IN­FEC­TIOUS

FRANK BOWDEN (NEWSOUTH, $30)

North & South - - Review -

A tour of a tiny rogue’s gallery – what the au­thor, an in­fec­tious dis­eases physi­cian at Can­berra Hos­pi­tal, calls sim­ply “bugs”. From Lyme dis­ease to the dif­fer­ence be­tween a cold and the flu, Bowden writes with such self-dep­re­cat­ing Aussie charm you will hardly no­tice that these thought­ful yarns – many of them in­volv­ing the writer’s own long-suf­fer­ing fam­ily – may prove use­ful, too. The chap­ter on head lice is typ­i­cally hi­lar­i­ous and in­struc­tive. Hav­ing moved to Eng­land, Bowden de­scribes vis­it­ing a lo­cal phar­macy to pick up an arm­load of lice so­lu­tion: “‘That will be nine pounds,’ said the woman be­hind the counter, look­ing at the heads of the two chil­dren who ac­com­pa­nied me. ‘Ter­ri­ble things, these nits,’ I said, shak­ing my head. ‘Never had them be­fore un­til we came over here.’ ‘Yes we have, Daddy,’ said my son as I handed over the 10-pound note.” Of­ten funny, some­times tragic, al­ways sur­pris­ing. JENNY NI­CHOLLS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.