Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Best Australian Essays of 2008, edited by David Marr

The best Australian essays, as decided by David Marr and the people at Black Inc. books. Being publishers of The Monthly, you can rest assured there are lots of lengthy essays from that particular publication.

Actually, this is a really good collection. There were only really a small handful of essays that I didn’t enjoy very much. But for the most part, I thought there was plenty of interesting stuff in this collection.

Favourites were by Tim Flannery, on the ocean deep. John van Tiggelen on Aboriginal Australia (this was a riveting essay, read it if you can). Robert Manne’s essay titled Sorry Business, on the apology. Gideon Haigh offers a fascinating Monthly essay on the Packer empire and the Bulletin magazine. I even enjoyed David Marr’s essay on Patrick White.

But I must give a separate paragraph to Barry Humphries and his piece on Arthur Boyd. I absolutely love the way Humprhies writes. He’s so witty and amusing, and basically such a good writer. I didn’t want his article to end. (I wish Humphries would write another book for us.)

As I said above, there was some stuff I didn’t like, by writers I’ve never really liked anyway. So I won’t bother going into that.

On the whole, this is a good, strong collection, worthy of the titles Best Australian Essays.

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