Category Archives: Bernie Dowling


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

Get a lawyer, a real Godot one

A-G Brandis seeks
legal advice in fiction

 We Australian taxpayers kindly bought attorney-general George Brandis a copy of the Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot for the bookshelf of his Canberra office.

(That’s Brandis’s office. Godot has not been seen in the national capital for a long time; some say never.)
It worked this way. Brandis, between January and June 2013,   suggested Godot was an indispensable addition to his departmental literature and those who approve such an acquisition on taxpayers’ behalf concurred.
Normally I would be churlish about such a purchase and suggest Brandis would be reading above his intellectual weight. But Godot is a significant totem in the plot of my novel Iraqi Icicle.

Instead of poking fun I look forward to seeing my novel among the attorney-general’s considerable library haul for July to December, 2013.

In all honesty, I cannot take a cheap shot at Brandis and demand he explains the relevance of his purchase. In Godot lies a deep legal conundrum.

It is where Vladimir raises the question of the reliability of eye witnesses, specifically in the Biblical account of the Crucifixion.

…Of the other three, two don’t mention any thieves at all and the third says that both of them abused him.’

Why do Christians accept the evidence of one of the four eye-witnesses as fact to create a moral principle of “the good thief” which I must add does not refer to efficacy in his profession. He was being crucified, after all. In Godot, Estragon says it is because “people are bloody ignorant apes”. I am unsure whether Estragon’s Law will hold up as a legal principle.

You will notice Vladimir is not concerned with the jurisprudence of one thief being saved and the other damned.

For that question, we taxpayers need to buy the attorney-general a copy of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (only $3.59 in hardback from Amazon)

‘ALDRED DOOLITTLE: I’m one of the undeserving poor: that’s what I am. If there’s anything going, and I put in for a bit of it, it’s always the same story: ‘You’re undeserving; so you can’t have it.’ But my needs is as great as the most deserving widow…I don’t need less than a deserving man: I need more. I don’t eat less hearty than him; and I drink a lot more. I want a bit of amusement, ‘cause I’m a thinking man. I want cheerfulness and a song and a band when I feel low.’<


As attorney-general, Brandis may be called on to decide whether to prosecute or save a good thief, so the Beckett and Shaw texts could prove inspired spending of public money.

Earlier this year, Mr Brandis repaid $1700 in public funds he had used to attend the wedding of right-wing shock-jock Michael Smith who not only speaks for the legendary bloody-minded “Everyman”, but even has his name. No further inquiry was made into Brandis’s initial claim which he still insisted he was entitled to. He was returning the money to put to bed ”uncertainty (about his entitlement) in favour of the taxpayer”.

In law, words mean what they say: Brandis was doing us taxpayers a favor for not claiming public funds to go to a private wedding. The attorney-general was “the good uncertain”.

The bad uncertain was Peter Slipper who had defected from the conservative party known from some historical anomaly as the Liberal Party. Brandis remains in the now-governing Liberal Party.

Slipper was bribed by the then Labor Party government with the cushy chair as Speaker of the House.

He was caught spending lots of public bugs-bunny joyriding in cabs. Slipper had the mirror excuse to Brandis of uncertainty over the use of public payments for cab dockets. Like Brandis, he paid back the money. There the comparison ends as Slipper is before the courts for alleged abuse of public entitlements.

Brandis is the good uncertain and Slipper the bad uncertain. You wouldn’t read about it. Or maybe you would – in Brandis’s office.

It is all a misunderstanding when an attorney-general is caught with his hand in someone else’s cookie jar.

Bernie Dowling

Noir thrills in Brisbane

Bent Banana Books has all its titles at Bewdiful BargainBasement prices this festive season starting with Bernie Dowling’s neo-noir novel Iraqi Icicle at .99c.


