My Reading – May 2022

The Shiralee by D’Arcy Niland
There was a man who had a cross and his name was Macauley.

Angel of Goliad by Jean M Roberts
The sun was high in the brilliant summer sky. It was a rare day of sunshine during the rainy season.

Holding by Graham Norton
It was widely accepted by the residents of Duneen that, should a crime be committed and Sergeant Collins managed to apprehend the culprit, it would be very unlikely that the arrest had involved a pursuit on foot.

Playing Beattie Bow by Ruth Park
In the first place Abigail Kirk was not Abigail at all.

and …

My Watching

If I particularly like a book, I always check whether it has been made into film. This month three of the books have and I have watched them all.

Holding (for Australians, via SBS on Demand) is a very watchable four episode series released this year. The central storyline is the same, but there have been many changes including extra characters and activities peripheral to the main story. The novel was Graham Norton’s first book and he is happy with this adaptation, so who am I to complain? The book has greater depth and is more thoughtful but Holding the series is definitely worth a watch. The book ended with a sense that it could be the beginning of a series and while Graham Norton hasn’t taken it further, it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw more of Sergeant PJ Collins on the small screen.

While Playing Beattie Bow (via Moreland Libraries’ subscription to Beamafilm) wasn’t my favourite read of the month, it is an enjoyable time-slip novel aimed at early teens (not the sort of fiction I usually read). It was entertaining and an interesting view of life in The Rocks in the 1870s. The film, made in 1986, has a definite ’80s feel to it. The fashion of the 1980s section is cringe-making (wearing some of those clothes, and the hair, is something many of us have been trying to wipe from our minds ever since). It is a reasonably faithful adaptation and a pleasant way to spend a wet afternoon.

The Shiralee (1955) is my best read so far this year. It was made into a two part series for Australian television in 1987 (watched via Moreland Libraries subscription to Beamafilm) starring Bryan Brown and Noni Hazlehurst. The storyline has been changed and compressed, and a slowly developing love interest has been added that runs very much in the background of the series. The novel is set in New South Wales but the series was filmed and is set in South Australia. The landscape shots are stunning and quintessentially Australian. Apparently, the miniseries was the most popular Australian TV show of 1988, and I can absolutely understand why. While the novel has greater depth and is far grittier, the series stands on its own. And it was nice to see Bryan Brown and Noni Hazlehurst (a much loved Australian actor) in their youth. There was also a film adaptation starring Peter Finch made in 1857 – I am going to have to track that down.

4 thoughts on “My Reading – May 2022

    • I read once that films are like the illustrations in a book, they can capture moments but not the entire story.
      I hadn’t read any D’Arcy Niland before this but I will be looking at more of his books now. And I just love Ruth Park.
      The comments are moderated so I have to approve them before they appear. I check the comments and the spam folder about twice a day so there can be a few hours delay before you see them. I need to have moderation on because some of the rubbish that slips through is just vile.


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