Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

January-February 2024, no. 461

January-February 2024, no. 461

ABR’s annual double issue is packed with summer-reading features. To complement our Books of the Year feature (December issue), Australia’s top arts critics nominate 2023’s outstanding productions. Kevin Foster doesn’t pull his punches on David McBride’s whistleblower memoir, Emma Dortins reviews Kate Fullagar’s innovative biography of Bennelong and Arthur Phillip, and Frank Bongiorno considers Raimond Gaita’s tangle with life’s big questions. Gordon Pentland takes on Theresa May and Stuart Kells eyes Qantas. Ebony Nilsson unearths ASIO files to reveal ordinary lives and Peter Edwards considers political interference in official military histories. We review new fiction from Lucy Treloar, Max Easton, and Sigrid Nunez. As always, the summer issue features the five poems shortlisted in this year’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize.


Full Contents


An Unlikely Prisoner by Sean Turnell

Australian History

Bennelong & Phillip: A history unravelled by Kate Fullagar

Literary Studies

James Joyce by Gabrielle Carey

Science and Technology

The Best Australian Science Writing 2023 edited by Donna Lu


Shakespeare: The man who pays the rent by Judi Dench with Brendan O’Hea


Ian Fleming: The complete man by Nicholas Shakespeare


The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez


Paradise Estate by Max Easton


Lies and Sorcery by Elsa Morante, translated by Jenny McPhee

Young Adult Fiction

Burn by Melanie Saward & We Didn’t Think It Through by Gary Lonesborough


Sunbirds by Mirandi Riwoe


Death in the Sauna by Dennis Altman


Prickly Moses: Poems by Simon West


parallel equators by Nathan Shepherdson & camping underground by Greg McLaren

Critic of the Month

An interview with Catriona Menzies-Pike

by Australian Book Review

Schoenberg: Why he matters by Harvey Sachs