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Simon Caterson

Simon Caterson

Simon Caterson is a Melbourne-based writer whose first contribution to ABR appeared in 2001.

Simon Caterson reviews 'Mannix' by Brenda Niall

April 2015, no. 370 25 March 2015
With her long-awaited life of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, Brenda Niall, one of Australia’s leading biographers, has conquered a subject that for decades she regarded as compelling yet ‘intractable’. ‘As a presence (I wouldn’t claim such a remote and magisterial being as a neighbour) Daniel Mannix was part of my childhood,’ Niall recalls. She grew up in the once largely Irish suburb of Ke ... (read more)

Simon Caterson reviews 'The Rich: From slaves to super-yachts, a 2,ooo-year history' by John Kampfner

March 2015, no. 369 02 March 2015
Just how different are the rich from everyone else? F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in a 1926 short story that they are ‘soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. ... (read more)

Simon Caterson reviews 'Melbourne: City of words' by John McLaren

October 2013, no. 355 30 September 2013
To judge by John McLaren’s thought-provoking survey of 200 years of writing about Melbourne, the city’s most insidious negative feature for many observers – wrong-headed though they may be – is dullness. In George Johnston’s My Brother Jack (1964), the narrator David Meredith rails against the suburbs as ‘worse than slums. They betrayed nothing of anger or revolt or resentment; they la ... (read more)

Simon Caterson reviews 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' by John le Carre

June 2013, no. 352 01 June 2013
In describing the enduring cultural impact of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – published fifty years ago and often nominated as the best spy novel ever written – a good place to start, strange though it may sound, is James Bond. John le Carré’s squalid yet subtle world of Cold War spies may appear antithetical to the glamorous fantasy of Bond. But it is clear from the last three Bond fil ... (read more)
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