Throw Granny off the Balcony and Other Short Stories

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Despite the fact that all of my work is grounded in history, it is primarily character driven. When I sat down to finish the book, the two main characters, Lazar and his nemesis turned helper, Mehmet, were already well drawn. Lazar, the army officer accused of war crimes is noble, austere, intellectual, rational on the one hand, and a cold, embittered, unloving —a man who has never had the courage to break from his past and live to his full potential, on the other.

Mehmet, is everything earthy, hard-living, scheming, amoral and less than savory, but good hearted underneath it all, as evidenced by his love for helpless animals.

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I adore his initial introduction, tattooed, hungover, and hopeless after a night of debauchery in a whorehouse. Robideaux, the cynical Amerindian journalist, and his feisty girlfriend, Marianne, established in DOA, put the events into perspective, but take on a secondary role in this story, along with Julian Fletcher, the defense attorney, and Adem, an Albanian and the primary witness. The only main character left, the Chief prosecutor of the ICTY, Marie-Claude Scherer, had to represent the West, the thrust of neo-liberalism into the world theater, ignorance coupled with ruthless ambition and a drive for dominance, the banality of evil, and feminism gone berserk in one bad ass bureaucratic package.

However, I wanted to stay away from anyone who is actually known, and used my own worst traits, as well as those belonging to the people who have irritated me most in life, to shape her. The book itself focuses on the nature of justice in a extremely morally compromised world and indicates where we might be headed as a global society in the future. I am a content creator and a website designer who creates big agency work without the overhead.

What I Do: I help small business owners stand out from the completion and get noticed. How I Do It: I provide website design, content creation, and social media management services. I help you establish a unique presence online and use that presence to dominate your local market. Get your copy of Last Summer here. While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.

Follow John: Twitter Website. Shit is reality TV. Lost… you get the drill. I edited that from the original post but forgot to edit it from the full fifty. After I wrote it I felt I was being shortsighted. So I cut it out. My bad.

On the other hand, I am glad you found it. It tells me readers are not just skimming down the list. When I finished it I was convinced I would never read anything better. I was wrong, of course. Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony is ok. Quite obviously I have a different taste in literature than yourself Cheers Diane. OK list. These will be the biggest WA stories to hit the big screen, exciting stuff….

What about the merrygoround by the sea. A wonderful piece of literature. Any thoughts?


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I think Hal Porter snuck in because most considered that a novel. I love A Fortunate Life and believe everyone should read it. No Morris West book included? Shoes of the Fisherman has never been out of print and is still considered to be the pope of all papal fiction!! It would be interesting to do a tally of some kind to see how many historical, how many about the outback etc are featured. I have a feeling Australian novelists have been accused of obsessing over human vs landscape as a theme.

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Which is interesting since most Australians live in cities. Echo the call for My Place. Just alerting any readers to my most recent novel which is set in Little Lon Is he writing the sequel because if it is half as good it will be brilliant. Surpising choices for Patrick White and Peter Malouf, but on the whole a great list.

How embarassing — I looked through the list again and saw that the getting of wisdom is included. Forgive my rashness! The media made it a bigger hit due to content and although the subject was a great choice, I felt the book was disappointing. Definitely not in the same league as other choices.

I both loved and hated The Slap. Many acquaintances were reading it at the same time, and there was much passionate debate and argument about the issues that Tsiolkas raised, the characters attitudes and behaviours, their origins. A great work of art is one that challenges the reader, creates unease and discomfort and this certainly did that. On an entirely different note I was delighted to see Kylie Tennant included in the Great list. I have read eleven of the entries and have three more on my shelves waiting. I will keep this list for reference, thank you for doing all that works for us.

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I agree, Gail Jones is fabulous. Hi Trish, I agree. I will be holding a new poll in the first days of January. Be sure to vote then. Thanks for your interest, John. Australian stories Tales From Oz. Diamond Dove — bright, breezy, dramatic and highly entertaining but surely not Top 50 material. Postage to the UK is expensive. We cut it down to the bare minimum but we are not able to influence rates freight companies charge us. That day will come. Year of Wonders is one for example. Books by Australian writers were chosen.

