ANNA Clark’s Forum column on Australian history ( Review , April 5- 6), takes me back to the days at high school when we were told about the discovery of this continent. What I am reading now and wish we had then are books such as Gerald Stone’s 1932 that encapsulate a period of dramatic change in the way we lived and present it with some verve and meaning. I believe we need to pinpoint moments in time and engulf the student in the drama of the moment. This business of James Cook sailing up the coast and into Botany Bay is shut- eye stuff. Peter Carruth Port Macquarie, NSW BARRY Oakley’s review of Eli Gottlieb’s thriller Now You See Him ( Review , April 5- 6) struck a chord. How often does the discriminating reader or former English teacher long to pull out the red pen and ‘‘ de- purple’’ modern prose. Much has been said about the literary crime genre. Sure, most of us want the hero to be more than a gun- toting good guy. Nor am I suggesting a return to the staccato style of Raymond Chandler. But, unfortunately, some writers have confused depth of observation and breadth of vision with mere wordiness. Elli Housden Bardon, Queensland FURTHER to Kerrie Murphy’s excellent article on the art of the broadcast hoax ( Review , March 29- 30), may I add a classic by Wayne Roberts, former 4BC breakfast announcer? This was in the era of the Deen brothers, who demolished many Brisbane landmarks under the cloak of darkness. Roberts sadly reported in 1986 that the Breakfast Creek Hotel had also been demolished. I vividly recall I was incensed while driving to work. I believe that it took police many hours to restore order to Breakfast Creek traffic. John English Red Hill, Queensland I DOUBT whether James Wood is as widely feared a critic as John Freeman claims ( Review, April 5- 6). The New York Times’s chief literary critic Michiko Kakutani once reduced Norman Mailer to incandescent rage. One of his milder epithets described her as a ‘‘ one- woman kamikaze’’ Mike Fogarty Weston, ACT HAS Jane Fraser’s column Last Look become a public relations plug for World Youth Day? Where are the puns of her past? David Crommelin Strathfield, NSW DAVID Prater’s Forum ( Review , March 29- 30) on vanity publishing did not mention writers who direct their work to a specific group. I write fiction for adolescents with learning difficulties. After contacting many publishers, who said the books were wellwritten, they said the market was not big enough for them to be published. As a result I have had to create my own publishing house. So all is not necessarily vanity. Marcia Hiatt Boronia, Victoria
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