John Bryson

John Bryson has tried to solve one of Australia’s great mysteries – how Azaria Chamberlain died. The cover of Evil Angels gives the clue to his answer. A bruise-coloured sky glowers over a stark, orange-brown desert. There is the twisted relic of a tree in the foreground and in front of it, like a spreading puddle of blood, the shadow of a dingo, its eyes on an evil slant.

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Making the sea passage south to Flinders Island, I began reading this while off-watch, hoping book and destination might augment, but tough weather cancelled free time until after a landfall sleep. I’ve not much enjoyed histories which cast these manuka and granite islands in dismal role, they are shockingly beautiful, but the crowded cemetery wails, the old lath church is empty of joyful song, and the rule of Commandant Jeanneret recalls similar miseries of bonded Malay and Bantamese on Cocos.

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In Richard Beasley’s third novel, a friendship between three boys ends violently, and one of them is tragic-ally implicated. The lives of the young teenagers – Jake, Robbie, and Rory – are filled out with street football, driveway cricket, billycarts, fishing trips, slingshot target practice, and the comedy of flatulence. Their world is Rose Avenue durin ...

'Kindly Death', a new story by John Bryson

John Bryson
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A visitation of Kindly Death is recorded by the Law List in a glass cabinet beside the sandstone doorway of Court Four in the City Courthouse, the sole item for the day’s business, and for many days:

Trial: R v Ali Bashir. (1) Murder (2) Assist Suicide.

The second count, rather than the first, is the reason f ...