Australian writers have written wonderful books not set in Australia. I would not want to see them miss out being read because of that. We decided that only one book per author would be listed. Australian Contemporary Fiction - Underexposed! I have read 21 of these. Now it is time to get a move on and try some of those I have missed. Thanks for the list. Shame on the publishers for dropping The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony, one of the best Australian books of all time.

Great non-fiction book but novel! I have read Kal, Maralinga and Heritage.

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All books are a must read. If my mother had been more adventurous, I may have been an Aussie now. The Fatal Shore is missing on your list, which is a pity. You have to be kidding! Picnic at Hanging Rock as number two? The Book Thief only at number three? I love it, but thought hardly anyone else knew it. However there is no mention that this is one that would get the Janet Evanovich fans into Australian fivtion….

Magnificent book. Also Captivity Captive by Rodney Hall? Beautiful writing. New Tim Winton novel due in October Rod Usher. All great novels. Please get him listed next time. A long time ago a read a novel about a rancher -based all on his development of his ranch and family dynasty. It covers before and after WW1. Would love to read it again.

Its written in first person by the main character towards the end of his life from his hospital bed seeing all his family visitors and deciding who he should leave his property to- any suggestions? You must be referring to Cattleman by RS Porteous. I believe it was published in around , and is probably long out of print. My grandfather himself a grazier gave me Cattleman, and another Porteous novel, Brigadoon, to read when I was a child. R S Porteous wrote this one as well, about Qld cattle country before cactoblastis ate out all the prickly pear.

I love this book and re read it every year or so. Hope you find it at a library near you to enable you to read it again! Original and entertaining to read. One day I hope to be on this list. You could have replaced the first odd entries with Robert G. He was the Jimi Hendrix of Australian authors. Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! This list does not include any of my favourite Australian authors. I am so disappointed with this list. I consider myself an avid reader, and I read a lot of Australian stuff. Rather than be disappointed you should be so happy to have stumbled upon this list — so much more fantastic Aussie writing to read — along with other suggestions offered by those reacting to the list with further leads beyond the 50!

The biggest oversight seems to be a lack of indigenous writers, Sally Morgan, My Place for a start. Looking for an aboriginal coming of age story about a boy traversing the land looking for a spirit, finding it in a very small rock when he reaches the ocean. Heard the book read on the radio about — The reader I thought read it does not remember it.

AusReading Month November ipsofactodotme. Thanks for the list!

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Is Peter Carey a national treasure yet?! Glad to see Disco Boy made it to the list. Its a great contemporary read.


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Thanks for putting up the list, now i got lots more to read! I live in the Netherlands. I liked it much more than Praise. Definitely recommend it for those wanting a classic Australian read. Thoughts of my wife vibrated in my mind after I read it. I picked it up for 40p so I think it was a real bargain! I enjoyed reading this blog. Very informative. Interesting to peruse the list. Obviously I have some reading to do…. A Little Light Reading — Waterblogged.

I came across an Australian novel that seems to be rather a hidden away book. The overall love story is beautiful too! Janet Turner Hospital is a brilliant yet seriously neglected Australian novelist. Totally agree with your opinion of The Watcher on the Cast iron Balcony! I was fortunate enough to have had to study this in high school with a fabulous English teacher who brought the tales to life. Thank so much for this brilliant list. No negative comments from me. Gerald Brooks is a fabulous Sydney born writer. All her books are first class. Real Aussie outback romantic-crime novels must go to Bronwyn Parry.

Have read many and half to go. Looking forward to it. Can anyone tell me the name and author of same. The story was based in the Burke era of government. It seems unknown here in Australia, not in libraries, not in print. I think Fields of Fire was based on the cane fields of Quensland. Any thoughts please? Stellar list. Would have loved to have seen Randolph Stow and Chloe Hooper but hey.

Best wishes from Canada. Great list; I look forward to exploring these authors. I got here because I am trying to find the name of a book I read on vacation some years back. It was a huge, sprawling novel, with a unique protagonist POV: he defines himself immediately as someone who does not tell the truth. Unfortunately, that is all that I remember: that, and that I loved it.