Check back regularly at   click on books in our gallery and see what bargains are on offer.
The Iraqi IcicleeBook bargain begins on December 7 at Amazon US. Your copy for Kindle is a few clicks and .99c away.  The promotion begins at Amazon UK on December 8 for £.99.
In paperback, your favorite online book stores will have the 368-page paperback in your eager hands for $US16-17 including delivery.
For less than $20, you can give a paperback copy of Iraqi Icicle as a Christmas gift and have the eBook at your finger-tips for your holiday reading.
You might want to read the reviews before you buy.
Here is one from the most respected book magazines in the world, Publishers Weekly. At the very least, you will find out what an Iraqi Icicle is.
Australian author Bernie Dowling applauds this promotion.
“I am pleased Amazon and Bent Banana Books have made Iraqi Icicle available at the eBook price of .99c,” Dowling said from his home  north of Brisbane.
“I created the novel as a deliberate challenge for the reader with a headache from the sugar-hits of formula thrillers. Now, people can read the eBook to decide which friend would appreciate the paperback for Christmas.”
He said the correct answer to what is an Iraqi icicle was find out for yourself.
I have not blogged here for quite some time so I am not sure if you are out there. Helloooow!  Helloooow! Anybody there? 
Any way, if you are out there, you know the drill. We finish with a song. As this post is about a neo-noir novel this one is appropriate. The video is a cultural atrocity but the song is cool.
Cheers, Bernie.

Man trouble is murder for Annie

Annie: Bernie, what are your thoughts
on my character?
Bernie: Funny you should ask, Annie…
FREDERICK Lee Brooke could be creating a new literary sub-genre – the relationship thriller.
Like all good thrillers, Collateral Damage crackles along at a merry pace while the reader eagerly awaits the denouement of Annie Ogden’s entanglements with three men.

Ex school teacher/ Iraq War veteran/ part time private eye Annie is engaged to her tubby partner in crime solution Salvatore. But her former lover in Iraq Michael bobs up Stateside to stir residual amorous feelings. Michael’s eccentric behaviour is still attractive though his recent addiction to methamphetamine is not so much.
Another man to return to Annie’s life is her creepy brother-in-law, Todd who has deserted her sister Alison. Todd is a journalist doing a story on what life is like for homecoming vets. (I am a journalist and I swear only in fiction do you find a creepy journo)
When the first dead body hits the page, Michael is banged up as chief suspect and Annie is determined to get him out of jail which displeases fiancé Salvatore more than a smidgin.
Michael, of course, cannot do much sleuthing but Annie and her ex-army buddy June can and do. Salvatore and Todd, also team up in a hostile partnership to see who the killer is and who gets the girl.
If you told me the plotline of Collateral Damage, I would have provably said “pass” as in “pass me a neo-noir”.
But I read the book in three sittings and I turned the pages eagerly. Characters are believable and well-drawn. Pacing is executed with precision and there are some deft touches as when a distraught Salvatore seeks comfort in food. And I did want to know who gets the girl as much as the who and whys of the central mystery.
There is a fair bit of business about food and drink in the novel but everyone likes eating and imbibing.
I am not a big fan of prodigious questions in a thriller which seem designed to help the slower reader keep up. They are plenty of plot recaps here but for the most part they are fairly unobtrusive.
Author Brooke is clever in not overstating the serious theme in the book of problems of war veterans in adjusting in civil society. The message comes across finely with subtle handling of the topic.
I know almost zero about the romance genre, but I imagine some of its fans might jauntily cross over to this thriller. If you are a fan of romance, mystery and thrillers you may well have hit your literary jackpot here.
I believe Collateral Damage is the third in the Annie-Ogden series. I feel confident reception will be positive enough to encourage a fourth.
Here is out song tribute, a lovely singer, no blonde hair, though. You have to read the book to get my in-joke. Sorry.

Always Gai and often chatty but Mum’s the word now

Gai Waterhouse clams up though the boys John Singleton Tom Waterhouse and Andrew Johns have their say
Gai Waterhouse was an actor but she was not in this film.
Angelica Huston and John Cusack played Mother and Son 
in this one. 
The young woman on the right was not one of John Singleton’s six wives.

