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[11 Aug 2018 | No Comment | 43 views ]

Sons of Guns: Inspiring True Stories from Great Footballing Families
By Matt Watson
Michael Joseph, 278pp, $34.99
Reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD
When Collingwood, the mighty Magpies, won four Victorian Football League premierships in a row in the late 1920s, my father Bill (“Long Tom”) Fitzgerald played more than 100 games for the seconds. Yet he never pulled on a jumper for the firsts.
Even so, what he did instil in me was an abiding love of the club. Also he taught me that — win, lose, …

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[4 Aug 2018 | No Comment | 56 views ]

Review : ‘Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18’
By Peter Cochrane
Text, 264pp, $32.99
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Peter Cochrane’s ‘Best We Forget’ is unsettling and revelatory in how it connects the Anzac legend with the White Australia policy.
As Cochrane makes clear, while collective memory about the Great War recalls a rallying to the imperial cause against Germany, the underside to the story is that before 1914 Australian governments were primarily concerned with perils in the Pacific, particularly the burgeoning power of Japan.
Hence the belief that our national security and what the …

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[23 Jun 2018 | No Comment | 75 views ]

She Said, She Said: Love, Loss & Living My New Normal
By Anne M. Reid
A Sense of Place Publishing, 382pp, $29.95.
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Born in Melbourne, now living in Virginia, Anne Reid came to write this magnificent, searingly honest book as a means of coping with the gender transition of Paul, her husband of 12 years, with whom she had raised three children.
As Reid acknowledges, she is deeply indebted to other trans partners throughout Aust­ralia and the US whose wisdom and support she has relied on, and indeed still does.
She is also …

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[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | 68 views ]

FROM OLD JACK IVERSON TO YOUNG WARNIE
Review
‘A Famous Old Club: A History of the Brighton Cricket Club from 1842 to 2017’
by David King
Brighton Cricket Club: Brighton, Victoria, 2018,
ISBN 9780646977829
RRP: $85.00 (hb)
Reviewed by Ross Fitzgerald
Until I started drinking alcoholically at the age of 14 and a half, my teetotal, non-smoking, sportsman father Bill (“Long Tom”) Fitzgerald was my hero.
After playing cricket as a wicketkeeper for Collingwood and Aussie Rules football in the Victorian Football League – where he was the long-standing captain of the Collingwood reserves, Dad became captain-coach of Sandringham …

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[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | 98 views ]

WAITING FOR GRAFTON
Review
So Far, So Good
By Ross Fitzgerald & Antony Funnell
Publisher: Hybrid Publishers, 2018
ISBN: 1925272974
RRP: $22.95
Reviewed by Gerard Henderson
When I launched Ross Fitzgerald’s memoir ‘My Name is Ross: An Alcoholic’s Journey’ in 2010, I commented that in early adulthood the author recognised that he suffered from three conditions. Namely, alcoholism, drug addiction and narcissism. I reported the good news that, four decades later, the first two conditions are in remission.
‘So Far, So Good’ is the sixth adventure featuring Fitzgerald’s creation Dr Professor Grafton Everest – this one co-written …

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[26 May 2018 | No Comment | 69 views ]

by Peter Pierce
‘So Far, So Good’
By Ross Fitzgerald and Antony Funnell
Hybrid Publications, 214pp, $22.95
‘The Power Game’
By Meg Keneally and Tom Keneally
Vintage, 317pp, $32.99
The first appearance of Ross Fitzgerald’s apparently bumbling hero, Dr Professor Grafton Everest, was in ‘Pushed From the Wings’ (1986). Books two and three followed soon after, but the fourth had to wait until 2011, when Fitzgerald collaborated with Trevor Jordan. Next he enlisted Ian McFadyen, and now ‘So Far, So Good’ has been written in the evidently …

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[12 May 2018 | No Comment | 82 views ]

Cameron Woodhead’s review of Ross Fitzgerald & Antony Funnell, SO FAR, SO GOOD – AN ENTERTAINMENT (Hybrid Publishing : Melbourne, 2018, $22.95.
Professor Dr Grafton Everest returns for a sixth adventure in ‘So Far, So Good’ and he’s on hiatus from politics, having blimpishly held the Senate to ransom (like a kind of superannuated academic version of Clive Palmer) last time.
The bloated mock-hero was never going to retire quietly to Mangoland, of course, and he’s about to be unwittingly lured back …

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[5 May 2018 | No Comment | 104 views ]

by Phil Brown
When Ross Fitzgerald was embarking on his latest satirical novel, he was thinking of setting much of it in the US, which seemed ripe for satire. Taking his infamous protagonist Grafton Everest offshore seemed like the next step – but there was a problem. Fitzgerald, and co-author, Antony Funnell realised that America was actually beyond satire.
“Antony and I thought – how can you satirise America when they’ve got Trump?” Fitzgerald says.
“Grafton does visit the US in …

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[3 May 2018 | No Comment | 111 views ]

LEAVING MANGOLAND
‘So Far, So Good – An Entertainment’
by Ross Fitzgerald and Antony Funnell
Hybrid Publishing: Melbourne, 2018, pp 224, $22.95
ISBN 978-1-9252272-97-0
Reviewed by Ian McFadyen
When Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, irascible U.S. comedian Lewis Black declared angrily that thanks to that event, he was now out of a job. What he meant was that the ascendancy of …

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[21 Apr 2018 | No Comment | 78 views ]

Review
‘Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words’
By Ross McMullin
Scribe, 524pp, $59.99 (HB)
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Ross McMullin’s new book reveals the inner life of one of our most illustrious warriors, mainly through his own writings. Pompey Elliot was a soldier’s soldier and McMullin believes more Australians should know about him.
McMullin published an award-winning bio­graphy of Elliott in 2002. Now he has gathered the wartime letters and diaries of this fighting general to let him tell his own story.
Victoria-born Harold Edward Elliott (1878-1931) studied law at the University …

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[7 Apr 2018 | No Comment | 82 views ]

‘A Life of Purpose: A Biography of John Sulman’
By Zeny Edwards
Longueville Media, 372pp, $59.95 (HB)
by ROSS FITZGERALD
The Archibald Prize for portraiture makes headlines every year, but at the same time we also hear, less loudly, about the Sulman Prize for the best genre painting, subject painting or mural by an Australian artist.
The prize, established at the bequest of architect, artist, town planner, public intellectual and polemicist John Sulman (1849-1934), was first awarded in 1936. Yet despite its longevity few today …