Maybe the lazy old ■■■■■■■ should have spent time finishing the actual series without giving additional info that (whilst it might be good) is essentially holding up him completing things


I see they’re filming The Dry in February with Eric Bana in the lead as Aaron Falk.


She does.


I saw that. I think he’ll be good. I hope they do it well.


Well I’ve now finished Milkman and it was outstanding. The end was not as grim as I had feared, although you wouldn’t for a moment call it happy. I have no doubt that I could never have read it in print: the prose is too dense and complex for a skippy reader like me. But read by Brid Brennan it is not only intelligible but compelling. I’m in awe of the intelligence and hard work that she’s used to sort out the rhythms and complexities of the text, so that it makes sense and the narrative becomes clear. I don’t think I would like to have been born into that particular Catholic community in the no-go area of Belfast at the height of the Troubles.


I’d be interested to hear it being read aloud. There’s a bit of Burns reading an extract herself somewhere on the net but I couldn’t find it again. The text has that authentic rough edged lilt of natural discourse, with its hesitations and curious syntax and flights of humour and whimsy, and unlike many I was enchanted with the regular excursions away from the central narrative which always seemed to fit back seamlessly. Such a shame she hasn’t written for so long, her publisher must be cursing there’s no ready to go follow up novel.
A personal observation, I hope it’s never made into a movie.


I don’t think you can say a movie would necessarily be bad. I would have thought Catch-22 was unfilmable, but in fact I think it’s an excellent film. Mike Nichols, who made it and was a great director, had the sense not to be bound slavishly to the text and the intelligence to discern and capture its spirit. In the hands of the right person I think Milkman could be done well. But “the right person” is hard to find and I fully agree that it could be a disaster.


I loved Heller’s debut novel, which some cruel critics suggested would preferably have been his last, and I’ll agree to disagree with you on the merits of the film adaptation.


Finished Reilly’s 3 Secret Cities. To be honest it’s good. Easy to read however at times he uses fragmented details in a few areas and therefore new readers maybe lost on jokes, or at times, significant parts of characterisation in particular if readers haven’t read Reilly’s other novels. If he wrote perhaps 50 pages longer it would make for an excellent read. Overall though he knows how to pump out the action sequences and regular readers on occasions will laugh, be surprised and even have a tear in their eye. It will be awhile until 2 and 1 are released, so another stand alone book may be a next release in the short term future.


Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout” is one of those books which has a plot but isn’t too fussed about fleshing it out, preferring to use it as a springboard for a series of often funny set pieces and sharp droll comments on race in the USA. The main character is an amiable African American market gardener in urban LA of all places who is also a segregationist slave owner - yes, he is the hero we cheer on. Of course it’s high satire, I think, and the author is black, because he sure as hell wouldn’t get away with most of the story if he wasn’t, sort of like the gobsmacking material only the late great standup, Patrice O’Neal could get away with.
I enjoyed most of it and it’s screamingly funny in places.
PS It could do with a glossary.


Read a similarly themed prize-winning novel a couple of years ago.
It was friggin’ lame.

Same book!


I started a book that’s been getting some positive reviews recently. November Road by Lou Berney. Another twist on the JFK assassination.

Frank Guidry is a fixer for a New Orleans mobster. When he hears about the assassination, he realises he delivered the getway car for the hitman (not Oswald) a week or so before, and in all likelihood, he will be silenced, and heads for Vegas by road.

On the other side, a woman in Oklahoma has finally realised her husband is never going to give up the drink, and legs it to Los Angeles with the two little girls.

Her car breaks down and they join up, with the mob cleanup man hot on their heels. The mob’s tentacles are long, indeed.

Well written.


I’m a bit behind the times but just discovered both Peter Temple and Peter Corris died last year, 2, dare I say, giants of Oz crime fiction. Sad losses.


Sounds good.
A little Two Handsy.


Temple I think was first class. Corris a good solid performer. Both much missed.


The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson, what a read. Partway through the sequel (The Monster Baru Cormorant) and its great.


I just finished Richard Glover’s Land Before Avocado talking about those halcyon days of Australia in the 1970’s.

It’s good for those of us who are old enough to remember the 70’s.

He came to the conclusion that the only thing better was the music.

Scarifies a lot of old delusions, but particularly the food.


Now onto Gary Disher’s latest Wyatt caper, Kill Shot.


Kill Shot is also the name of one of Elmore Leonard’s. A pretty good one as I recall.


I think they filmed it as a B-Movie. Though, to be fair, if Elmore Leonard wrote it, there’s a fair chance it was filmed. Thrillers (eg Get Shorty, Jackie Brown) or Westerns (3.10 to Yuma).’’

From memory, EL’s may have been witness protection based south of St Louis…Thomas Jane in the lead.