LEADING Australian racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse has been the darling of television media for the past two decades. Put a camera in front of Mrs Waterhouse before a big race meeting, you know you are going to get big smiles and unbridled optimism that one of her horses will win the big. But not this week. Gai Waterhouse has clammed up.
In a double whammy of gloom for the television mob, racing stewards have refused to open up to the cameras Monday’s inquiry into the performance  of millionaire mare More Joyous, trained by Waterhouse until huffed-up owner sacked her – the trainer not the horse.
Stewards opened an inquiry into the poor performance of More Joyous finished second last in Saturday’s All Aged Stakes at Randwick racecourse.
But even before the race, an irate Singleton approached an obviously peeved Waterhouse who tried to ignore Singo’s accusation the trainer’s bookmaker son Tom had told three people More Joyous was crook and could not win. Singo later said one of the three was former rugby league champion Andrew Johns.
Tom Waterhouse went to social media to say Singo was mistaken and he was considering suing him. Much older Singo repeated his accusations to old media.
Some might have thought the loquacious Gai would come out swinging in defence of her son. But Mum’s the word.
This is a pity. Players in the drama, radio-station owner Singleton and Andrew Johns, are portrayed in the media as lovable larrikins. But Gai Waterhouse is the most interesting player in this comedy thriller.
Gai Waterhouse, 58, is the daughter of all-conquering Randwick racehorse trainer T.J. (Tommy) Smith. She took up modelling and acting, appearing in the Australian soap opera The Young Doctors. As the young and the restless did in those still-swinging seventies, she moved to London and appeared in the Doctor Who story The Invasion of Time.
Gai figured the odds of a successful career in acting and returned to Australia where she worked in her father’s stable for 15 years.
Her blog sums up those years and what came next:
After a 15-year apprenticeship with her father, the legendary TJ Smith, and a prolonged battle with officialdom, Gai was granted her licence to train thoroughbreds in January 1992.”
She does not expand on the prolonged battle with officialdom, but some sense of injustice, if not gender bias, seems implied.
It was a case of Gai being punished for the sins of the husband and his father. Hubby Robbie Waterhouse and Father-in-law Bill, both bookmakers, had their licences pulled in 1984 for “prior knowledge” of the Fine Cotton ring-in.
Perhaps it was in the genes .and Waterhouse has been a leading trainer for most of the past 30 years.
Gai Waterhouse has not said a direct word about the subjects of Monday’s inquiry. Television cameras were on the pair when Singleton gave her a huge verbal serve before Saturday’s big race. She appeared to not return a word to him.
She is reported to have had a phone conversation with son Tom, after the races.
It seems to have gone something like this.
Gai: “What did you tell people about More Joyous?”
Tom: “Nothing, I told them nothing, Mum.”
Gai: “Okay.”
End of conversation.
She was a guest speaker at the Warrnambool race meeting on Tuesday but she ignored questions on the brouhaha.
Of course, what the former actor did say has been interpreted as if they were Shakespearean references to the affair. “Put your head down, keep your bum up, keep your mouth shut and that’s the key to success,” Waterhouse said.
She also said Tom, as she had done, just wanted to please his father. Wow, was this a reference to the stoush as a tragic challenge to the Smith and Waterhouse dynasties. Well, we all know Singo/ Macbeth/ Cassius/ Iago mainly wants to please himself. In the past he has largely succeeded. Maybe not this time.

Gai Waterhouse have had a great personal and professional relationship for 25 years. They have been seen together at many a garden party…

Instant karma got me

Publisher’s Weekly reviews Iraqi Icicle as karma stalks the aisles of Woolworths Supermarket

IT was beaut to see a review of my novel Iraqi Icicle in the prized review pages of Publisher’s Weekly.
Perhaps that is why I returned the free groceries to my local Woolworths supermarket.

I WAS shopping for the family groceries today, Sunday in Oz.
I came home with two bags of groceries which I had neither collected from the selves nor paid for.
Top stuff was in the plastic bags – a big bag of black grapes, apples, biscuits, tea, a good-looking loaf of bread. None of it was mine. I was thinking of keeping it when my wife said I should take it back.
Of course I should and I did. It was less than a 10-minute drive back to the Woolies supermarket.
The young attendant at the inquiry counter told me the man who had left his groceries behind to be mixed up with mine had just left.
“We replaced all those groceries from the shelves,” the attendant said.
“Now we will be able to put them back on the shelves. Thank you.”
Wow, I thought, that is pretty cool of a big capo outfit like Woolworths to take the customer’s word and replace all his groceries.
Then I had returned all the items minutes later – without eating one grape, though they looked nice and juicy.
That is the closest I have come to instant karma.
It was less than q week before that American book Bible Publisher’s Weekly reviewed my novel Iraqi Icicle. They say a review in PW can engender 1000 sales. I am not expecting that kind of result but things are looking up and I am on a karma roll.
Here is the review;
Today’s song is a no-brainer:

Book lovers warm to Iraqi Icicle

No Life of Pi at Pine Rivers Art Gallery Launch of Bernie Dowling’s Iraqi Icicle

Bernie Dowling launched his neo-noir novel Iraqi Icicle at Pine Rivers Art Gallery on April 20, 2013.

