THE HOOPLA LITERARY SOCIETY
“It’s a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography – but if you write your biography, it’s equally assumed you’re lying your head off.” Author, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood. Photograph via ComicBookDaily.com.
Hallelujah it’s Friday.
Over the last week in Sydney, we’ve had roof tiles blown off, torrential rain, gale-force winds, freezing temperatures, which all equates to one thing – plenty of reading time. And boy, have I been reading (like I need an excuse).
So, let’s get cracking.
THE YEAR OF THE GADFLY, Jennifer Miller
“Inside my wood-paneled locker sat a sheet of paper with a newspaper-like masthead.
THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
“Carrying the Torch of Prisom’s Party since 1923”
New- Student Edition
The rest of the page was blank. Then I noticed a small index card.
Dear Ms. Dupont. Welcome to your very first day at Mariana Academy! We are certain you will find this school to be everything you expected. Breathe deep.
You are smelling the rarefied scent of privilege being taken for granted. Your copy of The Devil’s Advocate is blank as a symbol of your own clean slate at Mariana. For the sake of this community (and for your personal safety), we implore you: don’t give us any muck to rake.
Sincerely, The Editors”
After the suicide of her best friend, 14-year-old Iris Dupont’s parents think it best if she makes a fresh start, especially after they find her conducting earnest conversations with the ghost of legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow. They move to the small town of Nye, renting the house of the former headmaster of Iris’ new school, the prestigious Mariana Academy.
But on her first day Iris finds a blank copy of The Devil’s Advocate in her locker and from that point on, cruel and sinister acts are performed on vulnerable students. And it seems this is nothing new. Is it the mysterious Prisom’s Party or other students with ill intentions?
Clues are everywhere, from the pretty pink bedroom Iris now occupies that was once inhabited by Lily the headmaster’s daughter, there is the sexy and exotic Hazel who runs the town’s historical society, and the strange new biology teacher, Mr Kaplan who once attended Mariana Academy and left under a cloud.
The budding journalist in Iris decides to get to the bottom of all these mysteries, past and present. She is the gadfly of the title, upsetting students and teachers alike with her difficult questions and constant snooping. This cleverly crafted novel is absorbing, insightful and witty (there is a lovely play on the characters of 1984 which I won’t spoil here). Miller has captured the complicated existence of teenagers and the Lord of the Flies tendency of children to behave badly if left to their own devices.
This is a fresh and original story with plenty elements to keep everybody happy. Mysterious deaths, secret societies, teenage cruelty, sexual angst, inept but well-meaning parents, unrequited love – need I go on? BUY THE BOOK
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
Anne Frank would have turned 83 on Tuesday, June 12, had she survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The diary that has made her memory live on was given to Anne for her 13th birthday – 70 ago. Two years later she was dead.
The Diary of Anne Frank is one of those books that has travelled across generations. Since its publication in The Netherlands, and its subsequent translation into English, it has sold more than 30 million copies.
How many of us read that harrowing tale when we were only young teenagers ourselves, wondering how we would cope with the deprivations and fear of her life in the attic. She remains a potent symbol of innocent victimhood, her death and her diary a tragic reminder of the cruelty of the Holocaust.
I wonder what it has meant to you?
BRET EASTON ELLIS DOES FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?
Fifty Shades of Grey is turning into a juggernaut. Bret Easton Ellis (of American Pyscho, and perhaps appropriately The Rules of Attraction fame) has announced that he is putting his hand up to write the screenplay of everyone’s favourite BDSM fan fiction.
According to The Hollywood Reporter he tweeted, “Completely committed to adapting Fifty Shades of Grey. This is not a joke,” claiming that Christian Grey and Ana are potentially great cinematic characters.
But would this very female story work when retold by a man? Will any nuance be transformed into an instructional video on the right way to use your tools better suited to a placement in a high-end sex shop than our cinematic screens? I can’t help thinking of the 9 ½ Weeks idea of female sexuality. Oh dear!
|Page 1 of 2||next >>|