Category Archives: Bent Banana Books


Book Launch: Michael, we really have to talk …

This gallery contains 11 photos.

The book will be launched at the West End Library on Saturday morning, 31st October 2015

Time: 10:30 am for 11 am start

Place: Upstairs at West End Library 178-180 Boundary St West End

Price: The book will be sold at the launch for $20 (RRP $25).

The book will be introduced by Julie Cork and Abraham and Dan O’Neill.

Music by Jumping Fences

Refreshments are available. Continue reading

Munching the Millions

Munching the Millions

Munch’s The Scream

AUSTRALIANS will gamble on two flies. crawling up a wall, they say.

Aussie bookmaker Tom Waterhouse is currently betting on how much Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream will fetch at a Southey’s auction this month.

Waterhouse has previously wagered on the winners of reality shows such as Dancing with the Stars and The Voice to add a bit of zest to mundane wagers on political elections and Academy Awards.

Waterhouse’s mother is leading Australian racehorse trainer Gai and the bookie regularly reports on Monday how punters cleaned him out on Saturday backing Mum’s horses such as great mare More Joyous and unbeaten 2-year-old Pierro. It is always “Mum’s horse” though it is a surprise the trainer does not say, “When I am in a professional capacity, it is Ms Waterhouse to you, sonny boy.”

Tom Waterhouse needs to bet on an exotic event such as the Southeby’s auction to recoup some of the damage Mum’s ponies have reeked on the bottom line. It does not hurt that weird bets attract media attention, something London bookie Ladbrokes worked out decades ago.

I do not know how much Tom and Mum know about art but I would like to think it is a lot. It is comforting to believe wealthy people might slip a few stray bucks the way of artists.

Here is Tom’s analysis of the race to buy The Scream or Le Cri, in the land of the Oo-La-La.

“Sotheby’s in New York is auctioning one of four versions of The Scream created by Edvard Munch and, as the only version owned privately, is betting $1.90 that it breaks the US$106.5 million record set by Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust two years ago.
“Of the four versions of The Scream, the one that’s up for sale is the most colourful and the only one whose frame was hand-painted by Munch to include his poem detailing the work’s inspiration.

“Sotheby’s has listed The Scream at $80 million, the highest pre-sale value that the auctioneer has ever put on an artwork but even that figure looks somewhat conservative given the level of interest in the famous painting.”

So here’s the market.

The Scream sale price (including the buyer’s premium)

$5 Less than US$80m
$10 US$80m to US$89,999,999
$9 US$90m to US$99,999,999
$4 US$100m to US$106.5m
$1.90 More than USD 106.5m

I am sure my gambling anti-hero Steele Hill would have a wager after consultation with arty girlfriend Natalie and polymath-bookie mentor, the Gooroo.

As a punter and an art fancier, I think Tom and his crew have got the market way wrong.

Tom admits there are four paintings of The Scream though he fails to mention the brace of Munch lithographs. This contrasts with one Picasso Nude, Green Leaves and Bust.

The prose-poem embedded in the frame is Munch’s reflection on how he came to paint The Scream.

I am not sure how many millions it is worth.

I was walking along a path with two friends –

the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red –

I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence –

there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city –

my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety –

and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

That is my versification, BTW. I am not sure how Munch does it on the frame.

I reckon the best bet is the $5 shot, less than $80 million, though I would make sure the bookie wrote the ticket as fewer than $80 million.

Check out this blog shortly to see who is right.

If you wish to smile about the place of quirky Australia in the Universe buy my book 7 Shouts from Google eBooks or Amazon.

Bernie Dowling
Bent Banana Books

Lazarus Syndrome inspires comic short story

Return from the dead: read a fictional short story about a true-life medical condition

Belinda Janz
DEAR Aunty Jo,
This last fortnight has been such an emotional rollercoaster ride that I have decided to write this letter as we can hardly believe it. Really, it’s too much to relay to the Captain of your ship.
As you know now, Mum passed away Monday two weeks ago while visiting her doctor.

She had been saying for some months she felt it was time to move on and I had taken to passing off her feelings as just old-age thoughts. Mum had been so well for so long that it seemed strange that she should even think she was about to die. Initially, I looked for signs and asked her doctor if there was anything I had not been told about but the doctor only supported my idea that, the older you get, it is natural to think that any day you could die.

At 68-years-old Mum was still well enough to live here at home. She moved into rooms downstairs without any fuss after Dad passed away last year saying she wanted her space and it was her time now; after all, if I wanted her, she was only a walk down the stairs away. Nothing had changed with her daily routines or her pace except her new blood pressure medicines. The specialists assured us this was not the cause of Mum’s sudden death but merely that her heart had given out with age.
We tried to contact you almost straight away even though we knew you were away on the last part of your around-the-world cruise. It wasn’t till Wednesday morning that we were able to speak to the Captain and have the message passed on. At that point the family had decided to have the funeral last Friday knowing that you most likely would not be able to make it.
Allison said she would go in to dress Mum for the burial Wednesday afternoon and there was to be a private viewing after this. I wasn’t sure about the choice of coffin. Both Allison and Tom insisted we should look at environmentally friendly choices in cardboard.