It was not quite the fanfare you might associate with Life of Pi it does have the memorable background of Amada Van Gil’s touring exhibition In Between Places.
Ms Van Gil created the works by interpreting photos of landscapes taking from moving vehicles.
In Between Places is also a cornerstone of a branch of Celtic philosophy which fits in neatly with Dowling’s Irish heritage.
At the launch, Dowling explained his neo-noir novel was at in-between place among the crime thrillers.
Iraqi Icicle can be ordered at any bookshop and from on-line retailers.
AND here is a classic countdown of Aussie in-between places.
Apologies to non-Aussies but with a bit of an Atlas and a lotta luck you might be able to navigate the song. The journey is worth it.

Lennon and I are miffed

JOHN Lennon famously returned his MBE in protest about the war in Biafraand the Beatles single Cold Turkeyslipping down the charts. I won’t be receiving any Australia Day (January 26) award to return but I am mightily miffed at my novel Iraqi Icicle slipping down the charts.

The Beatles single Cold Turkey rose to number 14 on the UK Singles Chart on November 15, 1969. On November 22, Cold Turkey dropped to number 15, and on November 25, Lennon returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace saying

“I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With love, John Lennon.”
Yesterday, not the Beatles song, my novel Iraqi Icicle went to #37 in the Amazon Hot 100 humor freebies. By this afternoon, Aussie time, it had slipped below 60. This cannot continue.
As I have said before, giving away books is a hazy strategy for me. Apparently, you can be anointed by God, the Amazon Algorithm. Obviously if some of the Iraqi Icicle receivers review my novel, it will be beaut.
Whatever, if giving away books is good, giving away lots of books has to be better.
That’s where you, loyal supporter, come in.
You can Facebook the Amazon free Kindle app for PC, Mac, tablets and smart phones followed by the two download sites for the UK and the US.
You can post the entire list of world sites as found on my blog The whole world loves freedom. That is a lot of work and I would not recommend it unless you plan to cyberstalk me and I would worry about that. Instead you might like to tweet both the UK ande US free downloads above.
I have been at work all day and unable to pester all my social media contacts which could explain why Iraqi Icicle has unjustly slid down the charts. Also Tuesday and Wednesdays are the weakest day of a five-day giveaway. I still think I can make the 1000+ giveaways with a little help from my friends.
Today’s song comes with a bit of a preamble. Last week, I interviewed Gerry Marsden from 60s Britgroup Gerry and the Pacemakers. During the i/v I said truthfully Ferry Cross the Mersey was my favourite song of the band.
The title should actually be written Ferry, Cross the Mersey. Ferry is an imperative verb, not a contraction of across. The song is more powerful when the listener knows this.
Here it is. After you have a watch, get on to those social media messages for Iraqi Icicle.

The whole world loves freedom

Handmade notebooks from  Libre Livre

I TRY not to trouble myself unduly with matters of commerce.
For five days next week, I am giving away my enovel Iraqi Icicle. I do this not because I think it makes a lot of commercial sense but because others tell me it does.
It seems the Amazon algorithms will discover me this way.

I HAVE a theory that in a thousand years’ time, a new set of gods will live on Mt Algorithm. Amazon will be the god of Books. Google will be the god of Discovery. PayPal will be the god of Commerce.

