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Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives…

Their Brilliant Careers: The Fantastic Lives of Sixteen Extraordinary…

by Ryan O'Neill

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A satire of Australian literature. This is very clever and funny. Charles Kinbote would be proud. I'm sure there are plenty of references and jokes missed by me, unfamiliar as I am with Australian literature, but that still left plenty to get.
  Capybara_99 | Nov 8, 2017 |
If you enjoyed Gert Loveday’s Writing is Easy (see my review) you’ll probably enjoy Their Brilliant Careers.

The title is a satiric allusion to Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career but the brilliant careers in question are, as the blurb says, invented. There are sixteen chapter length biographies of Australian authors who never existed, but who apparently bear uncanny resemblance to well-known figures from the Australian books and publishing landscape. Ambition and ego are common threads in all of them. Part of the fun is working out whose brilliant, or not so brilliant career is being parodied.

The question is, therefore, is it enjoyable reading if the reader doesn’t know the ‘well-known figures.’ And is it a spoiler to identify the ones I do recognise?

I’m going to tread carefully and stick to a couple that I know are safely dead. The bio of the sci-fi author ‘Rand Washington’ made me think of prolific authors of pulp like Frank Clune and Ion Idress who were published by P R ‘Inky’ Stephensen, who was like the fictional Rand Washington, xenophobic and racist, and notorious for his political views which morphed from communism to the far-right. ‘Addison Tiller’, an upper-class English twit who wrote countless stories of bush life starting with ‘Hacking out the Homestead’ (featuring Pa and Pete) without ever venturing out of Sydney, is, I think, a parody of Steele Rudd’s On Our Selection starring Dad and Dave. (See my unimpressed review).

Fakery is also a common theme in other bios too.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2016/08/27/their-brilliant-careers-the-fantastic-lives-of-sixteen-extraordinary-australian-writers-by-ryan-oneill/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Sep 1, 2016 |
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