I initially laughed out loud at the very thought that was conjured up in my mind. When Tom produced a booklet on some styles and designs, I have to say, I was surprised at how they looked just like regular wooden coffins in the photos. I wasn’t into the weird designs but we laughed at the thought of Mum being buried in a present style box that looked like an oversized box of chocolates complete with painted bow design on top. Allison told me that Barbara Cartland had been buried in a cardboard coffin and I had said jokingly, ‘What? Was it made out of her books? She hardly wrote anything that I know that wasn’t worth burying!’
Anyway I gave into my older brother and sister’s choice. After all, it was lined inside with a blue padding and looked presentable enough. I figured Mum wasn’t ever fussy about spending unnecessary money on things.
So Wednesday, after a long day at work, I drove to the funeral home and met up with the rest of the family for the viewing. Uncle Ted and Aunty Jean, on Dad’s side, were also there as they had remained close to Mum after Dad had died. I don’t know how well you know Uncle Ted, but it was no surprise to us kids when, after the viewing, Uncle Ted suddenly produced an Esky from somewhere and announced, ‘Time for a drink! In honour of your mother and a good woman let’s all have a drink to celebrate her good life.’
As he was saying this, he produced shot glasses out of his pockets. He handed us a glass each and then pulled from the Esky several cocktail shakers sitting in ice. With a shake and flick he poured us each a dark amber coloured drink.
‘Ted what on earth is this?’ asked Aunty Jean, as she cautiously sniffed the glass.
‘It’s called a Closed Casket and how appropriate I thought for today. You know how Ann liked a nip of rum every now and then and I think now is an ‘every now and then’ type moment. She would see the funny side to it – you know Closed Casket – get it?’ Uncle Ted poured himself a second oblivious to us all standing there hesitantly holding the cold drink and wondering if here and now was the time for such frivolity. We did drink it though and I was surprised how nice it tasted but then felt guilty with feeling pleasure at such a time. Uncle Ted had begun pouring us all another drink when suddenly the lid of the casket flew off landing with a dull thud to the floor.
Startled, we all turned to see Mum struggling to try and sit up. I bet I wasn’t the only one who wondered what we had just drunk. Aunty Jean screamed so loud the funeral home attendant came in and was just as bewildered as we were to what was going on. By this time Aunty Jean had slumped to the floor dropping her glass which snapped us out of what seemed like a slow moving dream. We didn’t know where to go first – to Aunty Jean or to Mum but it seems we all hung back in shock more than anything until Mum snapped at us to get her out of this box. She proceeded to continue to yell even as the funeral home attendant assisted her into a chair before saying he was going to call for a doctor.
It was later explained to us by the doctor on Wednesday night at the hospital, that Mum appeared to have experienced what is known as Lazarus Syndrome – something bought on by the attempted resuscitation after she had passed away at the doctor’s surgery. Lazarus Syndrome is a rare condition where the heart rate and breathing drop below measurable levels before returning to normal. It is understood that a spontaneous return of circulation happens after attempts to resuscitate fail with times varying with each case.
In all the kerfuffle we didn’t even think to try and contact you to tell you what had happened.
The doctor said he was going to keep Mum in overnight much to her disgust. It seems she was also expressing disgust with the choice of casket or was it just that ‘we had tried to bury her alive’ as that also seemed to be a part of her angry words whenever we tried to speak to her.
Mum was only home a little over a day when, in the early hours of Friday morning, I awoke to her yelling from below. I went downstairs to find her doubled over on the floor and appearing to be unconscious. She was clutching at her chest with one hand and I wondered if she had had a heart attack and ran back upstairs to ring for the ambulance. I then rang Allison and Tom and they all seemed to arrive at the same time. I’d left the front door open so that I could stay with Mum and had her head resting on a pillow and a blanket over her as they all filed in downstairs one after the other.
The ambulance officers told us they were sorry to say that Mum had passed away and they offered to contact the doctor for confirmation and the necessary procedures that needed to be followed up on.
Allison looked at me, then at Tom, and we all looked back at Mum lying in a peaceful form on the floor now.
‘Are you sure? I asked, explaining what had just happened over the week.
‘Yes without a pulse after all this time we are sure, sir. The doctor will confirm it all with you.’
So off Mum went back to the same funeral home but this time we chose a wooden casket and lined it with pink so that it didn’t resemble the last one in any way. Then around the time when her first funeral had been set for on the Friday morning, Mum again awakens from this phenomenon which I can’t say I have heard of till now. Can you believe it, Aunty Jo? I was beginning to think Mum had more than one life like a cat! Again she shocked the staff at the funeral home by walking out telling them that they were all in the plot to get rid of her.
I got the call from the home and found Mum walking along the side of the road. In the car I tried to explain to Mum what the doctor had tried to tell us but Mum would have no part of it. She said she was only getting a lift with me so she could go home and ring the police and report us all for what she thought was a plot to bury her alive. Mum seemed to have become quite confused and suddenly very old with all the dying and rising up again that had been going on.
Mum stopped eating over the weekend and spent most of the time in bed either asleep or staring at the ceiling. I was really worried that she seemed to have lost it and wasn’t sure if she knew what was going on. She hadn’t talked to any of us since we had got home Friday afternoon. Uncle Ted tried to offer her a nip of rum telling it would be all right but she just lay on the bed staring at the ceiling and didn’t respond to his attempts at humour like she used too. In fact, if her eyes weren’t open, I would almost say she had passed away again.
And then she did. Aunty Jean while sponging her down noticed that she had no pulse and called the ambulance and then the doctor. This time the doctor had Mum put into a private room in the hospital while we waited for what we thought would just be a repeat of the last times. We took it in turns to stay with Mum but after the third day the doctor declared Mum had indeed passed on this time and wrote up a Final Decease certificate there and then. The funeral home had already been put on notice but this time, given how things had ended up, it somehow was decided that Mum should be cremated immediately putting an end to it. I’m not sure what was being put an end to and didn’t want Mum being burnt alive and said as much. The doctor assured us that there had never been a case yet where a person had come back to life after being dead three days.
So it is with much sadness I write to tell you about Mum’s passing again but relief I guess that she is finally at rest. I know you will receive this letter when you get home – hardly a welcoming home letter but we just wanted you to know how difficult it has been this last fortnight. Can you believe it – this has happened to about 38 people around the world over the last thirty years? None of us had heard about the others but the doctor assures us it is a recognised medical syndrome and not some witchery or trickery or dare I say ‘spirit’ thing. I don’t believe in ghosts even though I know Mum did and always said she would come back to haunt me to see if I was looking after myself.
Well Aunty Jo, I hope you had a lovely cruise and I still plan to fly down and see you at Christmas if that’s alright. But for now I’ll end off here as I’d best go and check out the house again;
I keep getting the smell of smoke or something burning when I sit around too long, so take care,
Love from Anthony.