PayPal has proven a great boon for commercial Luddites such as myself. The payments take but a few minutes and the commercial records are somewhere on the internet.
I have spent about $5000 through PayPal. That I am a commercial publisher and have received not one cent into my PayPal account is a bit of a worry. But not too much.
One day, I will get around to sticking an estore on my website. Watch the cents roll in then!
In the meantime, I am content to give away my novel for a week. No paperwork there.
The print version of Iraqi Icicle will be unleashed on the world on January 26.
Here is the blurb to show you just what a fantastic novel it is. At the very least, it shows my editor Eoin O’Brien can write a great blurb.
A dead actress, a dead gambler, a dead professor, a dead fisherman …
With murder following his every step, determined under-achiever Steele Hill is tangled in layers of intrigue and deviousness.
Pulled from his cosy world of the racetrack, the rock-music pub and the gambling den, everybody the wise-cracking Hill meets is in danger, as he is sucked into the undertow of forces beyond his understanding. One ally is a reclusive teenage maths whiz, channeling Hendrix, and tapping into military software and magic mushrooms.
The fix is in and the bodies are piling up.
Leaping off the shoulders of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Iraqi Icicle is a wild and hilarious ride through the dark and murky worlds of gambling, drugs, politics and rock’n’roll.  
The comparison with Catch-22 was my idea. As you know I am a humble style of fella. I asked Eoin if it was not too much and he said we could scale it down later. Eoin left it in so it must be true.

The paperback is priced at US$14.99 plus shipping and is available from Amazon and book stores, if you ask for it. (Please do.) Amazon will not make it available for libraries because I refused to surrender the Bent Banana Books ISBN. As always, the fabulous Maria from Thorpe-Bowker Australia got that ISBN for me. I was not giving it up.

I am not sure why Amazon will only deliver to libraries under its own ISBN. It is probably a commercial thingo and as you know I do not worry unduly about commerce

Iraqi Icicle is about 380 pages of near-perfect prose and $14.99 seems a fair price. For the technically minded, it is set in an 11-pt font. If I had put it in 12-pt and created two-page chapters as some of the best sellers do, that sucker would have been 500+ pages and a real bargain at $14.99.
The eBook comes in at 406 pages and it’s free. Now that is a bargain! I should make a killing from that. Just not sure how.
To obtain, your free copy during Jan 21-25, go to your local Amazon estore and download. If your country, such as Australia, has not got an estore, I think you can download free from Amazon US. But again that is a commercial affair, so I would not completely take my word for it. Worth a try but.

The US link is HERE
And HERE is the UK site

“Iraqi Icicle 2 nd edition  (48の検索結果をすべて見る)


Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition Bernie Dowling (Kindle版 – 2012/12/17)

購入:¥ 411


(The Japanese will so get the rock-music references in Iraqi Icicle. That is not a joke; they will.)

I could not find my eBook on Amazon India.
They tell me Iraqi Icicle might struggle in India because they do not get hard-boiled detective yarns. It seems they are into the ideology of “anyone can make it”. Goddamn Bollywood – it should be Mullywood, anyway – they need Martin Scorcese over there making films.
Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition

Voir une image plus grande (avec un zoom)

Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition [Format Kindle]

Bernie Dowling  

(The French will love Iraqi Icicle. It would not surprise to see them start making the movie next week No-one’s ‘jáime-d it yet but it is only a matter of time).

No Curtirs in Brazil for Iraqi Icicle, yet, but I am sure Olympic Games visitors will be clutching a paperback to read during the boring bits of the synchronized swimming.

Fellow Aussie author Ryle Winn says his books sell well in Germany perhaps because so many Germans enjoy the  backpacking experience in Oz. 

Inspector Rex is an Austrian production but I might put a police dog, a german shepherd named Rex, in the sequel to Iraqi Icicle.

I have never been to Canada but the people seem warm and the climate cold. Bit like Iraqi Icicle – cool title, hot novel.

Lots of people of Italian origin are in Australia and some of my important supporting characters are Italians. I love Amazon Italy because they call me the Autore which sounds so much sexier than the English translation.

Amazon Spain is running the American reviews of Iraqi Icicle which is nice of them.

“iraqi icicle 2 nd edition  (查看所有 27 个结果)


Articles on Military Units and Formations of Iraq, Including: Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion, Iraqi Special Operations Forces, 1st Division (Iraq), 2nd Hephaestus Books Hephaestus Books (2011-09出版)


购《波莉安娜》再优惠6元 查看详细资料


“Me old China (plate)” is a great Aussie expression for “mate’’. I am afraid me old Amazon China has let me down. Iraqi Icicle is described as a book of

Articles on Military Units and Formations of Iraq.”

That’s not quite a reliable synopsis of my novel and I will see if I can have that fixed.

