Graham Greene Reviews

As a teenager, I read The Comedians and in my twenties The Power and the Glory, The Quiet American and The Human Factor. The Human Factor I read in a hostel in Colombia. In my early thirties, I bought a cheap copy of Our Man in Havana in Argentina. Reading it in Spanish, some of Graham Greene Reviews

A Review of Buenos Aires Triad

A review from Carlos Hughes, author of White Monkey: What’s an honest man to do for a living when they live in a country where inflation rises up by 20% overnight and the price of bread becomes an expensive commodity? This is the dilemma of the main protagonist ‘Lucas’ in the wonderfully written crime noir A Review of Buenos Aires Triad

Teacher, We Girls!

In the animated film “The Swallows of Kabul” the Taliban force a man to pray in a mosque and his wife must wait outside in the hot sun wearing a suffocating cover-all burqa. We see the world as she does: through the grill of a veil. And we hear her laboured breathing as she nearly Teacher, We Girls!

A Certain Kind of Power

‘A Certain Kind of Power’ is an entertaining dissection of corruption, in which Australian author Ryan Butta recreates an Argentina of scandals and cloak and dagger moves. Our guide in the county’s capital, Buenos Aires, is Mike Costello, a jaded American corporate spy. An aging one-time army man, Mike has been in Argentina too long A Certain Kind of Power

Too much New York

Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg: Five stars for the characters and detailed, but never boring, descriptions of New York in 1959. Harry Angel is a private detective living in the Chelsea Hotel. On the job, he drives and subways around town with soup stains on his tie. Harlem, Times Square, Coney Island, the apartment buildings, the Too much New York

Rebellion in the Backlands

In Canudos, a backlands town in the Northeastern State of Bahia, Antônio Conselheiro (Anthony the Counselor) preached against the republic. His followers, leather-clad ruffians or ‘jagungos’, terrorised the countryside. In the 1890s the Republic of Brazil was in its infancy and insecure, rumours of monarchist plots abounded, troublemakers like the Counselor needed to be dealt Rebellion in the Backlands

Devil of a State

Devil of a State, published 1961, is set in Dunia, a fictional East African state on the verge of independence. In this novel Burgess draws on his experiences as an Educational Officer in the Sultanate of Brunei where the original manuscript was set. Fearing a possible libel case, the publisher, Hutchinson, had Burgess change the Devil of a State

Wake in Fright

This is a classic tale of the civilised man from the coast going mad in the barbarous interior. John Grant is a country-town school teacher on his way back to Sydney for the summer. However, because of problems with his flight, he gets stuck for one night in the Yabba, a town based on Broken Wake in Fright

Confucius and Opium

The American writer Isham Cook is an eccentric who might be telling us the truth – or at least trying to. An open minded reader, who doesn’t mind having their leg pulled a bit, will find the erudite “Confucius and Opium” a rewarding read. This work contains eleven ‘book review essays’ that are in-depth, no Confucius and Opium

Bangkok Days

A great book to read during a time when it’s hard to travel. Bangkok Days investigates various nooks and crannies of the Big Mango. Osborne is “on the lam” in Bangkok a place he can live cheaply. (Still possible?) He makes this discovery while visiting to have dental work done. “The days were empty by Bangkok Days