Friday, March 26, 2010

Patrick White, demon hunter

At last famous Australian Patrick White may be recognised for his services in demon hunting, battling war-hardened monsters in an apocalyptic landscape, and literature, after making it onto the Booker-prize shortlist.

Patrick White, demon hunter

However, the writer who helped vanquish the fiendish Satanic hordes before they overran our world and turned it into another hell dimension of unending torment and horror will face stiff competition, with previous Booker winners including zombie slayers, captains of interdimensional war zeppelins, and experts in the necromantic arts.

John Banville, lion tamer

John Banville, who won the Booker in 2005 for his expertise in lion-taming, confirms that winning the prize will not be easy for White. "I was known all over the world for my lion-taming abilities, rescuing at least one orphanage of blind children from a pack of rabid tigers, panthers, leopards, or assorted large cats using only my bare hands, every day. But still, I was uncertain if this would be enough for me to wrest the prize off my opponents."

So who are the other competitors for the Booker prize? Here we give a short run down of the finalists.


Nina Bawden, CBE, led the entire planet in the 1960s in an armed uprising against the Gigantic Spider Incursion. She successfully prevented the entire European continent from being turned into a gigantic spider-harvesting facility, with the spawn being implanted in the living bodies of humans by willing slaves, and finally cornered all of the massed spider hordes in a remote township in Essex before burning them all to the ground. She now gives talks around the world about 'How I Conquered the Giant Spiders, and You Can Too!'


Brilliant international code-breaker Mary Renault successfully averted a worldwide catastrophe by cracking a fiendishly complex series of codes found on a succession of tablets unearthed from a recent Sumerian dig while being pursued through the catacombs of Paris by a corrupt albino police chief, who also happened to be a sexist. On ten separate occasions. Then she retired.


Shirley Hazzard, famous rally car driver, led a secret double life as a glamorous-but-slightly-untrustworthy devil-may-care known only as 'The Bandit'. However, Hazzard proved to be a bandit with a heart of gold, successfully thwarting the plans of hundreds of notorious criminals and their low-life companions for smuggling gold, diamonds, cocaine, heroin, gold cocaine, diamond heroin, or ancient mystical Aztec talismans with magical but mysterious properties in, out, under, over, or around the US. Even though she lived in the UK at the time.


Bounty hunter J G Farrell confronted an army of super-destructive androids from the other side of the galaxy on a war-torn, blood-strewn, fog-covered clifftop on several occasions. Altough offers by the androids were tempting to Farrell at times, he concluded each offer by blowing them to absolute fucking smithereens, because hey. He lives his own life, but ain't no way he's giving it over to no bloody android. Now, he teaches tai chi to schoolchildren.


Muriel Spark's advanced skills in ju jitsu were put to good use early one morning in the mid-1960s when she rescued the good people of an small Cornish fishing village from being swallowed by a titanic gelatinous blob. She later turned the blob into a tasty trifle, and was good enough to provide the recipe to the Ladies Home Journal later that month.


Steve said...

Quite your silliest piece for a long time. Congratulations!

BTW, have you ever tried Patrick White? I suspect I won't like him, but have a feeling I should at least try one. (Strangely, I remember a high school English teacher telling me she thought I would like The Vivisector! I never took up her recommendation.)

TimT said...

I've read Voss, which is a long and depressing book about a long and depressing trip into the Australian outback. I keep meaning to read his other works, but they look similarly... long and depressing.

TimT said...

Some years ago, in order to make a point - I can't remember what, I think it was in reaction to an Oz article bemoaning the teaching of Australian literature at universities - there was a blog 'Patrick White Reading Group' founded and the book to be read was The Vivisector.

I have it somewhere. I may read it... someday.

Maria said...

I'm voting for Muriel Spark!

I hear the Booker Prize voting forms are going to be ut in the next edition of TV Week so I urge you all to go out and support it. Buy two copies if necessary.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is coming out soon in a Popular Penguin form. I very much enjoyed that book and now that it will be in less than $10 paperback I'm sure it will be irresistible!

My WV is uneck. I've heard of a v-neck, but this is a step before its time.

TimT said...

And I've got to read a bit of Muriel Spark sometime. She seems like an interesting writer.

Ampersand Duck said...

This post is my new BFF.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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