Monday, January 17, 2011

General Fiction – Bernard McLaverty, J J McRoach, David Mitchell, G H Morris

An odd bod selection this evening, starting with Bernard McLaverty’s well regarded novel Lamb published in 1980. This edition is a King Penguin with a rather splendid cover.


Something of an anomaly is the collection A Dozen Dopey Yarns by J J McRoach, who ran for parliament as a candidate for the Australian Marijuana party in the 1970s. Those were the days… I remember going to one of their rallies in the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne CBD at the time. To say there wasn’t a strong herbal aroma emanating from the rally would be a fib.

Anyway, I knew J J McRoach personally as Peter Olszewski a journalist who was at one time editor of Australian Playboy and People magazines. He also authored A Dozen Dopey Yarns, subtitled Tales from the Pot Prohibition as well as several other books. I believe the book is pretty rare these days. My copy is the first edition published in 1979.


On a less heady note, the novels of David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas was my first introduction to the writing of David Mitchell as no doubt it was to many other readers. I was entranced by the novel and awestruck by Mitchell’s clever sleight of hand prose. At my time of life it was thrilling to discover a writer of Mitchell’s calibre as such beguiling writers are all too infrequent. Needless to say, I sought out his earlier novels and have since followed David Mitchell’s career with deep interest.

So here’s the complete collection of five books. He’s only a young man so hopefully there will be plenty more to come.

mitchell_ghostwrittenjpg mitchell_number9dream
mitchell_cloudatlas mitchell_blackswan


And finally for this post the magnificent Brightside Trilogy by G H Morris. There is very little online information about this author or the books. This trilogy is like One Hundred Years of Solitude set in a Yorkshire mining village, telling the story of the Brightside family in particular, with a cast of eccentric secondary characters. The three novels that make up the whole are Doves and Silk Handkerchiefs, Grandmother, Grandmother, Come and See and The Brightside Dinosaur. Though hard to get, if you like magic realism with a mordant twist, find a copy and read it. The omnibus edition in my library was published by Penguin in 1992.


Coming up N”, "O"“ and “P” authors.

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