Update on China and India
Amazon is impressive in answering queries within 24 hours when you can spend that long on a telephone call to an Australian enterprise. The big A tells me the Indian and Chinese operations do not have their on-line operations sorted yet. Citizens of both countries can buy my paperback which must be a great relief for them and certainly is for me.

All right, go to any of those countries where you have an Amazon account and download the eBook Iraqi Icicle for free January 21-25. If it is China, do tell us what the book on Iraqi military units is like.


Today’s video explains why my forebears emigrated from County Cork, Ireland, and I am therefore trying to flog books from Australia instead of living the pleasant life of the gentleman Irish farmer.

When Rusty snapped

Toytown: photograph by Russell Brown

RUSSELL Brown is an Aussie newspaper photographer.
He and I have worked on the same newspapers, the Pine Rivers Press and the Northern Times for more than a decade and we live in neighboring suburbs in the Pine Rivers district of Australia.
Because he is Australian, Russell has been honored with the nickname, Rusty. 

Rusty may seem like a strange nickname but even Russell Crowe is known as Rusty by his Aussie acting mates. There used to be an Australian actor call Chips Rafferty but I doubt Rusty Crowe would have enough gravitas to headline the big screen or to receive an Academy award.
The other Rusty, of the Brown persuasion, is quite the artist, too.
Last year, Russell’s work was included in the Salon de la Photo exhibition in Paris.

Silent Sorrow was a Russell Brown exhibit at Salon de la Photo 

Our little piece of home turf is not Paree but Russell was featured in two exhibitions at Pine Rivers Art Gallery last year.
The gallery is also why Rusty’s photograph Frosty Morning II adorns the cover of my novel Iraqi Icicle.
Every year for the past 12, I have covered the Moreton Bay Regional Art Awards, held at the gallery. Our papers send a photographer along and, for many of those years, it has been Rusty.
A few years back, we were doing our jobs when Rusty pointed out one photograph in the exhibition. It was his.
Rusty did not win. The winning photographer, who also won a major prize with his pic, had collected hundreds of dead insects, put them on the ground among some leaves and snapped the winning pic. Neither Russell nor I could figure out how that was an exemplary photo. But there you go and that probably explains why they do not ask us to be judges of art contests.

I had just completed a draft of Iraqi Iciclewhen Rusty’s photo was robbed at the art contest. I turned to Rusty to say his artwork deserved international recognition and I would like it for the cover of my novel. He agreed.
Rusty took the photo on a winter morning at Dayboro in Pine Rivers. It looks rural but Dayboro is but 20 kilometres from suburban Petrie.
I see Frosty Morning II as evoking mystery with a hint of menace. As with many great photographs, the viewer can see in it traces of people who are compelling because of their absence.

Rose Revisited I: photograph by Russell Brown
I was toying with the idea of having a different cover for Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition to emphasize the humor in the book. I envisaged a clown with a flower on his chest squirting water into the face of a “femme fatale” as she shoots him in the temple with a water pistol.

Here’s Rusty

In the end art triumphed over marketing and Rusty’s photograph will forever be on the cover of Iraqi Icicle.
The eBook of Iraqi Icicle is out now HERE 
The print version is out on January 26. You can win a pre-launch copy but you must enter before January 9. HERE 

And here is another Rusty. I do not know if it’s winter, but there’s snow.

Rain of humour among dark clouds

4.0 out of 5 stars 

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Dark Clouds (Kindle Edition)
This is the second I have read in the series with reluctant spy Rudi Flynn at its centre.
Like Weimar Blues, Dark Clouds easily stands alone as Flynn is once more conscripted into the secret service of Britain, and, for good measure, the United States, this time round.
This novel has the 30-something American-born and raised, English resident, Flynn, still pursuing his alcohol and drug fuelled journalistic career. We discover some of the reasons why he is pretty much washed up professionally by the time of Weimar Blues.
The trademark comedy is still here, especially in the amusing thoughts the somewhat aimless Flynn is reluctant to express in words.
At its core, the novel is as dark as the title, cover graphic, and plot suggest. Flynn is enlisted to help his president and her majesty when rumours surface that Islamic terrorists are plotting to explode a nuclear device in Britain. 
There are some quite harrowing scenes in which Flynn is present but either powerless or unwilling to intervene.
The person-in-the-street commentary throughout the book works well though the anti-multiculturalism rhetoric outweighs more liberal voices. It is obvious the views of send-`em-back to-where-they-belong are not those of the author but included to show a common sentiment in most western countries.
The powerful message I took from this book is that authorities from Islamic and Christian nations do evil things while flawed but good people look on.
If you have an interest in world affairs, a liking for bleak humour, and a reasonably strong stomach for violence, this book is for you.

