I was absorbed and entertained all the way through this book. Pared down storytelling, laced with moral ambiguity, shouting Australian crime noir. Does author Bryan Brown know these blokes, hear good stories down the pub, or possess a very robust imagination?
Love his unabashed style ‘Clinton buys himself a pepper pie and a chocolate milk’.
Australians need no introduction to Bryan Brown, an actor of many characters in many movies around the world yet he remains true to his homeland (see ABC1 TV series ‘Old School’) and this new book of short stories highlight his considerable talent as an author.
It is refreshing to read a book of short stories which speaks to my generation of Australians: relationships, morals, turn-of-phrase, scenery, all genuine and if you can’t keep up that’s your problem – work on it.
Professor Leong asks why Frank missed his last counselling appointment. ‘It gets in the way of my revenge,’ says straight-forward Frank. My favourite!
These men love their families yet, like Frank, they show questionable behaviour to avenge them.
The bookcover image, a Phalaenopsis orchid, ties-in with a story where both sides of the law are involved.
Alert – Sexist comment ahead…
From a woman’s perspective I thought Typical Males but I think from a male’s point of view the characters could be genuine mates in a bad place. Not their fault, they scheme, they seek revenge. They plot their way through sad, unjust or criminal situations which end with a tenebrous finale.
Also, there is one story I consider to be a Stephen King homage.
This compilation encapsulates the essence of crime fiction. Reminiscent of Peter Corris’ Cliff Hardy series, Bryan Brown plays it low-key but maybe one of his laconic blokes will soon score their own book.
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward