man in this all-too-familiar predicament is Stephen Maserov, a former English teacher turned lawyer. Maserov is a lowly second year in the Terry Gilliam-esque law firm Freely Savage Carter Blanche, which, apart from soun ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'Hollow Earth' by John Kinsella

October 2019, no. 415 25 September 2019
Astronomer Edmond Halley (also known as Edmund, debate still rages over which spelling he preferred) may be best known for the comet that passes through our solar system once every seventy-five to seventy-six years (next sighting due in 2061, set a reminder in your iCal), but in 1692 he proposed an intriguing theory: that the Earth was hollow. Halley suggested that the surface of the planet upon ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'Being Various: New Irish short stories' edited by Lucy Caldwell

September 2019, no. 414 27 August 2019
Playwright and author Lucy Caldwell raises the issue of national identity early in her introduction to this long-running anthology series. She grew up in Belfast but lives in London. Her children sing Bengali nursery rhymes and celebrate Eid. She holds two passports, neither of which adequately captures who she is. ‘I feel apologetic and fraudulent to varying degrees, depending on who I’m wit ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews 'Minotaur' by Peter Goldsworthy

August 2019, no. 413 12 July 2019
Halfway through Minotaur, Peter Goldsworthy’s jauntily satisfying novel about a sharp-tongued former motorcycle cop blinded by a bullet to the head, Detective Sergeant Rick Zadow gropes his way to a shed behind his Adelaide cottage. Inside lies a partially dismantled 1962 Green Frame Ducati 750SS. Zadow, who had begun disassembling the crankshaft prior to his injury, fumbles round in the dark as ... (read more)

Chris Flynn reviews '55' by James Delargy, 'River of Salt' by Dave Warner, 'Comeback' by Lindsay Tanner, and 'Under the Midnight Sky' by Anna Romer

May 2019, no. 411 21 April 2019
The plethora of crime stories is such that, in order to succeed, they must either follow a well-trodden narrative path and do so extremely well, or run with a high concept and hope for the best. Having the word ‘girl’ in the title doesn’t hurt. Readers are familiar with genre tropes, to the point of being high-functioning literary detectives, ready to sniff out lapses in logic and to scream ... (read more)
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