Can any of you lovely people tell me what it might be? In the event of which, you have read nothing. Or if you have read it, then your literary tastes are constricted indeed. You must enjoy watching cookery shows on television. The one in your list that got me wound up the most was Voss. White had to have been a brilliantly skillful writer, to have induced me to willingly subject myself to his self-indulgence and continue reading to the end. It is at times hard going but well worth the struggle.

Despite having been written in mid 20th century, the style harkens back to 19th century drawing room pretentiousness. So one must accept that aspect of the book as pure fantasy and either go along with it, like a passenger on a midway ride for the sheer pointless thrill of it; or else throw the book against a wall. So what shall we make of Voss, the man? Is he just a poseur, serenely ensconced in his own vanity, mocking the lesser beings around him, but ultimately a man of no consequence? Certainly, men who dare greatly carry giant egos and an ego needs to be fed, one way or another.

Undoubtedly he will achieve much, if only by sheer force of will — or die noisily in the attempt. In the end, his true worth may be shown not by what he achieves but by what sort of man he becomes at the end of it all, either by valiantly perishing or by emerging as a whole human being, no longer a slave to his own ego. That places him in a total win-or-lose struggle: prevail or be destroyed.

I will not reveal here how or if Voss resolves that dilemma; others will have to read the book to find out And what can become of Laura — in her own way an iconoclast too. White himself is every bit as uncompromising as his two protagonists. Would also have liked to have seen Robbery Under Arms somewhere on the list not well enough known these days?

Sorry to only encounter it now, 7 years later. In , I spent 9 months in Canberra at ANU and read many of the older books on this list or others by the same authors. It and a local bookstore structured my spare time in those pre-Amazon and pre-Internet days. Thanks for publishing this list!

Water Under the Bridge is possibly my favourite Australian novel. I think the Solid Mandala is better than Voss. One of the most memorable soirees was held in honor of Dolly Parton. When she visited the city for concert dates in May , Rubell created a rural farm setting to help the country singer feel more at home. I had a farm wagon we brought in and piled with hay. Unfortunately, the guest of honor was less than amused. She had not had a Studio 54 experience.

She was real nervous about this whole deal and went up to the balcony and sat up there for a while. She was not a comfortable lady there. The Fifties-themed premiere party for Grease could have gone up in flames. Reynolds, who had tracked down livestock with ease, had a more difficult time finding vintage cars for hire. So I found this little auto museum down somewhere in New Jersey. They agreed to bring these cars up. Each vehicle had to be taken onto the street, where its tank was emptied, and then pushed back inside by hand.

The party went off without a hitch, save for a minor incident. But the party was wild. Once you found yourself inside the hallowed grounds of Studio 54, the next place you wanted to go was the fabled basement; a cavernous, dingy, decidedly unglamorous space decorated with damaged banquets, pillars of rolled carpet and set pieces from past parties. It was down here that the privileged few were invited to indulge in their wildest desires. The secluded corners furnished with mattresses quickly became a popular feature.

Less exclusive was the balcony area, upholstered in rubber because it was deemed easy to clean. Exactly what needed to be cleaned is best left to the imagination. There was even something above the rubber room, beyond secretive, up where the gods of the club could engage in their chosen vice high up above the relentless dancers. It was a place of secrets and secretions, the in-crowd and inhalations, sucking and snorting. Steve Rubell gave Andy Warhol a trashcan filled with cash for his birthday.

But he could be generous with his cash. According to friends, Warhol said it was the best present he had ever received. In a jovial moment, revelers tipped the bucket over his head, showering him with money. Not amused, Warhol scrambled to collect the singles. Rubell and Schrager threw a star-studded farewell party before being sent off to prison.

IRS agents raided Studio 54 on December 14th, , seizing garage bags of cash, financial documents and five ounces of cocaine. That November they pled guilty to two counts of corporate and personal income-tax evasion. It was a sad going-away party but we were laughing and trying to have fun. We were with him literally until he took a car to go home and meet the authorities. Newswire Powered by. Close the menu.

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