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T. Little

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Great!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-10-2019

This book boldly combines a fascinating and well researched account of some the most bizarre and "successful" cults with an unbelievably refreshing-and totally appropriate-comedic delivery that defies all political correctness. Ms Thornely has invented what to me is an exciting new genre. Part of my fascination with these cults is their common DNA with other, more conventional religions-just as bizarre and irrational as "mainstream" religions, but perhaps featuring aliens instead of angels. In learning about the creepy cult leaders, we recognize oft repeated patterns of behaviour that are elemental to human nature. This is both riveting and unsettling. Well done Jo Thornely!

exceptionally good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-09-2019

This is a superb book- an adventure, and a heart-breaking "first contact" story presented in a factual and historically measured way and also with great empathy and imagination. The author skillfully places the story in the wider arc of Queensland colonization, a woeful narrative of murder, rapine, and physical and cultural genocide. It is an important work of history that is also a riveting and thought-provoking story. What more could you want? The narrator is an exceptionally good dramatic voice, fluidly transitioning between French and a range of dramatic dialects in English-Australian.

Masterful!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-2019

Holdbrook-Smith's performance is a tour-de-force and does justice to one of the greatest novels written in English. The narration is superb! I have no doubt that Charles Dickens would have loved it, too.

This is not history.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-12-2018



The topic of this book is interesting and worthy; however, the author destroys this promise by presenting what can only be called a comic book narrative. The treatment is selective, lopsided and partisan- full of jingoistic "patriotism" for the Australian side and thinly veiled racism. For example, as narrator, his go-to term for the Japanese soldiers is "Japs." This is unnecessary and serves no rhetorical purpose. The book features endless overdramatized stories of Australian "heroism" and mateship decorated with gratuitous and melodramatic emotional language such as injected passages from "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The Japanese are depicted almost in caricature, and often using demeaning language, nor are any such heroic accounts provided about them. This book is appalling. It is not history.

As a final point, I am a geologist who has spent parts of 5 years doing field work in the Owen Stanley Ranges. The author's melodramatic descriptions of the "jungle" are cheap and misleading. He describes that benign forest environment like it is a magically nefarious fairy tale setting. This is a load of rubbish. But he doesn't care. After all, this is a comic book.


1 of 3 people found this review helpful

exceptional book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-2018

This is more than a beautifully written account of a buffalo trader's life on the northern plains and adjacent Rockies in Montana and Canada in the post Civil War period-when things changed utterly for the Blackfeet and other Indian tribes, for the whites, and for the buffalo and other wildlife. Shultz gives us a fascinating and sympathetic view of Indian life and culture-things that he embraced as young man-and not all of it peaceful. His account seems genuine and self effacing.

The Indian vignettes and stories that he transcribes for us I found haunting in their beauty and primevalness and humanity. Finally, as noted by others, the description and celebration of his Indian wife and the strength of their marriage must be of universal appeal.

This is a great book. Full of adventure, history, lore, and insight.

Hunt's narration is exceptionally good.