Buy it HERE

Autistic boy teaches colorful magic

Enjoy this illsutrated short story from the anthology

Kay Curran
THERE are many ways of experiencing colour! The artist and the poet express the colours around them in amazing ways. Some people see their feelings in colour from the golden joy of a parent when they hold their child for the first time to the red of frustration and tiredness as their special child grows up.
My grandson, who is 6-years-old, going on a hundred, was taught about the meaning of colour for him when he was only 3-years-old. His mother realised he was different, special, and a friend suggested he could be Asperger’s when she heard one of his meltdowns over the phone.
The meltdown comes with a blood curdling sound, very red and frustrated. Not just a tantrum that the average child will throw but different, signalling absolute anxiety, fear or terror of whatever makes his world almost unliveable at the time. It can be something as simple as a decision to walk down the steps that day.
We were fortunate enough to find a very good psychologist who worked wonders with him. However it caused all our families’ bank balances to turn red! You can believe that!
‘Doc’, as he called her, taught him that if he had red thoughts he would have red feelings and he had to learn to turn them into green thoughts and feelings. It was fascinating to see how this came about. One day, he came for his session, and, hardly able to pronounce the words, told Doc that he had white thoughts and feelings. ‘Mmmm, tell me about it,’ was her amazed reply. It was not something you heard at a psychologists’ conference or found in any research books.  He explained patiently that ‘angry, cranky and scared were very red feelings’ and he understood he had to make them green. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there is a different feeling altogether and it is white.’ Well the psychologists of Queensland have learnt something new and colourful.

