A Pale View of Hills 

Dulwich Hill branch manager, radio personality, and book selling superstar, Morgan Smith tells us how it is.

March 2017

Gleebooks Bookshop - Wednesday, February 22, 2017
This February has been too hot to concentrate on anything too highbrow so I’ve read a bit of crime. Winter Traffic is a debut Australian outing by Stephen Greenall ($30), a very Sydney literary crime novel about lowlife characters if not exactly the underworld. Greenall has an interesting style which takes a bit of getting used to / as he often uses backslashes instead of dashes or commas. It aspires to and sometimes achieves the state of poetry as in this stream of consciousness from the cop, Rawson—‘…AND I’M THE RESCHS SILVER BULLET AND THE SUSPECT NEWTOWN PASTRY AND THE ROYAL DOWN IN PADDO ON A LUCKLESS SUNDAY NIGHT. I AM THE NORTON CARBONARA AND THE BLOATED HURSTVILLE LOBSTER AND THE ANNANDALE FLASHER AND THE PHILLIP STREET REVIEW.’ I don’t know why it’s in caps but there you are. Awards aplenty coming methinks.

We have a tight deadline this month so I am writing this the day after the 40 degree Sunday early in February. The only thing I could do was lie in front of the fan reading ‘the Queen of Nordic noir’, Icelandic writer Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Just the word ‘Iceland’ made me feel cooler, not to mention the many descriptions of snow and ice and freezing cold. The Legacy ($30, due early April) the first in a new series by the bestselling author was very readable and kept me guessing to the end though I do feel that her characterisation could have been better and there were certainly no laughs, or even a wry smile, to be had. Still, I guess murder is not a laughing matter!

On that very hot day I walked my dog early and dropped in to my local shop, Hashem’s Food Mart. There was much excitement as I had just missed a visit from Pauline Hanson. What she was doing in Dulwich Hill no-one knew, but she wasn’t with a media contingent and had had a chat with the proprietor, who told me Hanson had said she wanted to ‘clean up our backyard’ with which he agreed. At first I thought she’d admonished him for the back of the shop being messy, but as they don’t have a backyard it didn’t make sense. I’ve known said proprietor for the 13 years I’ve lived here so he got an admonishment from me about what she actually meant by that odious phrase. He’s a Lebanese Muslim but apparently Saudi Arabian and some other Middle Eastern Muslims shouldn’t be let in!

PARENTS OF TODDLERS TAKE NOTE: Ms Kennedy’s Storytime has resumed every Thursday morning at 10am. Robbie is a wonderful reader and storyteller and the children (2–5 years old) really love it. No need to book as we know it can be a last minute decision whether the toddler is up for it or not.
Next month’s column will be a report on Adelaide Writers’ Week which I am much looking forward to attending, not to mention two weeks off work! Hurrah.

See you on D’Hill, Morgan

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