About a third of the way into Simon Cleary’s Closer to Stone, all of the preceding distinctively phrased metaphors and similes, all of the fragrant, lucid imagery – along with some that is rather less than lucid: how, exactly, does one pick up a drink and take a ‘deep sip’? – begin to meld into a compelling whole. Narrator Bas Adams, scouring the immense unknown of the Sahara Desert in s ... (read more)
Dean Biron teaches in the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University. Hewas co-winner of the 2011 Calibre Essay Prize.
Peter Corris’s Comeback, the thirty-ninth or some such book in his Cliff Hardy series, is yet another to be plucked from the apparently bottomless ocean that is the crime fiction genre. Ageing private detective Hardy – as adept with his fists as he is tactful with the ladies – skulks around a Sydney crammed with scabrous cops, fat-cat entrepreneurs, hired muscle, slinky prostitutes, and myri ... (read more)
October 2011, no. 335 • 27 September 2011
As with all such collections, this issue of Meanjin mixes the inspired with the modest, the fascinating with the mediocre. That is of no consequence: in this fraught cultural age, all that matters is that journals like Meanjin survive and provide a forum for both established and aspiring writers. ... (read more)
Diego Maradona is the greatest football player I have ever seen, but as a coach he sits somewhere between a comic opera and a train wreck. Philip Larkin was one of Britain’s finest poets, but to read his music criticism is to wish someone had heaved his typewriter into the nearest river. Ronald Reagan qualified as an A-grade B-movie actor, yet as president – the biggest acting role on the plan ... (read more)
In February 1878 in Marseilles, France, Józef Teodor Konrad Nałęcz Korzeniowski, a twenty-year-old Polish seafarer tormented by depression, lifted a revolver to his chest and pulled the trigger. The suicide attempt failed: the bullet, whether by chance or design, penetrated the young man’s body without disrupting any vital organ. Korzeniowski recovered quickly and, only a few weeks later, too ... (read more)