At home with me one day he announced our dog Dove was very sad. I dismissed it by saying, ‘Oh go and give her a hug.’ Then I heard chattering coming from behind my chair, and there was my little man explaining gently to the dog, ‘Now Dove, your white feelings are coming from your white thoughts and you need to make them green.’ Can you believe it?
It has been, and I am sure will continue to be, a fascinating journey with this young man who has been on this earth a mere six years. Doc calls him her ‘little old Einstein!’ He has now been diagnosed with autism “officially” and like other special children we are given to nurture, he will make his own special mark on the world. We are blessed that he is classified as a “high functioning autistic”. He is able to talk and has a habit of doing so constantly. This can cause the listener to have feelings tingeing on the red! You can believe that!
When he started Prep School last year his grandfather asked him if he liked school, and he replied ‘Of course!’  His thinking was that if you go to school you like it – a green thought or rule he has set up?
He may be a book critic in the making.  Given a Prep book to read he said it was silly as they only changed one word in the whole book. The Year 1 book received a similar critique. The Year 2 book was considered ‘not bad’ but, when they took him back to advanced Year 1, he had comments coming from feelings bordering on the red. He said, ‘This book is rather silly; do you think I am a child?’ spoken politely but definitely.
As part of his therapy he gets to go horse riding each week and I am sure his horse Sugar, has been given the ‘white thoughts’ lecture in his own special gentle green way.
His twin sister has now been diagnosed with Asperger’s but, just to keep the teachers hopping, girls with Asperger’s present differently.  I pray every night for their teachers because their big brother who is 14 months older than the twins is also on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.
I think the difficulties they have, and will continue to have, probably make them even more wonderful. Their proud grandparents spruik about them constantly. Don’t ever ask grandma and granddad about the kids or you could end up with tired ears and red thoughts. You can believe it!
The latest is that when his mother told him the hug he gave her was ‘a real hug’ she was asked, ‘What are the elements of a real hug, Mummy?’ The next day when he was giving granddad his new real big hug I noticed he was also patting him on the back.  I leaned over and quietly asked, ‘Is the patting part of a real hug?’ In his own special way he grinned and answered, ‘Of course!’
He had said a year or so before that he had ‘blue’ thoughts for ‘special circumstances’ and I gather the ‘real hugs’ come under that colour. 
However they are very ‘normal’ children and drive their mum and dad often to ‘red thoughts’ each day.  But at night, when they are asleep you cannot stop smiling at them with loving golden thoughts. Many thanks to God for lending them to us in all their brilliant colours of red, green, white and the occasional blue.

Guest Book Review

4.0 out of 5 stars
Iraqi Icicle by Bernie Dowling, 22 Dec 2012

Interesting theatrical, musical and political diversions
This review is from:
 I ENJOYED this story and I liked the main character, Steel Hill, who delivers as a first person narrator.

We start in Brisbane, Australia, where the story is focused initially on low-life betting scammers. But gradually we move on through an interesting cast of characters.

The narrator, Steele Hill, is involved with an intellectually enhanced Natalie, whose 16-year-old sister Jane – aka Bub – effortlessly entices him into an energetic copulation.
The genre is set in a low-life betting and corrupt police situation where a dumb Irish and a nasty German pair of cops attempt to frame Steel with just about anything that might jail him. They don’t succeed and as we conclude the devious Hill is winning a huge amount of horse race betting money while a sexy and opportunistic Crystal attempts to seduce him as a criminal collaborator.
There are interesting theatrical, musical and political diversions – and the Iraqi Icicle is a rather attractive white rose that Hill uses to try and seduce the sexy but elusive Crystal.
There’s good dark humour throughout – and I particularly liked the reference to a subsequently defrocked nun at Hill’s school who claimed that her occasionally recalcitrant pupil was in fact a John Lennon lovechild!
BUY Iraqi Icicle NOW
Thanks Kathy for your guest review – Bernie

A good Irish name like Kathy Hennessy deserves a song such as this:
And here is a bonus, one more in keeping with the tone of Iraqi Icicle

Festive Fun

A shout-out from my favourite witch
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fun book for the person who loves journalism!


This review is from: 7 Shouts (My Shout) (Kindle Edition)
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”.
For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. 
Love, tragedy, success, and history – it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling.
Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂
– Heather

It’s Bernie here now. 
I need to say Heather formats many of the Bent Banana eBooks.
That’s disclosure and it is a good thing.

I experimented with links in 7 Shouts. I have the usual rock video links and also links to Wiki and news stories. These are common enough in blogs and internet articles but I was looking to do things in an eBook that you can’t in a static print book.
Anyway as Heather says, you will find it pretty funny, and living up to the BBB promise that our books are different.
Buy 7 Shouts HERE or from Google

Here to celebrate is an Aussie r’n’r classic

Aussie thriller sings and zings

Brother reviews brother. Oh, Brother!

4.0 out of 5 stars

THIS novel is an epic detective story of more than 400 pages.
Private investigator Steele Hill is a larger than life character who has the happy knack of being there when the action is happening.
His world is peopled with crooked cops and shady types in the gambling and horse racing industries.
The book describes some of the events happening in and around Brisbane from 1986 to 1992, including the music and musicians of that time.
It also gives the reader an insight into the political events which were occurring around the globe at this time.
You expect a number of surprises in a detective story and this novel has many including the basis for the title name.
If you like a long entertaining story, with plenty of salty language, this is the book for you.

