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Ben Smith

Ben Smith

Ben Smith teaches academic and professional writing at Flinders University, South Australia. He holds a PhD in creative writing and is currently working on a true crime book about undercover policing and corruption in 1980s Queensland, which has been made possible with the assistance of a grant provided by Arts SA.

Ben Smith reviews 'The Night Dragon' by Matthew Condon

September 2019, no. 414 29 July 2019
In 2013, Matthew Condon published Three Crooked Kings, the first in his true crime series delving into the murky, sordid, and often brutal world of police corruption in Queensland.  That year, he wrote in Australian Book Review that, after finishing his trilogy,  he planned to ‘swan dive into the infinitely more comfortable genre of fiction’.  The story of disgraced ex-commissi ... (read more)

Ben Smith reviews 'Meatloaf in Manhattan' by Robert Power

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
‘Buffalo Bill and the Psychiatrist’, ‘The Story of Little-Path and Marcus Kellogg’, ‘Zorro the Chess Master’: the playful titles of Power’s stories appear to belie the seriousness of his concerns. There is light and whimsy in this collection, but how much lies beneath the surface? Power’s stories skip from Papua to digital worlds, the Wild West to contemporary Melbourne. For all t ... (read more)

Ben Smith reviews 'The Secret Maker of the World' by Abbas El-Zein

April 2014, no. 360 28 March 2014
‘Fields of Vision’, the first story of Abbas El-Zein’s collection, introduces us to a world in which tragedy is swift and often arbitrary, and if not arbitrary, at least stems from motivations so obscure as to appear so. The sniper protagonist of this story, perched atop his Beirut rooftop, picks off citizens at random, revelling in his having ‘a place in their lives’. He sits outside so ... (read more)