Articles in the Books Category
“Wake up, Australia,” Grafton Everest exhorts viewers every morning on Australia-wide breakfast television.
This doesn’t please those he attacks like wily former premier Hoogstraden, whose biography Grafton is forced into writing.
Grafton’s day job as Professor of LifeSkills and Hospitality is under threat from the economically and sexually rapacious Vice-Chancellor Deirdre Morrow.
And Lee Horton, head of Australia’s newly privatised Secret Service (trading as SpyForce Australia) is worried too. He knows that Grafton has trouble lying.
And nothing is more dangerous than a man who habitually tells the truth.
Grafton Everest is a wonderful creation …
THE new biography on iconic Australian comedian Austen Tayshus has one particularly tough critic: its subject.
“I don’t like it,” Tayshus says, leaving a comedicly deliberate pause.
“No, I do like it. I think they’ve done a terrific job of putting a lot of stuff in there which is untrue.”
Austen Tayshus: Merchant of Menace by Ross Fitzgerald and Rick Murphy does have at least one positive review, from Tayshus’s mother, apparently.
The book explores the life of Tayshus, also known as Vaucluse resident Alexander “Sandy” Gutman, from his early years growing up with his …
EVERYTHING about comedian Alexander “Sandy” Gutman (aka Austen Tayshus) is a dichotomy. In life, he is a tea-totalling, erudite intellectual, the father of two daughters – a far cry from his foul-mouthed, incendiary, dark-glasses-clad on-stage persona.
He has a love-hate relationship with his audiences, which he is famous for taunting – recently he made a Japanese audience member get on stage and apologise for World War II in exchange for a cessation of tsunamis and earthquakes – and simultaneously describes his hero Barry Humphries as the gold standard of Australian comedy …
WHAT came to be known as the Australian Labor Party was formed in 1891 and by December 1, 1899, Queensland had the first Labor government in the world. Led by Anderson Dawson from the dual electorate of Charters Towers, it lasted only a week but it gave the ALP a valuable opportunity to get the dirt on the conservatives by examining previous governments’ files.
By April 27, 1904, the party’s progress was confirmed by the installation of the world’s first national Labor government. Led by Chilean-born J. C. (Chris) Watson, …
SANDY Gutman always had a sardonic Aboriginal character in his arsenal, and was keen to introduce the character to a wider audience.
He had been developing a series of word-play jokes and ironic taglines that added a new dimension to the character – who now became part Jewish kvetcher. The routine was laced with venom and cunning. Comedy writer Trevor Farrant seized on the subject and, together with Gutman and Michelle Bleicher (Gutman’s then girlfriend and whip-smart manager), wrote the spoken-word comic song Highway Corroboree. The single came out in early …
THE looming NSW election already feels like such a darkly comedic event that the decision by Austen Tayshus to follow his run against Tony Abbott in the last federal election with a tilt against NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell, feels a bit like a lump of coal headed for Newcastle. Nevertheless, if Tayshus does surprise everyone on March 26 and pip O’Farrell at the ballot, it should leave just enough time for authors Ross Fitzgerald and Rick Murphy to slip it into their book ‘Austen Tayshus: Merchant of Menace’ before …