Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : Literature : Review excerpts of Clearys' book, Independent Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature


                     

 

Cleary Independent 

            HarperCollins  1998

 

...an always entertaining narrative ...Whether bewailing the backsliding of the ALP, or chastising the sins of British upper-class silvertails in Ireland and Australia, or recording the lost lifestyle of 1960s suburbia and VFA football, or defending the freedom of women from brutalising male chauvinism, Cleary proves himself a gifted wordsmith. ...This champion of ordinary people ... is also a master raconteur .... It would be good to see Cleary elected to the Senate although he needs to understand that diverse views are needed to bring about the just society.

Nigel Jackson in the Melbourne Herald Sun (27/6/98).

 

For a politician, Cleary's writing is refreshingly free of cant or pretence. There are flashes of humour and deft turns of phrase. He has the skills of the engaging yarn-spinner and a feel for character that makes up for a lack of coherence. A good portion of the book is not about his political career at all. In sometimes confusing fashion, it rambles in and out of Irish history, working class life in suburban Melbourne, football and left-wing politics. There is a moving section about the death of his sister at the hands of a former partner, whose conviction for manslaughter rather than murder outrages the Cleary family and prompts a plea for such cases of domestic-related violence to be taken more seriously.

Mike Steketee in The Australian (30/5/98).

Piers Akerman (Sunday Herald Sun 28/6/98), that bastion of progressive thought described this chapter as 'riveting'. There was nothing else about the book that he liked....

          It is when he writes about the killing of his younger sister that Cleary is at his most passionate and persuasive, and it is here that we most clearly see the social rage that fuels his political agenda . In 1987, Vicki Cleary was stalked and brutally stabbed to death by a former boyfriend. Cleary says in the book that leaving a man with a 20-year history of violence, according to the presiding judge, constituted provocation. In the eyes of the law, Cleary says, Vicki Cleary got what she was asking for. The man who lay in wait with a carving knife got less than four years in jail. . It was not just the cowardice of the man who killed his sister that disgusts Cleary, but the way a patriarchal legal system excuses such behaviour .

Author of crime fiction, Shane Maloney, The Age Newspaper (6/6/98) -

I would go as far as to say it (Cleary Independent) is in the top ten best books that I have read on any subject. Brilliantly written, the text fairly leaps out of the pages at the reader, and is an engrossing political tract...Cleary tells his family history, linked closely with the Irish problems of blight and oppression , in an imaginative and sophisticated way which would make the average genealogist blush...

Ross Peacock, editor of "The Yorker", the Current Awareness Bulletin of the Melbourne Cricket Club Library.

I hate to sound overly cliched but this is genuinely one of those "make you laugh, make you cry" deals in which the life of one man spans a huge cross-section of Australian lives . Phil Cleary is an Australian icon, and if you want to read a non-boring autobiography about a very non-boring man I suggest you take a look at Cleary Independent and learn a little about yourself along the way .

Claire Murphy, Adelaide University law magazine, (31/8/98)

In a television interview, veteran host Bert Newton had me blushing when he said he "loved the book".

Drop me a line with your likes and dislikes if you have read it.

 

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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