The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books - ROSE­MARY SORENSE N

THE hy­acinth ma­caw, as we all know, is the largest fly­ing par­rot, a very big bird in­deed. Mag­nif­i­cent of plumage, also. This is what one dis­cov­ers when one goes look­ing for in­for­ma­tion about the fel­low who will chair Bri­tain ’ s

Man Booker Prize judg­ing panel in Michael Por­tillo , 2008. once a Tory politi­cian, is now best known for in­tro­duc­ing television doc­u­men­taries,

Let ’ s in­clud­ing one on the hy­acinth ma­caw. hope this does not lead to a flighty, even

year ’ s feath­er­brained, se­lec­tion for this

Anne Booker. You cer­tainly could not call En­right’ s

The Gath­er­ing , in­tense and in­ter­est­ing book that it is, a nutty choice for the 2007 prize. THE Marvel Comics peo­ple are de­vel­op­ing a ‘‘ new im­print de­voted to adapt­ing clas­sic

books ’’ . lit­er­a­ture into comic They say they want to take the clas­sics to the comics shop mar­ket and be­yond, but re­ally, what they’ re

do­ing is look­ing to ob­vi­ous sources for ad­ven­ture sto­ries:

The Last of the Mo­hi­cans , Trea­sure Is­land , The Three Mus­ke­teers are all be­com­ing part of this

Roy Marvel Il­lus­trated line of comics. Thomas,

mas­ter adapter with Marvel, told the mag­a­zine that he wants to do The Iliad

it ’ s ‘‘ be­cause his favourite work of lit­er­a­ture ’’ .

Great mon­sters is per­haps what he re­ally means.

Mar­garet LOVED the story about how Atwood,

Canada ’ s at­tend­ing Giller Prize din­ner last Novem­ber with her hus­band, packed her own food in a car­ry­bag as a protest against the Four Sea­sons ho­tel, where the din­ner was held. The ho­tel chain is in­volved in build­ing a big re­sort on Gre­nada on land that used to be a sanc­tu­ary. Atwood was called names and sneered at a bit, but she did what she wanted. The same thing hap­pened when

Sean Tay­lor chil­dren ’ s Bri­tish au­thor gave back his prize money in the Nes­tle Chil­dren ’ s

Book Prizes last month, in sup­port of a cam­paign group called Baby Milk Ac­tion, which says Nes­tle is putting ‘‘ health ’’

profit be­fore in­fant in its mar­ket­ing of breast milk sub­sti­tutes. Tay­lor ’ s book When a Mon­ster is Born is Nick Shar­ratt , il­lus­trated by who do­nated his half of the prize to char­ity. ‘‘ yet ’’

TIME for at least a few books is how Terry Pratch­ett an­nounced he had been

Alzheimer ’ s di­ag­nosed as hav­ing dis­ease, ap­par­ently in very early stages. The pro­lific au­thor of un­fet­tered fan­tasy will cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary this year of his Dis­c­world nov­els, and there will be much

‘‘ fan­fare. We will cover ev­ery pos­si­ble av­enue and tar­get es­tab­lished fans while

read­ers, ’’ draw­ing in new Transworld and

Chil­dren ’ s Ran­dom House Books says. One

we ’ ll day, with any luck, look at the buy­more- stuff ag­gres­sion of mar­ket­ing and say: Stop it. Mean­while, a new Pratch­ett novel,

Na­tion , is due in Septem­ber. TINTIN just will not go away. In Lon­don there’ s a re­vival of the stage mu­si­cal Tintin

Herge ’ s in Ti­bet , which was favourite story, ap­par­ently, and based on his friend­ship

Chang , with a man named whom he knew in the 1930s. Re­views have called the mu­si­cal thrilling and tan­ta­lis­ing, of­ten scary and even spir­i­tual, and it in­cludes not only Bud­dhist monks but also a yeti. And no, Over­flow did not have too much brandy

That ’ s in her Christ­mas pud­ding. all true.

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