For our musical accompaniment, let’s hear from some clouds which were not dark at all.

Please warn Grandma

Guest Book Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart but great, December 25, 2012
This review is from: Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition (Kindle Edition)

“Iraqi Icicle” is definitely not your average run of the mill crime drama. Oddly, there are very few categories where a book could be listed that I can’t imagine this fitting in some way or another. While this book does have a hefty dose of profanity, there were times when I felt it added to the story and other times when it made me laugh.

This is a hard book to describe without accidentally giving something away as there is so much going on underneath the cover. Steele Hill is a character that I felt had the correct amount of inner turmoil and personality that made him not only fun to read, but memorable. There were some good secondary characters in this book too, but Steele definitely steals the show. This author certainly has a sense of how to keep his reader in suspense. This book deals with some hardcore subjects, but I thought the author did so in a way that made it exciting to read.

This book is gritty and a little dangerous and if you are in for a seat of your pants kind of ride this might just be the thing. Be careful though, I have warned you that this is not your grandma’s fireside novel!

Buy Iraqi Icicle HERE
You can imagine the conversation with Gran:
You: “Don’t read Iraqi Icicle, Grandma!”
Gran:”Don’t bother me, dear; I’m reading Fifty Shades of Grey.”
I thought Iraqi Icicle was only a trifle profane, but then I was brought up on Grandma’s knee listening to her sing her favorite song.
Cheers, Bernie

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.

Laughs amid the turmoil

Book Review by Bernie Dowling

Weimar Vibesis a most humorous novel on a very serious subject.

Anti-hero Rudi Flynn is a former tabloid journalist, reformed cocaine abuser and practising alcoholic.

Under normal circumstances, he would not be first choice as an operative of Her Majesty’s Secret Service but here he is enlisted to thwart a takeover in Britain by the extreme right.
No one seems to quite know what Flynn is supposed to be doing, least of all the man himself. During his service for Her Maj, he does manage to cover his neighbour’s wife and encounter women who want to have sex with him, kill him, or both.
The novel operates at many levels and to appreciate its full range, the reader would best come armed with some knowledge of European history from as far back as the first world war, at least.
That being said, great slapstick and comic word-play will engage any reader. As a bonus, you receive the elevator pitch on Plato and Socrates, in case you thought they were Greek soccer players.
At the centre of the story is a discussion on social and political reactions to questions of immigration and refugees which most countries around the world are having right now.
This novel won a gold star and was rated as a ‘most popular’ novel on HarperCollins Authonomy emerging-writer’s website.
It is a part of the Rudi Flynn series but stands alone quite steadily.
There are a few typos and a couple of formatting glitches, but I did not find them overly distracting.
The story moves briskly and it is certainly refreshing to see humour at the centre of a thriller.
Any reader who enjoys this novel will probably back up for more tales of the engaging scoundrel, Rudi Flynn.
Today’s video song is a sweet way to end the review

Australian/ Italian film maker talks about his Youtube opus

They say the book is always better than the movie

IT is kinda weird when we authors post up videos supporting out novels.

I mean why would someone want to watch a vid we cobbled together for a few bucks when they could take a squizz at a cool-song video which had a budget stretching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions?
 You feel you should put a warning up front: please do not judge the worth of my novel by the quality of this video.
We are just lucky there are enough people, out there, like me, who relish videos with cracks to allow the light of humanity through.
You would hope that Johnny Depp or Charlize Theron heard you were making a video and offered to put in a pro-bono cameo. We might have got John Travolta before Pulp Fiction but no hope of that now.
Tim Burtonshould stroll by and offer to direct. 
“Go easy on that Gothic imagery, Timbo. Iraqi icicle is a noir detective comedy and I cannot remember any Goths in those.”
Without the professional help, out  video in support of my novel Iraqi Icicle is just plain crazy.

Iraqi Icicle 2ndedition is coming out as ebook on December 20, US time.