Dennis Dowling, Brisbane Australia.
Mr Dowling is the brother of author Bernie Dowling.
You know you not going to get 5 Stars from your brother and I am kind of glad.
Readers are rightly wary of books with heaps of five-star reviews but with a sprinkling of most plausible one-star reviews as well.
The biggest challenge for eBooks is reliable curation or critical gate-keeping.
Personally I think you should take my word for it that Iraqi Icicle is a good book. That way, you can buy it and write your own glowing review.
You, on the other hand, may be looking for a different path of decision making.

Iraqi Icicle Second Edition is out now!

Buy Iraqi Icicle  HERE

No for our celebratory song, dedicated to my brother for his critical skills. And of course, it is the season of hollies:

Iraqi Icicle excerpt

The comic detective novel Iraqi Icicle is being released at Pine Rivers Art Gallery Queensland Australia on December 20 in a multi-art event as part of the world-wide A Big Project.
Here is an edited excerpt. 

It was a week before I saw the cops again. They tried to kick down the door of my flat, which is on the floor below My Cucumber Natalie and not 800 metres from my beloved Brisbane racetracks. I was listening to the latest Go-Betweens album, 16 Lover’s Lane, and letting the sound vibrate through me as I sat in my armchair. Unfortunately I had to get up, or risk the two detectives breaking my door down and claiming I had assaulted their feet.

The next track playing on the sixth Go-Bees album was The Streets of Your Town. They had released it twice –once the previous year when the album came out, and more successfully in June of that year of 1989. The band, which had started in Brisbane in the late seventies, was signed to the major US label Capitol, and fans were saying that the guitar-based pop rockers were going to grab the world recognition they deserved. Clouds inevitably darkened any rock band’s horizon and now, by December, rumours had erupted that The Go-Betweens had broken up. If the rumour of a bust-up was true, it was an inopportune time, when even a deeply unhip copper like Mooney could recognise the chorus of the band’s disturbing but radio-friendly single.
Round and round, up and down
Through the streets of your town.
Every day I make my way
Through the streets of your town.
‘That’s that slag’s song,’ Mooney screamed at the record player, his fleshy lips quivering. ‘That drummer, what’s her name, Morrison. Fucking bitch stole my watch.’ Mooney’s great sausagey fist feigned to slam down onto my record player, then recoiled. ‘I’m not listening to that crap any more. When you’re done, Schmidt, I’ll see you in the car.’ He stormed out the cracked door.
Schmidt looked all around the room, like a Teutonic landlord determined to retain a rental bond, before he approached the record player. ‘Congratulations, Hill. You play the only song not recorded by Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin or Kenny Rogers that Mooney knows. And now I have to hear about her stealing his watch for the rest of the day.’
‘What’s that about? If Mooney’s been to a Go-Betweens concert, I’ll have to throw out my entire record collection.’
Schmidt moved away from the stereo and began to rummage through kitchen cupboards and drawers.
‘It was way back in 1978, before Lindy Morrison was even in the band, as far as I know. You remember, the Premier at the time, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, banned street marches as a form of civil protest.’
‘Vaguely, I was only thirteen or fourteen at the time. The nuns in the orphanage weren’t big on breakfast-table discussions of the political news of the day.’
‘I wasn’t much older myself, but the old coppers tell me the uni students and their crackpot mates would call a demonstration at the drop of a hat. After a scuffle at one demo, Mooney charged Morrison with stealing his watch.’
‘And did she?’
‘From what I gather, his watch came off in a melee and Morrison held the watch in the air as if to say, “Who owns the watch?” And Mooney pinched her. Anyway, she got off at the pre-trial committal stage. But Mooney swears black and blue she got away with trying to nick his watch. If you ask me, he probably only charged her because he did not want to be grateful to a twenty-something girl for returning it.’
Here is the Go-Between’s first single, a deceptively fun song with a lot of depth.

Vision gets even better

5.0 out of 5 stars Harper Fan December 7, 2012
By Ruth G
Amazon Verified Purchase
I LOVED this book possibly more than the first. 
The short stories are easy to read and Vision II: The Reluctant Psychic Returns takes the reader on a great journey.  
Even though I know the main characters of the books, each of the short stories can stand alone but written so that they can be read one after the other in a way that does not detract from the continuing storyline. 
The way the author is developing the character of Trudy Harper and her special abilities gives a greater range of how her physic gift aids in each case. 
You never know what is coming up next and I look forward to the next book. Keep up the great work Jane.

Trudy Harper, did you say?

Bent Christmas and Banana New Year

Avoir un Bent Noël et une Bonne Année Banana Nouveau!
Werfen Sie einen Bent Weihnachten und ein Banana New Year!
एक तुला क्रिसमस और एक केले New Year!
Bíodh na Nollag Bent agus Athbhliain Banana Nua!
Have a Bent Christmas and a Banana New Year!

GIVE a gift of a Bent Banana Book this Christmas to family, friends and yourself.

