Friday, July 23, 2010


The scene is primarily set at a boys school in Oxford but events also occur in other locations including London, Paris, Italy. The plot revolving around a web of relationships manipulated by North, a student, and observed by an unnamed narrator predictably ends in disaster. The author - Brian Martin, an English teacher - has interwoven throughout the book illusions to literature - the writings of Milton, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Keats. The descriptions of places and of the daily life of the characters and the literary references make this book more than just an expose of relationships and human foibles plus a study of the control that North appears to have over the lives of others. A powerfully written book.

Bean's Gallipoli

The diaries of Australia's official war correspondent edited and annotated by Kevin Fewster

In Australia there is increasing interest in the Anzacs and Gallipoli which will only increase with centenary of the event only a few years away. The edited copy of the diary kept by Australia's official war correspondent, C E W Bean, with photographs provides an insight into the events leading up to the landing of the Australian and New Zealand troops on the 25th April 1915 until their evacuation in December 1915. Included are brief biographical notes of men mentioned in the diaries.

The diaries and notes of the war experiences of C E W Bean can be located on the Australian War Memorial website.

Digitised images of selected war diaries are also located on the website.

The official history of the First World War written by C E W Bean is also now available online.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Diggers Rest Hotel

Charlie Berlin is sent to Wodonga from Melbourne to investigate a series of armed hold-ups of Northern Victorian railway offices by a gang of motor bike riders. Shortly afterwards a local Chinese girl is murdered and left lying in a street. With the help of local policeman, Bob Roberts, and journalist, Rebecca Green, Berlin investigates the cases and comes to know many of the troubled individuals in the town and at the nearby army barracks of Bandiana. The story, written by Geoffrey McGeachin, is set immediately after the Second World War and many of the characters, including Berlin, are struggling to cope with the memories of the horrors of war and with the difficulty of adapting to life after war.

In an interview on ABC regional radio with Geoffrey McGeachin the author talks about about the writing of the book and his memories of growing up in Wodonga.