Monthly Archives: March 2016

Road to Ruin

In the textual equivalent of a late-night junk food binge, after baby Thomas woke me when I’d just got to sleep at 10pm, I bought Niki Savva’s Road to Ruin: how Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own government on my Kindle. (I’d resisting doing so for a couple of weeks – I have much more important things to read, like Suzanne Falkiner’s 900 page Stow biography!) I have been ashamedly engrossed in reading about just how dysfunctional the Abbott government was, and Savva’s source-gathering is impressive, but it’s a badly written book. David Marr drew me into polit-lit, and I stupidly assumed that it would tend to be written as well as he writes. Instead, I suspect he’s the high watermark and most of the genre has little literary merit. In this case, the narrative is shambolic, jumping all over the place without the sense of quiet control and ordering the best non-fiction writers show. It’s also repetitive and veers between a journalistic style and chatty, cringing prose. But I grant it had to be written in a hurry and it’s horribly fascinating.

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