At Bent Banana Books, we offer a simple guarantee – our books are different.
You can choose from a novel, short story anthologies or a witty set of observations on modern life.
All of our eBooks are priced at $4.99 or below. Hey, some will be free on certain days before Christmas. Follow us on Twitter free alerts.
All the books are available as Kindle editions and some as Google eBooks.
Of course, a Kindle eReader is a fine way to savor a book and you can also get a free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone 7.
Here are the BBB offerings for holiday reading.
This much anticipated novel Iraqi Icicle is released fir Christmas. The neo-noir detective story has devilish humor, memorable characters and plot, all of which hark back to the original masters of the form: Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Check out the making of Iraqi Icicle. (Warning: this video contains no cats and goes for about 9 minutes. Prepare yourself for the Tolstoy of Youtube) But Iraqi Icicle HERE 

Jane Sharp introduces psychic detective Trudy Harper in the opening anthologies of the Vision series. Reader reviews are uniformly excellent and BBB is predicting big things for the Harper franchise as astute early adopters such as yourself spread the good word. Buy Vision I HERE
Buy Vision II HERE

 Each story illustrated

These two anthologies comfortably meet out guarantee of books that are different. The modern short stories offer laughs, shocks, drama and insights into the exterior and interior of the modern world. Each story is illustrated by an Australian artist. Check them out, today. Buy Can you believe it…. HERE  Buy Sweet and Sour HERE
If you want to try before you buy the full anthologies, here is a teaser. Buy 5 Strong Bricks in the Wall HERE
Bernie Dowling’s 7 Shouts is a series of quirky reflections on the world today. It will have you laughing out loud one minute and in reflective mood the next. 7 Shouts is an early experiment with the eBook form. Buy 7 Shouts HERE

BBB wishes you all the 

best of reading over the 

festive season. Support 

quality books wherever 

you find them.

Bent Christmas and Banana New Year 

to you.

And our Christmas song:

Trudy returns

RELUCTANT psychic Detective Trudy Harper is back with her paranormal “gifts’’ stronger but still beyond the conscious control of the young woman.
Vision II: The Reluctant Psychic Returns follows the popular series debut which gathered reader praise including favorable comparisons with hit television shows, The Mentalist, Law & Order and Medium.
Vision II starts with Lucky Luke in which Trudy is specifically signaled out by a spirit for the first time. The Spirit does not know Trudy is a cop but he has been told she is the only one who can save his beloved grandson from a cold, lonely death.
The Price of Freedom is the harrowing and unusual tale of a kidnapping. A rich girl’s life hangs by a thread and her only chance at salvation is with her tattered teddy bear.
Trudy Harper is funny and flirtatious at the beginning of Walking a Fine Line but an ethical call on her part could cost her a career. Walking a Fine Line is a sophisticated  suspenseful tale.
Forever My Child is a signature story from Jane Sharp. White terror invades domesticity. The ending will stay with you for a long time.
In Changes, death becomes personal and Trudy is alone at the crossroads of not just her career but her very life.
Be the first to download your ecopy of Vision II: The Reluctant Psychic Returns after you check out another great cover, this one by Australian artist Julie Tarrant.
Vision II: The Reluctant Psychic Returns, published by Bent Banana Books, is out TODAY, through Amazon and its affiliates.
Without further beating around the bush, here is our celebratory launch theme song

Free Spirit soars

FREE!  Free at last!

Not quite but Vision: The Reluctant Psychicis free this Saturday.

The new paranormal crime drama is free Saturday, US time.
You might want to set your world clock. has a default time of Brisbane, Australia. You might want to change that.
Vision: The Reluctant Psychic is knocking on the heavenly door of Top 20 in the Ghost genre. Last week it reached #24, a credit to its author Jane Sharp and its publisher Bent Banana Books which is, well, me.
With great kudos comes great responsibility as someone once almost said. Let’s hear from young Bob on a variation of that theme.
If you are a bit of a rebel in the mould of Billie the kid – to be gender unspecific – you might want to thumb your nose at the free offer and buy the book, right now.

You would make author Jane and publisher, me, very happy. It seems to be an unfashionable philosophy, but one I subscribe to, that authors should not work for their art or future reward but rather present recompense for the sweat of their brow.
Indie authors seem to be setting standards of free or 99cent books. It is not a strategy I subscribe to but that is a discussion for another day. For today, ours is not to reason why ours is to plug the free Vision ‘til we die.
I am uncertain what the reward is for free books as the free receivers cannot write reviews, and they are hardly likely to buy another copy of the book they have received for free. That too is grist for a future discussion.
Right now, here are is a selection of reviews to encourage you to buy this book even if it is for zero cents on Saturday. My comments are in bold under each review as I cannot help myself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vision : captivating!, September 23, 2012
I finished ‘Vision : The Reluctant Psychic’ in a day. I haven’t read like this for years.
Jane Sharp’s creativity is magnificent. Her ideas and plotting are the equal of the best crime dramas like Law and Order or The Mentalist. The writing travels at a clip. The originality and heart kept me right in the story. Please write more!
Wow 2 0ut of 2 people found this review helpful. That is 100%, perfection – publisher hyperbole.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars , August 26, 2012
What a good read! I found myself easily engrossed in the story and loved the references to suburbs and landmarks in Brisbane. Can’t wait to hear more of Detective Trudy Harper and her adventures as a reluctant psychic.
Wow 2 0ut of 2 reviewers  have given it 5 stars, perfection again – publisher hyperbole, again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart! Smart! Smart! (and entertaining too!!), September 17, 2012
I found the book to be well written and very enjoyable reading.

