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Jay Daniel Thompson

Jay Daniel Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Professional Communication at RMIT University.

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Trip' by George Papaellinas

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
The Trip is what happens when Ancient Greek mythology is mixed with Australian history. In a breezy 175 pages, George Papaellinas provides a rewriting of Homer’s Odyssey. He also revisits various highlights (and lowlights) from our country’s past. The result is an amusing and highly idiosyncratic read. Papaellinas’s novel is narrated by the god Odysseus, or ‘Oddy’, as he is commonly kno ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Arts Of Publication: Scholarly publishing in Australia and beyond' by Lucy Neave, James Connor and Amanda Crawford (eds)

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
The ‘publish or perish’ mantra is familiar to all academics and postgraduate researchers. Arts of Publication is aimed at these readers. The text emerged from a 2004 symposium on academic publishing, and sheds considerable light on this fascinating and frustrating field. In the foreword, John Byron declares that an important challenge facing scholarly writers is to ‘ensure that their work g ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson review 'Stamping Ground: Stories Of The Northern Suburbs Of Melbourne' edited by Gordon Thompson

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
I have lived in Melbourne’s northern suburbs for almost a decade. I am also an aficionado of Australian literature. Thus, I was interested to read Stamping Ground, a collection of writings about my favourite side of the Yarra River. In a brisk 159 pages, readers are transported from Northcote Plaza to the gardens of Thornbury and the traffic-congested streets of Brunswick and Preston. There are ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Where I Slept' by Libby Angel

July 2023, no. 455 27 June 2023
Where I Slept opens with an ending. The nameless narrator, a twenty-something woman, is leaving her rural hometown and the boarding house where she lived, for new adventures in the big smoke – but not before daubing ‘sentimentality is the enemy of truth’ on the front gate of her soon-to-be former university. That proverb proves prophetic as the narrator establishes a new life in Melbourne’ ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Black Dust Dancing' by Tracy Crisp

June 2009, no. 312 01 June 2009
The front cover of Black Dust Dancing depicts the silhouette of a child playing on swings against the backdrop of a blood-red sky. This image suggests the suspense and dread that is missing from the novel, which is, for the most part, slow and uneventful.  Dancing, set in a rural South Australian town, opens with young mother Heidi becoming puzzled by her son Zac’s sudden ill health. This ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Overland 195' edited by Jeff Sparrow

July-August 2009, no. 313 01 July 2009
The key theme of Overland 195 seems to be crisis. The contributors to this edition of the journal address the ‘global financial crisis’, as well as various other moments of tension and unrest in Australia’s present and past. The journal opens with Germaine Greer’s essay on Kevin Rudd. Greer argues that Rudd’s contribution to the February 2009 issue of The Monthly focused heavily on the ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Marlo' by Jay Carmichael and 'My Heart Is a Little Wild Thing' by Nigel Featherstone

August 2022, no. 445 28 July 2022
At first glance, neither Marlo nor My Heart Is a Little Wild Thing seemed particularly appealing. Both focus on queer men pining for love in a homophobic world. Both appeared to recycle what Jay Carmichael (Marlo’s author) calls ‘the tradition of tragedy in queer literature’. Digging deeper, we find that the novels offer nuanced and even uplifting perspectives on gay male experience over the ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Son of Sin' by Omar Sakr

May 2022, no. 442 23 April 2022
The first thing readers will notice about Son of Sin is the snake coiled across the front cover, its inky scales contrasting with the hot pink background, at once disquieting and strangely beautiful. This striking image sets the tone for the rest of the novel, which is the prose début for Sydney poet and social commentator Omar Sakr. The text provides a disarmingly frank perspective on sexuality, ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Tribute' by John Byron

August 2021, no. 434 22 July 2021
The Tribute begins with a corpse. And not just any corpse. This body is discovered in a Sydney terrace house with its organs removed. One detective describes the crime as ‘butchery’, and that’s an understatement. This murder is the work of Stephen Porter, a deceptively bland chap who uses his bank job to secure the schedules and addresses of victims. These victims are then dissected as ‘tr ... (read more)