Category: Reviews

The Breakfast Club Turns 30

First published by The Hoopla, 16 February 2015 The classic brat pack movie The Breakfast Club is now officially middle aged: on February 15 it turned 30. Does it stand the test of time? Does Judd Nelson? A brain. An athlete. A basketcase. A princess. A criminal. It’s Saturday at Chicago’s Shermer High School, and director John Hughes has summoned all the cliches to weekend detention. … Read More The Breakfast Club Turns 30


Have we reached peak entertainment?

First published by The Hoopla, 20 January 2015 On the weekend I saw a hip hop artist, a contortionist, some jaw-dropping acrobatics, some nifty tap dancing, a pretty funny striptease and some spectacular fire breathing. No, I wasn’t flitting from show to show reviewing the entire Sydney Festival for The Hoopla: it was ALL IN THE ONE SHOW, the Limbo circus at the Aurora Spielgeltent. The … Read More Have we reached peak entertainment?

Selected reviews from Good Cafe Guide 2014

Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore If Bondi could ever be accused of having a soul, it’s here in this narrow cafe, where the bibliophile is as revered as the barista. Pick up the latest Christos Tsiolkas, or an out-of-print Christina Stead, and settle in with your astringent single shot espresso ($3.30), a Campos blend with cinnamon and bitter chocolate notes. It’s a home-away-from-home for … Read More Selected reviews from Good Cafe Guide 2014

Selected reviews from Good Food Under $30 2014

Pizza e Birra The charcoal and sepia fit-out, classic bentwood chairs and intimate bar instantly seduces. By the time you’re warmly welcomed and seated with complimentary olives, swiftly followed by authentically crisp pizzas or creamy gnocchi, you’ll be smitten. But when staff describe Italian wine in accents suggesting they grew up in the vineyard next door, and then don’t relax until they’ve freed up … Read More Selected reviews from Good Food Under $30 2014

Selected reviews from Good Food Under $30 2013

Big Brekky It’s heat that makes Big Brekky cool. Everyone’s warmly welcomed (regulars are bestowed hugs and kisses) and sunlight pours through picture windows to a room painted warm blood red. Poached eggs with chilli fetta bruschetta might come accompanied by a Red Hot Chili Peppers soundtrack, and plates of corn fritters, eggs-any-which-way and berry pancakes arrive still steaming. Match a piping hot Campos coffee or … Read More Selected reviews from Good Food Under $30 2013

Naomi Wolf’s The Treehouse:The quest is for poetry but the outcome is prosaic

First published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2006 The Treehouse By Naomi Wolf Virago, 320pp, $35 WHEN NAOMI WOLF turned 40, she and her father, Leonard, built a treehouse for her eight-year-old daughter, Rosa. Then she wrote a book about it. If this sounds dismissive, it’s at least partly so because I’d hoped for more from the woman who gave us The … Read More Naomi Wolf’s The Treehouse:The quest is for poetry but the outcome is prosaic

Shiny, happy people

First published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 April 2006 The World According to Y By Rebecca Huntley Allen & Unwin, 218pp, $24.95 After the gloom of the ’80s, the next generation arises optimistic and confident. A TYPICAL MEMBER of generation Y has started up one or two businesses by age 21, wears Playboy bunny T-shirts (the girls) or bum cleavage (the boys), downloads … Read More Shiny, happy people

Babe, it’s a new world

First published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 February 2005 What, No Baby? By Leslie Cannold Curtin University Books, 333pp, $29.95 When I told a close friend that this book was about how women need real freedom to choose both motherhood and a career (not one or the other), she quickly sputtered out: “But that’s just being greedy!” This friend is one of the … Read More Babe, it’s a new world

Babies, literary tics and ritalin

First published by Arena Magazine, August-September 2002 Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Baby Hunger: The New Battle for Motherhood, Atlantic Books, 2002 Elizabeth Wurtzel, More, Now, Again, Virago Press, 2002 Tara Brabazon, Ladies who Lunge, UNSW Press, 2002   Half a century ago a young journalist knocked on the doors of middle class American suburbia and interviewed the most educated (and medicated) housewives the world had ever seen. … Read More Babies, literary tics and ritalin

Chariots of ire

 First published by The Australian, 1 January 2000 Music to Move the Stars By Jane Hawking Macmillan, 610pp, $45 STEPHEN Hawking – “the black hole man”, as Queen Elizabeth is said to have described him – has fascinated us for some years now. It’s not a little to do with the paradox of his paralysis-ravaged, wheelchair-bound body that nevertheless harbours a mind that can … Read More Chariots of ire

Off the Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip

First published by Arena Magazine, December 1999 One of the most memorable features of the 1998 Federal election campaign was the appearance on nightly news bulletins of Margo Kingston, Sydney Morning Herald political reporter – her face exploding in anger, one finger pointing while the other hand thumped the closest table – at yet another One Nation press conference that had dissolved into confrontation and … Read More Off the Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip

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