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Mark Gomes

Mark Gomes
Mark Gomes is a former Deputy Editor of ABR. He has written art criticism for publications including Australian Art Collector, Photofile, Broadsheet and Brisbane’s Courier-Mail.

Mark Gomes reviews ‘The Death of Bunny Munro’ by Nick Cave

September 2009, no. 314 01 September 2009
Although Nick Cave’s second novel makes strong claim to the musician’s skills as a writer, in the end it is too morally opaque to succeed as a work of sustained fiction. There is an overwhelming didacticism to The Death of Bunny Munro that delights too much in its own surety to be persuasive, and leads to a disappointing suspicion that, despite Cave’s renown as a populist intellectual, there ... (read more)

Mark Gomes reviews 'Billy Thorpe’s Time On Earth' by Jason Walker

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
Billy Thorpe’s story is the perennial one of an Australian artist dissatisfied with domestic success. In this account of the late pop star’s career, Jason Walker bypasses discussion of Thorpe’s music per se to present him as ‘truly Australian … a battler, a doer [and] a self-promoter’ who lusted for international recognition. While it vividly recounts Thorpe’s life (1946–2007), inc ... (read more)

Mark Gomes reviews 'Mother of Rock: The Lillian Roxon story' by Robert Milliken

April 2010, no. 320 01 April 2010
Mother of Rock is an Australian journalist’s adoring biography of one of our great social journalists. Sydney newsman Robert Milliken’s life of expatriate writer Lillian Roxon (1932–73) is foremost an account of the birth of celebrity tabloid press in the 1960s and its close links with the emergence of rock music as an art form and breeding ground for ‘stars’. Like Roxon’s writing itse ... (read more)

Mark Gomes reviews 'The Boys' by Andrew Frost

September 2010, no. 324 01 September 2010
Suburban crime narratives featured in many Australian films in the 1990s, partly due to the influence of director Rowan Woods’s film The Boys, which drew inspiration from the ‘kitchen sink’ cinema of 1960s Britain. Twelve years after its theatrical release, this seminal film – based on the play by Gordon Graham and written for the screen by Stephen Sewell – remains the best example of an ... (read more)

Mark Gomes reviews 'Brisbane' by Matthew Condon

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
Novelist Gilbert Parker’s appraisal of Brisbane, penned during his visit in 1889 and quoted by Matthew Condon in this new, impressionistic history of the city, is not one that Condon wants to repeat, yet is powerless to refute: ‘Brisbane is not the least poetical … There is a sense of disappointment, which grows deeper as the sojourn in the capital is continued.’ Condon, a journalist with ... (read more)

What is a blog?

From the Editor’s Desk 19 March 2012
In his Seymour Biography Lecture ‘Pushing against the Dark: Writing about the Hidden Self’, repeated at Adelaide Writers’ Week and soon to be published in ABR’s April issue, Robert Dessaix (struggling to appreciate the new genre) likens the intimacy of blog-writing to that of striptease. Dessaix is right, of course, to observe that much blog-writing is artless and does not achieve, or war ... (read more)

Mark Gomes reviews 'Jack and Jill' by Helen Hodgman

October 2011, no. 335 27 September 2011
Australian author Helen Hodgman depicts writing and domestic love as apotheoses of self-annihilation. In Jack and Jill (1978) – Hodgman’s second novel and the second to be reissued by Text Publishing this year, after Blue Skies (1976) – literary imagination acts as a sexual Strangling Fig, and childbearing poses a threat to psychic wherewithal. Mind and body, this stylish short work suggests ... (read more)

Mark Gomes reviews '1001 Australian Nights' by Dave Graney

April 2011, no. 330 24 March 2011
Rock music does not usually accommodate the likes of Dave Graney. Few Australian performers have been as resilient, and few have presented as many ideas in song form. While his contemporaries – Nick Cave, Tex Perkins, Robert Forster, and the late Grant McLennan – have not strayed far from blueprints forged during the late 1970s, Graney’s music and writing have undergone striking reinvention ... (read more)