Republic of Moreland

March 17, 2007

Communism: a love story

Filed under: books & writing,politics — Kath @ 9:52 am

At last, The Age has published a review of Morelander Jeff Sparrow’s magnificent biography, Communism: a love story. As Amanda Lohrey has observed, the book rollicks along like a good novel. You can also read about it here.

The MUP website has a sample chapter you can download and read. It’s not the book’s best chapter, in my opinion, but it’ll give you a taste. What I love about this book is that while it IS a love story (or many) of the erotic kind, it also profiles many famous Australians’ doomed love affair with Communism without sentiment or dogma. There’s a lot to learn in there.



  1. Yes, a very nice review. But that photo…

    Comment by Al — March 17, 2007 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  2. You mean the “playboy communist” photo, Al? I think it’s very 80s rock star. Which is very in vogue, you know. The loydies love it.

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — March 17, 2007 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  3. The book is extremely badly written. I am afraid it went into the recycling bin.

    Comment by Cressida — April 15, 2007 @ 8:35 am | Reply

  4. You’re the first person I’ve heard say that, Cressida. I tend to agree with the reviews that it was beautifully written: very eloquent indeed. Could you give us an example of your criticism? (People can click on the sample chapter, above, to get an idea of the writing.)

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — April 15, 2007 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  5. The Australian review said it was “competent” but the reader came away none the wiser as to who this man was. I agree. I winced at every sentence. It is the most cliche-ridden book I have read in a long time. Every adverb and adjective is predictable. I am afraid this glaring flaw killed it stone dead for me.

    Comment by Cressida — April 15, 2007 @ 10:45 am | Reply

  6. “The most cliche-ridden book… killed it stone dead”. Was that a joke?

    Cressida, you still haven’t given a specific example. I’m all for critically discussing a work, and rigorous criticism of the book is most welcome. But if you’re just mounting a spray, isn’t it best that you reveal your agenda? I mean, you are Rose by any other name, and you have had very public, some would say obsessive, spats against Jeff Sparrow and his sister Jill Sparrow, as well as several others on their site. I normally wouldn’t draw attention to who’s doing the saying, but I really don’t want this site to be a host for personal bile. You’ve been banned from one site for vexatious attacks: I don’t want those battles brought over to this site. Please read my comments policy.

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — April 15, 2007 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  7. Yeah, it was an imitative joke in the style in which the book under discussion was written. Deal with it – the opinion, that is.

    Comment by Cressida — April 15, 2007 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  8. I’m finding the book a fascinating read and well written. But I do think it has a very narrow audience–primarily people interested in Melbourne literary and political culture of the time. It’s really mainly of interest if you’ve heard of all the people involved.

    Comment by Chloe — April 16, 2007 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

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