From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Aug 2004

Just finished another Australian novel, Shane Maloney's BRUSH-OFF. The plot involves a political advisor to a newly appointed arts minister, and the uncovering of an art fraud conspiracy. Maloney write with a cynical journalist's witty irreverence that is about as common as cow pies in a field. In the first part of the book his exposition of the Australian political situation is closely tied to the plot, but towards the end he seems to lose focus and allows his observations to diverge into the extraneous. His tempo founders too, notably in one scene concerning the repair of a damaged picture that goes on for over 20 pages.

I think there is much to like about Maloney, but political intrigue doesn't excite me and I couldn't dredge up a lot of enthusiasm for his wit, the plot, or the characters.


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