OFF THE RECORD
Craig Sherborne / Text Publishing / $30
Callum “Words” Smith is not a very likeable character. An ex-newspaper journalist working for sensationalist website Pry, he knows all the dirty tricks. Petty and mean-spirited, he uses the few friends he has left to enhance his career. He cheats on his wife. Then, when she throws him out, he tricks his son into spying on her, before dobbing in her new boyfriend for being a tax cheat. He’s a bastard, pure and simple. But there’s always a bigger bastard. So when Words gets his comeuppance, it comes as little surprise. Things fall apart but this leopard doesn’t change his spots. Taking pot shots at tabloid journalism “ethics” and male vanity, Off the Record is a clever if somewhat contrived satire.