A Bloody Good Rant…

My Passions, Memories and Demons.

Thomas Keneally

Allen & Unwin Rrp  $39.99

I’ve known dear Tom for too long to count now. My talented, warm, funny, clever and fiercely passionate and unabashed good bloke of a mate, have shared many times. His beloved, patient and fiercely protective Judy is a joy to know. Our kids played together and remain friends. Tom and I once got lost in a blizzard. (I was following him) and each time he brings out a book, I shake my head in wonder, admiration and some amazement. 

His energy is formidable. His laughter rarely ceases, but beneath his hail fellow well met, jokes and football fan exterior, is an incisive intellect, a deep thinker on a very broad range of subjects, a man of compassion, anger (well he gets pissed off at fools pretty quick smart) and a particular way with words.  He is, as others have declared, a national treasure.

This book makes us sit up and take note once again. This is no rambling reflection of a life well lived by an “old codger”. It’s thoughtful, intelligent – and, whether you agree or not – balanced, in your face and makes you think about things. Big things, important things. Personal things. But there is no pomposity or preaching here. Rather he leads the reader to think about issues he raises and discusses to come to our own views and opinions. 

Tom is a talker and his strong voice, punctuated with laughter,  echoes on every page as he writes.  His prodigious productivity speaks of dedication and passion for his art. Though like most of us he wishes his talent might embrace other forms (painting for one.) 

But it is revealing to feel one has peeked into his inquisitive brain where his thirst for knowledge and casual references to his own fallibilities, dreams and horrors of what may yet unfold in his lifetime are described. He does not pronounce from the mountain top, but makes us think.

But perhaps Tom’s greatest gift we can all share through his copious outpourings of novels, non fiction, biography, articles, screenplays, essays, playwriting, speeches, thought provoking quips and media, is that he is a man who is never, ever, boring! 

A rant maybe, but a bloody good one!

DM

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