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Ben Eltham

Ben Eltham

Ben Eltham is New Matilda’s National Affairs Correspondent. Photograph: Dan Murphy

Ben Eltham reviews 'Born or Bred? Martin Bryant: The making of a mass murderer' by Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro

July-August 2009, no. 313 01 August 2009
Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro’s Born or Bred? Martin Bryant: The Making of a Mass Murderer is a tendentious and poorly written book about a fascinating topic. Riddled with clichés and full of baseless speculation, it displays neither great sensitivity nor penetrating insight. Despite the important subject matter, Wainwright and Totaro have written a shallow and dubious book. ... (read more)

Ben Eltham reviews 'Making News' by Tony Wilson

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
Making News is Tony Wilson’s second novel for adults. It is a romp over the fertile ground of tabloid media, celebrity sports stars and family crisis. Lucas Dekker is the bookish teenage son of Charlie Dekker, a high-profile Australian soccer star who has just retired from the English Premier League. Lucas’s mother, Monica, has graduated from footballer’s wife to bestselling self-help writer ... (read more)

Ben Eltham reviews 'After America' by John Birmingham

July–August 2010, no. 323 01 July 2010
John Birmingham’s After America is the second book in what is clearly intended to be a trilogy of page-turners – a follow-up to his Axis of Time trilogy, the swashbuckling alternative history which saw a US carrier battle group transported back in time to the middle of World War II. After America, the sequel to Without Warning (2009), is set in a decidedly dystopian alternative present, the r ... (read more)


October 2013, no. 355 27 September 2013
When I was a teenager, I attended a theatre workshop organised by Australian Theatre for Young People. Nick Enright, who led the workshop, told a story about seeing the opening-night production of David Williamson’s The Removalists (1971) from backstage. Twenty years on, Enright’s description of the look on the audience’s faces as they contemplated the grisly dénouement of Williamson’s pl ... (read more)

Ben Eltham reviews 'The Marmalade Files' by Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann

November 2012, no. 346 26 October 2012
The Marmalade Files is a novel by Canberra press gallery veterans Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann. Set in 2011, it is a fast-paced political thriller with decidedly modest ambitions. Probably intended as a thriller or a light-hearted romp through Canberra’s back rooms, The Marmalade Files fails on both counts. It is a sort of bastard potboiler, weirdly confused in its intentions and shackled by an ... (read more)

Ben Eltham reviews 'Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left' edited by Antony Lowenstein and Jeff Sparrow

September 2012, no. 344 28 August 2012
Few would suggest that global capitalism is in rude, unqualified, health. Greece has just voted on whether to stay in the Euro, global markets continue their rollercoaster trajectory, and millions of workers in advanced Western economies remain jobless. With much of the rich world halfway into a lost decade, capitalism is suffering another of the periodic and devastating crises that seem an inerad ... (read more)