Each story is an easy read and flows on from one to the other effortlessly, revealing a little more character development each time.

I became very invested in the character of Trudy and in those of her friends. Get cracking Trudy Harper! I want to see what happens to you.

I, the publisher,  could go on but why bother? You have already left this page to buy the book.

Make sure you come back for our celebratory song. We’ll wait for you.

It costs more than $8 and I am promoting it thus:
Over-proceed to buggery in a world of free and 99cents, 7 Shouts is a must-have.)
We all back from frantic impulse buying of Visionnow?
Here is our celebratory song: slightly spooky, joyful and quasi spiritual. For any racist who has stumbled across this blog, stick this song in your ear.

To sex or not to sex

THAT is the question: to sex or not to sex.
A lot of websites are saying no to sex.
On the first page of a Google search of mine, six websites had this exact same bait line: ‘American Playwright David Mamet explains why no play or movie he writes or directs include explicit sex scenes.’
Oh! Calcutta! you are so quaint

To a writer, the funniest thing  about  the websites all having the same sentence is they have it wrong. Re-read the sentence. It should not be “include” but “includes”.

It seems the only “ism’’ the www believes in is plagiarism and sometimes malapropism.  
I stole that plagiarism quip by the way.  While I am on a role, I will paraphrase another jest coined by someone else. Say no to promiscuous sex? We were brought up better than that. Say no, thank you, to promiscuous sex.
Mamet is a playwright and he was saying explicit sex on the stage distracts people.
I would have thought than in the bedroom or outdoors, it tends to focus the actors and even an audience if there is one. Apparently not so on the stage, but books might be a different fetish of fish.
An erotic novel without sex might not sell too well. I am no expert on an erotic literature but some writer in the genre must have come up with a novel without copulation. I wonder how it went.
I am likewise unfamiliar with the ups and downs, the ins and outs, of romance titles but they tell me intertwining bodies are all the go on certain pages.
I do know about detective novels. Sex and greed are pretty much all she wrote is those.
At least, in one Raymond Chandler, Marlowe, despite his fondness for hard liquor, did not bed the femme fatale until she had left her husband.
Dashiell Hammet’s  Sam Spade, on the other hand, tells his faithful secretary he can only relate to women through sex.  Note to author Dash: decline that invitation for a guestie at the Jane Austin Book Club.
In my novel, Iraqi Icicle (2ndedition due out shortly) I have added a funny sex scene. It made me laugh anyway. It’s the longest sex scene in the novel  unless my editor, who has the manuscript in his hot little hands ATM, decides we need some more hanky panky.
Iraqi Icicle has only a smattering of four-letter words, in contrast to J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.  In all other respects our novels are eerily similar and should sell about the same number of copies.
The point is it is the writer’s call on sex, violence and four-letter words. The reader is the ultimate arbiter but some of us recalcitrant writers believe there is more to writing a novel than maximising sales.
Sing-along time, me word-loving maties!

(warning: nudie bit)

Amazon declares me profane

Amazon thinks we are profane.

They said my profile was unacceptable because it contained a profanity. WTF! I carefully re-read my profile and tried a few changes but the message came back: PROFANE
I deleted the only remaining  thing I could see they might object to. Sure enough, the new version passed muster.

And the deletion: bentbananabooks. That’s right, my publishing name.

Do you think I should burn all the books I have published?

Censors, you gotta love ém. What is your favourite censorial comment?

Mine is from an American censor who banned a foreign movie with the comment:

This film is meaningless. If it has any meaning, 
it is, no doubt, objectionable.

