After six months of reading and re-reading British and American classic works*, I packed some carefully selected independent writers onto my battered Kindle for the summer break.
Englishman John MW Smith was a quirky surprise: A writer hard to categorise, he has a ripe sense of the bizarre and the storytelling knack of a barroom raconteur. He reminds me somewhat of my fellow Australian writer Robert Salisbury, whose work I describe as ‘Spike Milligan meets Don Quixote’.
My five-star review of Smith’s An Unlawful Act in Libya can be found here. Strongly recommended.
*The three standouts were Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Faulkner’s Soldier’s Pay, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools. I’m thinking of writing a novel that places the basic plot of Jude the Obscure in a future dystopia when western societies have largely forgotten how to do mathematics. Mad? Maybe.
And here’s a request: I saw the movie of Ship of Fools some time in the last century, around the time that Cuban heels were in fashion. Does anyone know where I can find a copy or a streaming source?
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Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .