Alex O'Brien

Australia is a country that will not be intimidated by its own decency. On 28 August 2001, as a detail of Special Air Services soldiers was dispatched to MV Tampa, Prime Minister John Howard spoke about the 438 people – mostly Afghan Hazaras – who languished aboard the freighter ...

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Alex O'Brien reviews 'Mr Snack and the Lady Water'

Alex O'Brien
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Much travel is unpleasant (with over-expectations, too many tourists, and long distances from Australia), but even the sedentary or timorous persist with it in some ‘misguided duty to culture’, as Brendan Shanahan describes in his first collection of essays, Mr Snack and the Lady Water. Assembling journeys from the mid-1990s until now, Shanahan reco ...

‘Death has a dual character,’ Zadie Smith writes in her novel The Autograph Man (2002); ‘it seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time’. Popular culture is currently awash with cookery programs and diet fads, yet the lives of animals, and the industries that deal in their deaths, have never been more absent from city life. It seems reas ...

Weary of the standard Hollywood pap, Samuel Goldwyn reportedly told his writers, ‘Let’s have some new clichés.’ In Reframe: How to Solve the World’s Trickiest Problems, his first book, Eric Knight sets about recasting corporate culture’s platitude to ‘think outside the box’. ...

Matt Granfield: HipsterMattic

Alex O'Brien
Friday, 20 January 2012

Infinitely cooler

Alex O’Brien

 

HipsterMattic
by Matt Granfield
Allen & Unwin, $24.99 pb, 320 pp, 9781742377858

 

In the past, a twenty-something could exemplify le dernier cri without having to dispense with his bicycle gears, reflecto ...