Pan Macmillan

Not many people create an archive. For almost thirty years, Phillip Maisel led the testimonies project at Melbourne’s Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC). Maisel’s memoir is his story of surviving the Holocaust and becoming ‘the keeper of miracles’.

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These three Young Adult novels differ wildly in tone, execution – even their grasp on reality. Georgina Young’s début novel, Loner (Text Publishing, $24.99 pb, 256 pp), won the Text Prize for an unpublished Young Adult manuscript in 2019, and was a deserving winner. Text has decided to market it as adult fiction, but it works well as a crossover novel. Her protagonist, twenty-year-old Lona (does not sound like loner!).

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The first thing one notices about Jaclyn Moriarty’s Gravity Is the Thing is its narrative voice: distinctive, almost stylised. Exclamation marks, emphasised words in italics, a staccato rhythm, and clever comments in parentheses add up to a writing style sometimes deemed quirky ...

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Peter Porter's posthumous collection of poems, Chorale at the Crossing, is preoccupied, understandably, with death – but death was a central preoccupation of his work from the beginning. How could it not be? He lost his mother at the age of nine.

Porter's two Collected Poems (1983 and 1999) were – are – stupendous, exuberant treasure- ...

Fiona Wood’s second novel addresses a theme that is common in Young Adult fiction: the loss of innocence. Wildlife, a cleverly composed coming-of-age novel, introduces the reader to the world of Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education campus at Mount Fairweather. Although it revisits the character of Lou from Wood’s début novel, Six Impossible Things (2010), Wildlife is an absorbing, stand-alone book.

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he Blood Countess is the latest novel by author and media identity Tara Moss. The book promises to be the first in a series about Pandora English, a fashion journalist who socialises with the undead ... 

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Empires are out of fashion. The idea of one people ruling over another has had its day. The mention of any empire – with the possible exception of the Roman one, for which people still have a certain fondness – will almost invariably meet with deprecating comments, even derision ...

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The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer by Paul Barry & Who Killed Channel 9? by Gerald Stone

by
November 2007, no. 296

Until recently, more Australians got their news and information from Channel Nine than from any other single source. For nearly thirty years, what Gerald Stone describes as ‘Kerry Packer’s mighty tv dream machine’ was the dominant force in Australian media and popular culture. Channel Nine was, as its promos used to say, ‘The One’.

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The only organised crime boss I ever knew was Perce Galea, in the mid1970s. He owned illegal casinos and raced thoroughbreds. ‘Colourful racing identity’, the polite broadsheets called him. My dad raced horses too and would go to Randwick at dawn to watch them work. I’d tag along on Saturdays and there Perce would be – Windsor-knotted tie, brown cashmere long-coat, and porkpie hat – straight from his gambling dens without having gone to bed. That impressed me. Every second word he used was ‘fuck’, and no one stopped him. That impressed me too. ‘He never swears in front of women,’ my mother would say. She called him a ‘thorough gentleman’. I liked standing next to him. I told everyone at school that I knew a crime boss. Perce told me to ‘piss off’ with a wink once, so he could talk business. When I didn’t, he gave me $5 and said ‘Scram’. You must have heard of Perce. He’s famous for having thrown a fistful of bills into the crowd when his horse Eskimo Prince won the Golden Slipper in 1964. He was a natural PR man for the vice trade.

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Dave Warner, one-time singer and satirist, has been at work as a detective story writer for a few years now, penning long excoriations of West Australia Inc. style shenanigans and, according to reports, working pretty much in the shadow of that L.A. master (with all his fizz and stammer and sparkle), the great James Ellroy.

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