Book Reviews: September 2008

Brutnall’s Follies by Martin Kerr & Harry Brutnall
Finding Darcy by Sue Lawson
Flying With My Angel: surviving religion, sex and helicopters by Phil Latz
Love on the Run: A Temlett Conibeer Story by ACT Marke
The Battle for Wau: New Guinea’s Frontline 1942–1943 by Phillip Bradley

Brutnall’s Follies by Martin Kerr & Harry Brutnall
ISBN: 978-0-9804903-0-5 (pbk) Published 2008 Avbl from: MaskiMedia, PO Box 757, Ravenshoe, QLD 4888 phone ( 07) 4097 6940 (cheque or money order please) or Cost: AU$24.50 plus p&p AU$7.50 with Australia (p&p $15 elsewhere)

Publisher’s note: ‘Martin Kerr and I have been having a regular drink together. Usually we’d talk about the old times in New Guinea and any other subject of interest … Martin stopped me one day and said he was going to take everything down.’ This is a record of Harry Brutnall’s life as a miner, sailor, diver, ship owner and farmer. He reflects on major events in his long life with modesty and humour. Unique for many readers will be his understated comments on people and events seen from the eyes of a country lad who has well and truly served his country.’ His first diving job was to retrieve bodies of his mates from HMAS Kuttabul in 1942. He cleared the propeller of a ship sent urgently to Timor to pick up Australian commandoes, retrieved Japanese aircraft parts in Darwin harbour, built a slipway in Port Moresby, secured spent torpedoes in Pittwater, installed moorings in Cockburn Sound and blasted away underwater hazards in Fremantle…Harry went on to have many adventures in Papua New Guinea…’
Seafaring men like George provided a life blood to the New Guinea Islands and along the way the experiences were rich and varied.

Finding Darcy by Sue Lawson
ISBN 9781742030234, Published 2008 by Black Dog Books, Paperback 272pp, Ages 10+, Cost: $18.99 plus p&p. Available from Black Dog Books, 15 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: 03-9419 9406 or

Publisher’s note: “Then I found what I was looking for. A photo of a man in army uniform. Written in pencil, on the back of the photo, was Darcy Charles Fletcher, 1941.” When Darcy Abbott is sent to live with her surly grandmother and silent great-grandmother (and a TV curfew of 9.30 and no internet access) for three months, she discovers a mystery regarding the death of her great-grandfather, Darcy Charles Fletcher, during World War II.
By Finding Darcy, Darcy Abbott discovers exactly what she has been searching for all her life — except she didn’t know it.
From the author of the award-winning Allie McGregor’s True Colours comes this powerful story of the damage that secrets can wreak over generations — and the healing liberation of truth.
Nominated Golden Inky, 2008 Inky Awards – ‘The Inky Awards were created by the State Library of Victoria’s Centre for Youth Literature to encourage reading for pleasure amongst teenagers.’

Flying With My Angel – surviving religion, sex and helicopters by Phil Latz
ISBN 978 0 9804451 0 7, published 2008 by Zytal Press, 416 pages, many colour plus B & W photographs. Cost: $29.95 incl p&p within Aust. Contact Phil Latz at 02-6677-9388, by mail, C/o PO Stokers Siding, NSW, 2484. . Details:

Publisher’s note: ‘Even before Phil Latz was speared at age four while growing up on a Lutheran Mission in Australia’s desert heartland his angel was working overtime. Join him and his ethereal guardian on a remarkable adventure as Phil makes the transformation from a feral outback kid growing up with Australian Aborigines, to a cosmopolitan high-flying pilot of the world’s largest helicopter. His worldwide experiences may even inspire you to begin the career you always dreamed about while using his many travel hints and tips about different countries’ local customs.’

Love on the Run: A Temlett Conibeer Story by ACT Marke
ISBN: 978 1740274807 Printed 2008 Prepared by Ginninderra Press. Available from Frogmouth Press, PO Box 90, Ainslie ACT 2602 Ph: 0428 833 212 $25 or $30 Posted

Publisher’s note: ‘Contains vivid imagery that gives the reader a good sense of being in the area (New Guinea) also very amusing and humorous.
Interative Press: ‘Being a Papua New Guinea Field officer’s attempt to remedy lost years of sex and romance.’

The Battle for Wau: New Guinea’s Frontline 1942–1943 by Phillip Bradley
ISBN-13: 9780521896818 Hardback Published April 2008 304pp incl Foreword by Peter Ryan, maps, half-tone photos, bibliography and index. Available from Cambridge University Press, 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia Cost: $75 plus postage or contact your local book shop.

Publisher’s note: The Battle for Wau brings together for the first time the full story of the early World War II conflicts in New Guinea, from the landing of the Japanese at Salamaua in March 1942 to their defeat at Wau in February 1943. Phillip Bradley draws on the recollections of over 70 veterans from the campaign and on his own first-hand knowledge of the region. Beginning with the early commando operations in Salamaua, the story unfolds with the burning of Wau, the clashes around Mubo, the Japanese convoy to Lae and the United States air operation to Wau. The book climaxes with the fortitude of Captain Sherlock’s outnumbered company. Desperately fighting an enemy regiment debouching from the rugged unguarded ranges to the east, Sherlock’s men fought to hold Wau airfield open for the arrival of vital reinforcements.

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