From Publishers Weekly
G'day, sport. Jacobson (Coming from Behind, Peeping Tom can be as funny as a drenched drongo, jes' the kind of Pommie we in Owstriylia love. His story of the conversion of Karl Leon (pronounced "Leeorhn") Forelock, Cambridge University grad in Moral Decencies, is a good example. The daft dingo was born in Partington ("there are corners of the Earth that God appears to have . . . washed His hands of altogether") and is recruited in the early '60s by a Jesuit priest to go Down Under for the CIA. Leeorhn (a member of the "intellectual 'right' ") is to save Owstriylia from "drugs, pornography . . . and the little yellow devils from the north." In the late '70s, following a decade of almost-married domesticity with a pair of synchronized swimmers, he ends up in a feminist camp in the outback named after the daughter of Spring, for whom the warmth of mortal passion is fatal. It's here that he is bitten "where no man can be indifferent to a bite" by a female Redback spider, causing him "three weeks of unshrinking verticality." What's worse, the symptoms of the bite annually recur, turning Leeorhn into a raving leftist radical. In artfully using the seemingly artless to satirize the prurient, this book would make Swift proud.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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It was just my luck to get bitten by a Redback. 'There's no such thing as luck', Gunnar McMurphy used to say. 'You chose to sit where you sat. A bite is a transaction between two parties - A biter and a biteree. You sat in wait for that spider with every bit as much purpose as he sat in wait for you.' 'It wasn't a he - it was a she. Only the shes are venemous.' Karl Leon Forelock, product of the Northern English town of Partington (the wettest spot in Europe) and a graduate with a double starred first in the Moral Decencies from Malapert College, Cambridge. Sent to Sydney on a CIA bursary, in order to teach the Australians how to live, Leon Forelock soon discovers that there are those amongst the native population who believe that they have an education to pass on in return. But it is at the hands of the women of Australia that Leon receives his most painful, and his most pleasurable lessons. Meanwhile, in a foul, dilapidated bush privy, way up in the Bogong High Plains, the Redback sucks her teeth and waits her turn...
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