All in all, you know what a censor is:

Critical readers have their say about 7 Shouts

A fun read June 10, 2012
By Jane.S
Bernie Dowling has a unique voice that really brings his columns to life. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys Australian humour. Even if you don’t laugh you will be entertained and informed. My favourite is the Slanguage chapter. For the record I say ‘marown’.
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”. For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. Love, tragedy, success, and history–it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling. Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂
Read to the end
By Lorraine R. Noscov
Not often have I picked up a book to read and wanted to keep reading until I had finished the book. 
7 Shouts by Bernie Dowling is a light-hearted read of historical and some hysterical interesting snippets from the Northern Times Newspaper. It is a pleasant walk down memory lane for anyone who has lived in the Pine Rivers Shire, now Moreton Bay Shire, during 2001 and 2008.
Lorraine R. Noscov
Wonderful appreciation
R. Holt 
Author Dowling has a wonderful appreciation of the issues affecting local people and his witty use of the English and Australian languages enhance the book’s entertainment value. His ‘best of’ columns broadly range between being informative, questioning, educational, and humorous while he has a knack of subtly promoting local events and people. The cover is attractive and the book would interest readers of short stories involving real life events.
Instant classics
Easy and relaxing reading with interesting facts along the way. Some of the author’s comments, I like to declare as instant classics.
Customer Reviews
Average 4.0 out of 5 stars
Publisher’s summary
A comic journey from the edge of the city into the heartland of the metropolis passing through the mullet festival, the school fete and the rural show. 
Journalist Bernie Dowling and his readers embrace and defy physical prescriptions such as the Russell Crowe Law of Fame and the Barck Obama Version of Australian Slang.
Before their eyes leap cultural icons such as the french poodles Fi Fi and Fa Fa which enter the sheep-dog trials and the impoverished teenager trying to win a date with pop singer Delta Goodrem
OIympic athletes, a US president, a deposed Australian Prime Minister greet them along strange detours to solve historical mysteries.
Signposts along the way are unusual photos and links to crazy songs and weird facts.
7 Shouts is a classic contemporary doco of a world gone mad, but still a heap of fun.

7 Shouts available as an eBook from 

affiliated etailers
Thank you for 

flying BernieAirDepartures

Je m’apelle a winner babe

Our best bet for Australia today is Glaneuse, a 6-year-old gelding by Blevic out of the mare Qu’Appelle.

Qu’Appelle. is French for What’s your Name  and is also the name of a Canadian village.

French artist JeanFrançois Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) painted the famous Les Glaneuses or The Gleaners oil-on-canvas in 1857.

Les Galneuses
Glaneuses were women who collected fruit or vegetables left on the ground during harvesting,

In Millet’s painting the women are collecting corn.

Today we can eat corn or cake or caviare or whatever we like. Today’s the day we take the bookies to the gleaners.

On a sadder note, South Australian sire Blevic died this week, aged 20.

Blevic never sired a champion horse but, In his sixteen seasons he served 1218 mares with his fertility rate more than 90 per cent. He obviously had a bit of fun.

He is the sire of 331 winners including stakes performers Moudre,, Shewan, Exalted Ego, Under The Bridge and Exalted Lad.

Reviews roll on

REVIEWS are coming in to Amazon for Bernie Dowling’s non-fiction work 7 Shouts:The Best of My Shout.
Gleaned from seven year’s of his My Shout newspaper columns, the book establishes Australian humour at the off-centre of the Universe.
The first two reviewers each gave 7 Shouts four stars.
Here is what they had to say.

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, June 10, 2012
By baggy
This review is from: 7 Shouts (My Shout) (Kindle Edition)
Bernie Dowling has a unique voice that really brings his columns to life. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys Australian humour. Even if you don’t laugh you will be entertained and informed. My favourite is the Slanguage chapter. For the record I say ‘marown’.

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book for the person who loves journalism!, June 7, 2012
By Heather Marie Adkins
This review is from: 7 Shouts (My Shout) (Kindle Edition)
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”. For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. Love, tragedy, success, and history–it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling. Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂

Reviews are also at Google eBooks for the Kindle-less lovers of lit.
Visit Amazon 
or Google Books
Give yourself a giggle.

Them ol’ Publisher blues

I came across another mainstream publisher at a conference the other day – very depressing. I don’t mind so much they are in denial that ebooks will send them spiralling into obsolescence just like epublishing sent the big  record companies down the drain. If I was in their shoes, I would be dreading the future of the ebook.
What gets up my nose is the high and mighty attitude of the BPs -Big Publishers. Ebooks will savagely  lower the standard.  New authors will not be nurtured.
Hello: the standard has been dropping over the past 40 years. A mainstream publisher could not sell a novel of ideas to Socrates. That is if they were interested in trying.
New authors have to pay for their own editing and acquire an agent themselves – things publishers used to do for someone they “nurture”.
Bent Banana Books is my publishing hut, set up to promote local self-publishing throughout the world, aligned with global e-publishing.
It will develop a resource base of honest and reliable self-publishing facilitators, provide handy hints for emerging writers and promote ebooks of self-published authors.
Bent Banana Books will engage in the discussion on the future of the book, through its website and this blog.
I will post faithfully, every Wednesday  and Friday.
If you have a passion for books and their future, have your say on this space. If you need a topic: will a flood of ebooks lower the standard and prevent quality breaking through?