Wednesday, September 27, 2006

An Entry About Australia That Won't Call it "Down Under"

A correspondent suggests that Australia, "perhaps because of its prison-colony origins, has produced at least two amoral heroes": Garry Disher's Wyatt and Robin Wallace's Essington Lewis.

What about it, readers? Does a country's rough and ready past lead writers to create rough and ready protagonists? Hmm, a top Australian crime-fiction award is named after a bush ranger and outlaw ...

© Peter Rozovsky 2006

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11 Comments:

Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Writers are inspired by their own experiences and past aren't they? Their cultural history may also play a part.

One new Australian author to watch is Peter Temple, who has been marketed in the UK as having a protag comparable to Rankin's Rebus (groan). His debut here is "The Broken Shore". Blurbs include Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben. Maxim Jakubowski (owner of London crime fiction specialist bookshop, Murder One) in The Guardian was also impressed. I have it, but I'm yet to read it. I hope to get to it soon. Damn time for there not being enough of...

September 27, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Another correspondent recently suggested Peter Temple. Here is part of what he (or she) had to say:

"The Broken Shore is far and away the best crime novel published in 2006. For characters, settings and style, Temple leaves most crime writers for dead. And he's funny to boot."

Rankin is capable of being funny, but he sure as hell does not do so in the Rebus books. I hope UK book marketers will not squeeze Peter Temple into a niche that doesn't fit him in an effort to capitalize on Rankin's popularity.

September 27, 2006  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

We just don't have the time in the day for any more "best crime novels" of 2006!
You feel you just must read it with that sort of review, and if it has a blurb from Michael Connelly, then that's another one for the tbr pile.

September 28, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Not to mention the best crime novels and stories of every year stretching back to Conan Doyle -- or to Tang Dynasty China.

A number of sources describe the wit and humor of Temple's books about Jack Irish. That's what attracts me. One of the things I love about Bill James's Harpur and Iles books is their dead-on wit. There's grim stuff going on in these books, yet they'll make you laugh out loud sometimes.

The Thrilling Detective Web site has an intriguing description of Temple's Jack Irish at http://www.thrillingdetective.com/eyes/irish.html

September 28, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

It appears that Blogger chopped off that URL about Jank Irish. Here is is again:

http://www.thrillingdetective
.com/eyes/irish.html

September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of Peter Temple, I bought the first two Jack Irish novels published by McAdam/Cage – Bad Debts and Black Tide – and wanted more, more, more. They are so atmospheric, so sharp, so droll, and they have terrific female characters. (And that's rare in crime novels by men.) Now I find that McAdam/Cage isn't going to publish the other two in the series or any other Temple books. What's going on here? He's a major writer, for heaven's sake.

September 28, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Is that in the U.K.? Australia? I don't know who his U.S. publishers are. And that tantalizing post of yours only sharpens my desire to read him.

Interesting also that you find the Jack Irish books droll -- as do a number of others. You'll read in the first comment in this string that he is being marketed as having a protagonist comparable to Ian Rankin's John Rebus, who is anything but droll.

September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Temple's first two Irish books and his thriller Identity Theory are published by McAdam/Cage in the US. (It's a San Francisco independent.) Why they would only publish three of his works is a mystery. Well, perhaps not since no-one seems to have heard of him SINCE they published them.

September 28, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

The publishing world is a mystery to me sometimes. Perhaps I can learn more about it as this blog grows, matures, and becomes a force in the world.

My man Bill James is another story I can't figure out from a publishing/marketing standpoint. Reviewers (and this blogger) rightly praise the Harpur & Iles novels as memorable for dialogue, prose style, strong characters, and memorable portrayal of their particular world. James is about to publish his twenty-third book in the series in a handsome edition from a good publisher. Yet relatively few people have heard of him, and his books are relatively hard to find, not just in the chains, but in good, serious bookshops. Is he the classic definition of a "mid-list" author? Is he being promoted poorly -- as, perhaps, Peter Temple is?

You're turning me into a Peter Temple/Jack Irish booster, and I haven't read any of the books yet. I'll look for used copies on abebooks.com.

September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post say Peter Temple's US publisher is MacAdam/Cage. Correct spelling is McAdam/Cage. Does it matter? To the McAdam, it probably does. Anyway, all I've read is IDENTITY THEORY and, shutting out the BAD title, this guy is something else: poet, soul-plumber, gut-shooter. No-one else I know is writing like this.

September 29, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Hmm, it might not be a bad idea to have by soul plumbed and my gut shot. I'm going to look for some of Temple's Jack Irish novels. Maybe I'll take a look for Identity Theory, too. You say no one writes like him; could you post a short sample?

Thanks

September 29, 2006  

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