Entries by Noel Murphy

Justice denied in kangaroo court of woke entitlement

Was a time when I spent almost every working night talking with media lawyers. Checking stories for potential defamatory comment, police and court reports for sub judice and contempt of court issues, suppression orders. Might need to check every so often that weren’t scandalising parliament. Yeah, it’s apparently possible, believe it or not. Ran up […]

Rhyme and verse, and a little worse …

Was a time when poetry was the last thing held any interest for this word-mangler. Too esoteric, too flowery, concepts too emotional and hard to plumb. More times than not, too cathartic and revealing. Hadn’t poets something better to do than sit around all introspective, navel-gazing and self-pitying? Who needs need to know their innermost […]

Flop side of the coin

 Poring over some old holey dollars recently. Not the real thing, unfortunately. Rather, some slick website images of the real thing. At up to $500K apiece, you want something that looks pretty schmick. Dripping with history, strange tangible aspect to them, intriguing artwork, high-end corporate nature to them. Hard not to love these things. Well […]

Island thriller skips to double-Dutch

The Island, by Adrian McKinty, Hachette Australia Takes a fair leap of faith to convince yourself the premise for this story might reasonably be able to happen. It’s far-fetched and unrealistic but if you think people like Ivan Milat and Bear Grylls can exist then the leap into its treachery, cruelty and heroics isn’t so […]

Back to the future with a fossil-led recovery …

Okay, so what came first, the chicken or the egg? How about the dinosaur? Well, so science seems to suggest, and largely the fault of a cute little critter jackhammered out of cliffs near Apollo Bay 30 years back. This came to mind when I learned an ancient Jan Juc whale is in the running […]

The Bismarck Sea: A battle-worn and weary warning …

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea, by Michael Veitch, Hachette Difficult to think, from 80 years distance, just what a terrifying threat Japan once was to Australia. These days, it’s a nation more renowned for its sophistication, high-tech and extraordinary good manners. Mind you, it does upset some quarters with its whaling operations. Which might […]

Truganina, Truganini: destiny, disease, disaster …

  Touch of irony to the latest Covid outbreak epicentre at Truganina, again, and the sad story of the so-called last full-blood Tasmanian Aboriginal, Truganini. Always been curious about Truganini because my grandmother grew up in the tiny rural hamlet that Truganina once was, out the back of Werribee half-way to Melton. Her French-born dad, […]

Murder, and rip-offs, most foul …

Don’t know if you’ve heard of the Dolls House Murders. Odd little story I read about the start of modern forensic science in the US. Yanks were late to the table as proper murder investigation bucked a good many vested interests. Heiress Frances Glessner Lee poured buckets of cash into Harvard to get a decent […]

Time for mercy … for readers

A TIME FOR MERCY: by John Grisham, Hachette So your stepdad’s a monster. A drunken, dishonourably-discharged army grunt-turned-cop who regularly bashes your mum, your sister and yourself. When he belts and kills your mum, Josie, in his latest boozed fury, you figure you know who’s next. But what to do? This has been going on […]

Grift to the mill at Mar-a-Lago

THE GRIFTERS’ CLUB: By Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, Caitlin Ostroff, Jay Weaver; Hachette  Good word, grifter. Not really an Australian word, more a Yankee thing but it pretty much lines up with our con artist: a person who engages in petty or small-scale swindling. Thing about this book is there’s nothing really all that small, […]