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Cut Rate Kingdom by Thomas Keneally
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Cut Rate Kingdom

by Thomas Keneally

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It's hard to know what to make of this novel about Australian politics during World War II. The main characters include prime ministers and high-ranking generals; they all appear under false names, but the originals are easily identifiable, even by an American starting with almost no knowledge of Australian history. The closest parallel I can think of is All the King's Men. The story is told by Maurice "Paperboy" Tyson, a journalist who lost both legs at Gallipoli and is the closest confidant of Prime Minister Johnny Mulhall (John Curtin). Is he based on a real person as well? What is Kennealy's source for the intimate portraits on display here? Whatever the answer, this is a fine, tense, atmospheric book by a master novelist.
  sonofcarc | Aug 5, 2011 |
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