How lucky we were! My ‘baby boomer’ generation in Melbourne grew up on stories of the second Frank Thring (1926–94), which competed in outrageousness with the anecdotes we heard of Barry Humphries; and throughout the 1960s we had the opportunity – more so in the case of Thring, who had now settled back in Melbourne as a regular performer on stage and television, as Humphries began his lifelong commute to London – to catch both of these not-so-sacred monsters in the flesh and on their own home turf. (As I asked of the females of this species in a previous article in ABR – ‘Mordant Mots’, September 2007 – what is it about Melbourne that has produced such bizarre and brilliant creatures?)
An expert dual biography
The Two Frank Thrings
by Peter Fitzpatrick
Monash University Publishing, $49.95 hb, 573 pp, 9781921867248
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April 2019, no. 410
• Hypocrisy in the Vatican in Frédéric Martel's new book
• Alecia Simmonds on misogyny and malice in Married at First Sight
• Paul Giles on Gerald Murnane's revised novel A Season on Earth
• Andrea Goldsmith's new book Invented Lives
• Sheila Fitzpatrick on Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill in The Kremlin Letters
March 2019, no. 409
• The 2019 Peter Porter Poetry Prize shortlist
• Behrouz Boochani's new poem 'Flight from Manus'
• Dominic Kelly on MUP and the resilience of non-fiction publishing
• Ian Tyrrell on Progressive New World by Marilyn Lake
• Susan Sheridan on a memoir of Wake in Fright author Kenneth Cook