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Jay Daniel Thompson

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

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Dark Horse' by Honey Brown

October 2013, no. 355 27 September 2013
D ark Horse is the latest book from Victorian author Honey Brown. The novel tells of lust and lies between two strangers who come together in an appropriately secluded rural location. Sarah Barnard has recently left an unhappy marriage, and is spending the Christmas period camping with her horse, Tansy. Sarah’s solitude is interrupted by the arrival of a man who calls himself Heath. Sarah is im ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Philosophy in the Garden' by Damon Young

September 2013, no. 354 27 August 2013
P hilosophy in the Garden is the latest book from philosopher and social commentator Damon Young. The text contributes to existing studies of the cultural and personal significance held by gardens. Young begins by noting that gardens ‘can console, calm and uplift’, as well as ‘discomfit and provoke’. This range of responses adds to the ‘philosophical value’ of these spaces. Young move ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Transactions' by Ali Alizadeh

July–August 2013, no. 353 27 June 2013
Transactions opens with a scene of duplicity and murder. In the following pages, Ali Alizadeh plunges readers into a ‘whirlpool of greed and apathy’. The collection revolves around an assortment of men and women from different parts of the world. We encounter Anna Heinesen, a Danish charity founder who is revealed to be a sex trafficker and religious zealot; Samia, a rich and racist Emirati st ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Year It All Fell Down' by Bob Ellis

July–August 2013, no. 353 27 June 2013
In The Year It All Fell Down, journalist Bob Ellis revisits 2011, a year that, as the title suggests, produced social and political change on a global scale. The text provides a month-by-month account of this dramatic time. Ellis covers the Queensland floods and the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. He describes the US-sanctioned execution of Osama bin Laden and the mass killings perpetrated by Ande ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Flower Between the Cracks' by Helen Sage

June 2013, no. 352 27 May 2013
A Flower Between the Cracks, South Australian writer Helen Sage’s first book, chronicles her experience of caring for a disabled child over a period of several years. Sage’s busy but comfortable life was changed irrevocably when her daughter, Jayne, was involved in a horrific car accident. Prior to this, Jayne had been a psychology honours student who loved ‘rock, blues, playing the piano’ ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Reluctant Rescuers: An exploration of the Australian Border Protection system’s safety record in detecting and intercepting asylum-seeker boats, 1998–2011' by Tony Kevin

May 2013, no. 351 28 April 2013
In Reluctant Rescuers, Tony Kevin addresses the rescue at sea of boat people who have entered Australian waters. He aims to provide a ‘fact-based analysis of a shadowy’ – and deeply controversial – ‘area of public policy’. Kevin begins by correcting the myth that ‘people smugglers’ are the ‘main culprits when people die at sea’. He investigates the border protection systems tha ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Speaking Secrets' by Sue Joseph

March 2013, no. 349 08 March 2013
In Speaking Secrets, academic and journalist Sue Joseph looks at what happens when sex becomes ‘public property’, and interviews a range of Australians who have had often traumatic sex and sexuality-related experiences aired to a wide audience through the media. Some of her interviewees are well known, others are not. Several discuss their experience of sexual abuse, either as a victim or as t ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Ghost Wife' by Michelle Dicinoski

March 2013, no. 349 06 March 2013
Ghost Wife is a timely text, given the recent debates about same-sex marriage. Michelle Dicinoski writes about travelling to Canada in 2005 to marry her girlfriend, Heather. The pair met while undertaking postgraduate studies in Queensland. By marrying, they wanted to make a ‘permanent record’ of their relationship. Dicinoski was wary that many gays and lesbians over the centuries have been r ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Darkest Little Room' by Patrick Holland

December 2012–January 2013, no. 347 29 November 2012
T he Darkest Little Room, Patrick Holland’s latest novel, looks at sexual slavery and obsession in South-East Asia. The protagonist is Joseph, an Australian reporter travelling in Vietnam. Intent on finding a beautiful woman glimpsed briefly, he receives word that she may be working in a brothel known as ‘the darkest little room’. In pursuing this lead, Joseph meets and falls in love with a ... (read more)