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Thursday, 24th April 2014

API Review of Books

Altitude BirdIssue 44
Features reviews by Kathleen Broderick, Linn Miller, Christine Choo, Bill Thorpe, David Ritter, Eve Vincent, Stephanie Bishop, Alison Miles, Richard Kay, Amanda Day, Bernard Whimpress, Mads Clausen, Marion May Campbell, Sylvia Alston, Catie Gilchrist, Eva Chapman, Lucy Dougan, Stephen Lawrence and Nathanael O'Reilly. Click here for more details.


Altitude BirdPopular Music: Practices, Formations and Change - Australian Perspectives
The papers collected here in this special edition of Altitude offer a brief snapshot of popular music research broadly connected with Australia. The essays demonstrate the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used by researchers in the fields of popular music studies and cultural studies to explore themes of popular music practice, formation and change in an Australian context. Click here for more details.

Network Scholars

Idiot Box: Mick Cameron as Yobbo Flâneur

  • Rebecca Johinke
    imageCampus Lite has obtained an exclusive interview with David Caesar, who will share some insights to his film Idiot Box (1997) with us. Idiot Box is a bleak ‘coming of age’ narrative that presents audiences with a stark but humorous dose of social realism in the ‘backblocks’ in the 1990s. The film pumps with crude, frustrated energy via sharp editing and a frenetic sound track that combines urban cacophony and raw Australian music to create a high-octane feel. [Editor: Just refer them to Goldsmith].1 Idiot Box is set in a desolate and fatherless realm, and investigates ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

We Won the Victory: Aborigines and Outsiders on the North-West Coast of the Kimberley (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Regina Lee in the June 2002 issue.
    Concentrating specifically on the north-west Kimberley coastal region which spans Broome and Wyndham, Ian Crawford's book We Won the Victory tells the story of contact between Aboriginal people and various intruders upon their land. The troubled relations that have long existed between native Aborigines and white Australians began with the first recorded visit by Europeans in 1644. At first, Crawford writes, Aborigines were confused by appearances of the white explorers whom they thought were spirits of the dead -- potentially dangerous and to be avoided. On the other hand, the whites ... read more.

Ghost Nation: Imagined Space and Australian Visual Culture 1901-1939 (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Denise Whitehouse in the October 2001 issue.
    Ghost Nation promises a new reading of imagined space and Australian visual culture, 1901-1939. Its claim to offer a 'persuasive framework for understanding modernism' feeds expectations of new research and insights into an era when the visual culture of the modern media began to compete for control of the public imagination. Disappointingly Ghost Nation does not offer primary research, a rigorous academic framework, or a new definition of visual culture. Rather it is an idiosyncratic re-reading of Australian art history's favourite construct, the conflict between the cultural establishment ... read more.

Fatal Collisions: The South Australian Frontier and the Violence of Memory (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Strephyn Mappin in the August 2002 issue.
    In an age when spin doctoring has become a matter of course and truth is as malleable as plasticine, it is interesting to read a work that investigates the way certain truths have been mythologised in South Australian history. Concerning the treatment of the indigenous population during colonial times, Fatal Collisions demonstrates how fact and fiction can become inexorably intertwined over time, creating lasting impressions that are not just wrong but intentionally biased. The work is as much about how white 'culture' liked to (and in some cases still does) view itself, as it is about the ... read more.

Collected Stories (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Melissa Bellanta in the April 2003 issue.
    My initial encounter with Peter Carey was decidedly nasty. Some years ago I read The Tax Inspector, and could hardly sleep for days in horror of Benny Catchprice. Carey had drawn Benny with a savage verisimilitude: his pale angel-beauty and violent instability making him almost surreally lifelike, like Martin Bryant walking from a nightmare into Port Arthur's reality. Of course, Benny Catchprice is not Carey's only creation -- nor is nasty his only register. Indeed, now that University of Queensland Press has reissued his back-catalogue (along with a new collection of his stories), one thing ... read more.

Film: A Novel (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Kelly McWilliam in the November 2001 issue.
    Sean Condon's first novel, Film, strives like its central character to be more than it is. In the tradition of Condon's earlier work -- glib non-fiction travel adventure book Sean and David's Drive Thru America (Lonely Planet, 1998), and its prequel Sean and David's Long Drive (Lonely Planet, 1996) -- Film is as likeable and entertaining as it is frustrating. After initially borrowing heavily from writers like Nick Hornby and Ben Elton, Condon also sets standards he does not quite reach. Film follows the life of unappealing cinephile Henry Powdermaker who, after producing a film that breaks ... read more.

Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Dianne Williams in the May 2003 issue.
    Charles Darwin (1809-82) is best known to the layman for his scientific contributions to the theory of evolution. A natural scientist, Darwin's path in life was dramatically changed when, as a young university student, he was offered a position as naturalist on board the HMS Beagle in 1831. Before this he had been a young amateur keenly interested in scientific observation of the natural world, heading towards a career in the church. After five years aboard the Beagle the career in the church was forgotten and he built up a reputation as a scientific writer and creative thinker. Charles ... read more.

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