Saturday, 28 April 2018

Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers

Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian WritersTheir Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary Australian Writers by Ryan O'Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The best humour is always only a whisper away from reality, and this is so close that the space between the two is infinitely tiny. That’s both an advantage and a disadvantage: at its best, the book is the most commanding satire of literary criticism, literary life, writing and writers you’re ever going to read. But in mirroring so closely what it seeks to send up it at times succumbs to the same slight tendency to pedantry and self-importance that it seeks to lampoon. And one spoof literary biography after another makes the joke wear just a little thin. That said, it’s an enjoyable and highly entertaining read. It’s also well crafted, with the plot neatly dovetailed. You’ll even want to read on to the final entry in the ‘index’!

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