Wednesday, January 9, 2013

While I was away . . . (Richard Flanagan)

One of the consequences of being overseas for so long is you find there are big holes in your local media knowledge, whether it's TV shows, books or even events that totally by-passed you. In my case I was away for most of the decade from 1998-2008 -- in Hong Kong, then Singapore and for the biggest chunk of time in Thailand. So while I'm passable in my knowledge of Asian cinema and Thai current affairs, I got caught out when someone threw me a few lines from The Castle on my return. I also missed the whole Kath and Kim thing, which I can surely live without from what I've seen. But one of the things I'm now realising I missed out on, to my detriment (but I'm catching up), is the writing of Richard Flanagan. I'd been meaning to jump into Death of a River Guide, which I picked up in $5 Books, but didn't really know much about him or the book. Then more recently I found a compilation of his non-fiction writings called "And What Do You Do Mr Gable?" Most of them have appeared in major newspapers and magazines previously, but as I suspected most were written in the decade I was away. Wow, this guy can write and I can't wait to start his novels. Good to plug at least some of the gaping holes in my book list.