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Publisher's Summary

Winner of The 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Shortlisted for The Stella Prize, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Multicultural NSW Award.

Wisecracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things - her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying, and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley. Kerry plans to spend 24 hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. 

Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble - but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.

Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible. 

©2018 Melissa Lucashenko (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

“By turns elegantly descriptive and exquisitely affronting.... It is a challenge and a delight to read.” (Books + Publishing)

What listeners say about Too Much Lip

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Obvious and cheesy

Some of us “white fellas” have been friends with many indigenous kids at school and have heard about the dysfunctional families and the strategies put in place to survive in them. The whole family knew what was happening. Lots of the white families were just as miserable. The police surely can’t be as stupid as portrayed in this book. And it all ended happily ever after. Come on!

10 people found this helpful

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Incredible story

I hadn't heard of this book until it popped up as a daily deal, and I'm so glad it did. A raw and moving tale of a family and their relationships with each other and the natural world around them. The characters are flawed and beautiful and real.
I was pleasantly surprised to recognise Tamala Shelton's voice narrating this. This is the third book I've listened to her reading and I've enjoyed them all so much. She gives a lot of respect to the stories she reads and brings them to life.

6 people found this helpful

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gritty poetic vernacular

it takes a little while to settle into the voice of the book, but when you do the rugged wisdom of the main character and the well drawn net of family relations and tensions weaves a spell. a story seldom heard and worth hearing.

6 people found this helpful

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Melissa moulds English language like putty

This lil white duck is buying a hard copy so she can read the author's talent for twisting the English language and aust. lingo into something that had me making all kinds of audible gasps, sniggers, giggles and roars of laughter. Plus a sprinkle of pulled heart strings etc. More please!

5 people found this helpful

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sensational, moving and eye opening education

excellent cultural education, humorous, cutting and truthful. I highly recommend listening to this captivating narration

4 people found this helpful

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Just something missing

I loved this book from about half way through. I struggled to get a relationship with the characters initially and I felt it took a long time to get to the heart. I did love the language intertwined in the story.

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant story!

A story full of raw love laughter pain that both holds together and tears apart an indigenous family. It’s brilliant and unflinching. And read to perfection by Tamara Shelton.
Read this book and discover the true meaning of ‘deadly’.

4 people found this helpful

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  • M.
  • 07-08-2020

Incredible insight into the the first owner of this country

Great narration of a well written chronicle of one of the first families of Australia, their customs beliefs injustices and their Dreamtime.

3 people found this helpful

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An insight into the life of an aboriginal family

This is an engaging story which feels authentic and educational. As a white reader it has given me a glimpse of the life of a regional aboriginal family where relationships and behaviour are influenced by family history and trauma. A very good read made so much more accessible by the excellent narrator who was fluent with the words from the local aboriginal language

2 people found this helpful

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A fantastic book

A beautifully written book filled with complex, deeply relatable characters, as well as strength and dark humour. A must listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ray
  • 28-06-2022

Just Fabulous!

Can’t say when I have enjoyed a novel more. Complex, heart breaking, funny. Such a compelling story that has also helped me understand the lives of Indigenous people a little more. Can’t wait to get into her next book!

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  • Peter Hungerford
  • 02-12-2021

superb

As an older white male I found this book a privilege to read. My family has lived in Australia for nearly 200 years and yet it is taken a book like this to give me knowledge of the first Nations people with whom I have shared this continent for my entire life.

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  • Friend
  • 20-02-2021

Highly recommend

A powerful and soulful story drawing is in to the lives of this Indigenous family and their history.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.