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June Factor, author Cinderella Dressed in Yella (email)
...finally got round to reading "McQuail". Not sure what Phillip [Adams] meant by the comparison with Vonnegut (your book isn't full of blood and guts!), but I enjoyed it, especially the authorial comments, the chapter headings, the lively and convincing depiction of boyhood and the affectionate but unblinking observation of your only faintly imaginary Trots group. Not bad for a first novel! Look forward to the next!
23 October 2003
John Scheffer MP, Monash Province, Vic. (email)
I read "McQuail" and want you to know I really did enjoy myself - chuckling away in bed, reading bits out loud to Angela. You said to feel free to write up a review. Easily said, but no time I'm afraid.
... Episodes take entirely unexpected directions into impossible, absurd worlds. Reminiscent of Rushdie? The writing is very Australian - economical and funny. Understated - matter of fact. Characterisation is great. I got to care about McQuail - high praise. He's amoral and yet moral, sexist with a great sense of equality and humanity, prepared to go for the personal advantage but not an exploiter. The women characters are strong and well individualised.
Also, "McQuail" in its 'rollicking ramble' takes on the contemporary politico-social world. And what is more unpredictable and audacious than contemporary world events? Reality outstrips fiction. Who would have thought, when we were in our 20s and 30s, that religion would have disregarded the Marxist injuction to wither away along with the state? Quinarianism is hilarious - as hilarious as so called real religions...The Jewish theme is a very cheeky lampoon.
And who would have thought that the socialist secularists such as me would end up defending the right of women to wear the hijab? Crazy world. And it's all in "McQuail", including the great nexus of sport and religion. I also enjoyed the parody of Blue Collar International and so much more.
Congratulations Steve - a good read.
30 September 2003