Home » Archive

Articles in the Reviews Category

Reviews »

[29 Sep 2018 | No Comment | ]

JACKIE’S OLD BONES
OR HOW, HALF A CENTURY AGO, ESSENDON WAS ROBBED OF A GRAND FINAL WIN AGAINST CARLTON — DUE TO THE FALL
Jackie’s (male) co-owner has never got over two disappointments in his life. Firstly, the fact that star Essendon full-forward John Coleman was disqualified for four matches having been found guilty by the Victorian Football League Tribunal of striking Carlton’s Harry Caspar in the last home-and-away game for 1951 — at Princes Park in Carlton. Caspar hit Coleman first — he was suspended for four matches. And Coleman received …

Reviews »

[8 Sep 2018 | No Comment | ]

Review
‘Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll’
By Fiona Patten
Allen & Unwin, 366pp, $32.99
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Most political memoirs should come with a warning that there might be boring bits. Fiona ­Patten’s is anything but boring. Indeed, and I know this is a big call, it may well be the most unusual and provocative political memoir to written to date by a sitting member of an Australian parliament.
First a disclaimer: at the 2016 federal election I was the lead Senate candidate in NSW for ­Patten’s Australian Sex Party. And shortly ­before I met …

Reviews »

[28 Aug 2018 | No Comment | ]

Edward Cranswick
The 1066 Committee and All That
‘So Far, So Good’
by Ross Fitzgerald & Antony Funnell
Hybrid Publishers, 2018, 214 pages, $22.95
I think it was Salman Rushdie who once opined that the Thatcher era was a great time for satire.
The whiff of ideology is a godsend for the able pen —satire the means by which we create distance from our partisan hallucinations. The same has not held true —or at least not true enough— in our own time.
If satire works by stretching a social or political tendency to its (preposterous) logical conclusion, …

Reviews »

[11 Aug 2018 | No Comment | ]

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, …

Reviews »

[4 Aug 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Reviews »

[23 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Reviews »

[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Reviews »

[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Reviews »

[26 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Reviews »

[12 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …

Reviews »

[5 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

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 …