Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Review of A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill (Pantera Press, 2010)
I wasn’t really sure about A Few Right Thinking Men for the first 150 pages or so. Not a whole lot happens except the characters are introduced and the scene set for what follows. It is only with Rowly’s friends turning up at his brother’s house that the book sparks into life and then it’s a thoroughly enjoyable romp all the way to near the end. The strength of the story is its characterization, and its sense of place and history. Rowly and his friends are very engaging, and the other main characters such as his brother, the police and the various political actors are nicely drawn. Gentill weaves the story around a series of real events and actors, and the reader is dropped into Australia society in the 1930s, and in particular to the brief flirtations with communism and fascism. The plot was relatively straightforward, the mystery element was a bit of damp squib, and the end just kind of drifted away as a bit of anti-climax and setup for the next instalment. Nevertheless, for a good chunk of the story I was captivated and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, A Decline in Prophets.