The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

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

Write to re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au.

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