While technically, the video is not bad, it is waaaay too loooong for your average Yutubevuwa.
What was I thinking? WTF were we doing, constructing the Youtube equivalent of Bertoluuci’s five-hour 1900.
You will see how many people have watched the vid. I wonder how many finished it.
So here is your challenge, watch the video to the end and tell us what you think.
_ Bernardo Dowlolucci.

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:

Richard like John in his own write

Day 4 of the Book of Paul tour is here.
Today we have a guest post from the author Richard Long.
Welcome to the Save the Book blog, Richard.
Make yourself at home. Can I get you a cup of coffee?
No, you want to get started. Fire  away!

Guest Post by Richard Long
Laura gave me my first tarot deck. It was a Crowley. A lot of people get creeped out by Crowley decks, much as they would have been creeped out by Crowley, I imagine. He called himself ‘The Great Beast.’ To me, he seemed more like a big joke.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!”
Stop it, you’re killing me.
You just read the opening lines of  The Bone King, a prequel to The Book of Paul.  They happen to be true. Laura gave me my first deck. I still have it and use it. In fact, I’ll be using it shortly to provide Skype tarot readings for two lucky winners of my Whirlwind Blog Tour. I’m looking forward to the readings. The winners? I suppose that depends on which cards come up.
Actually, I don’t give scary tarot readings, I just write about scary tarot readings. People have enough fear and stress in their lives without me throwing more gas on the flames. Besides, the three scariest trump cards–The Hanged Man, Death and The Tower–can all be interpreted in very unscary ways. Most of the time.
William, the narrator of <em>The Book of Paul</em>, lives in the East Village/Alphabet City of New York in the years before gentrification made it a much less fun and frightening place. He makes a living doing tarot and numerology readings, same as the author did at the time. Like me, he is also a collector, but that’s where the similarities end. He collects ancient occult codices, some covered in human skin. He collects other things that are even more…disturbing.
The mythology of <em>The Book of Paul</em> is based largely on my very unique (so unique you’ll never see it anywhere else) interpretation of the twenty-two trump cards of the tarot.  As William endeavors to unravel Paul’s nefarious intentions, he discovers an arrangement of the trumps that reveals the true story being told. In the following excerpt from one of William’s journal entries, Paul congratulates William on his discovery (which is not revealed, so no spoiler alert!) and rewards his efforts with a very special gift to add to his collection, and the promise of an even greater prize.
A fabulous tarot reading from Richard Long? A Kindle Fire?
No, William isn’t as lucky as three of you wonderful readers.
He’s about to have his very first look at <em>The Book of Paul, a</em> gift that comes with a very hefty price tag.
“You’ve done exceptionally well here,” Paul said, “but you’re never gonna get to the bottom of this no matter how many of those old books you poke your nose into.”
“And that’s because…”
“For starters, those writings were deliberately intended to disguise the truth in countless metaphors and scrambled codes to keep the idiots at bay. They’ve been translated, and re-translated back into the original demotic, Coptic or Greek countless times, every scribe adding his own pontifical touch in his glorious interpretation. Of the more accurate writings, there’s more missing from the tracts than what remains, as you’ve seen in the Drivel of Mary. You’ve about as much luck hitting pay dirt in those dustbins as those literalist born-agains have of seeing the Rapture. However, I have a gift for you that should prove far more enlightening, if you apply yourself with half the dedication of these research efforts.”
He reached deeply into his pocket and told me to close my eyes. “Don’t go using yer second sight and spoil the surprise.” I nodded and felt him place a large rectangular object in my left hand.
It was a tarot deck. Older than any I’d seen. The paintings were incredibly detailed and absolutely exquisite. I turned them over one by one, The Hero, The Herald, The Oracle—all the trumps labeled with Paul’s titles. “These are amazing!” I said, awed and yes, flattered by his incredible gift. I had a hard time spitting it out, but I managed to say, “Thank you.”
“You’ve earned it,” he grunted, taking the cards back before I had a chance to look at the rest of them, setting the cards down gently on the table. “But don’t stay up too late gazing at them. This deck can be quite…entrancing.”
“Is there something else I should know about it?” I asked apprehensively.</p>
“Indeed, there is. Get a good night’s sleep and meet me in the chapel tomorrow. I’m bumping you up to the advanced class, so make sure your eyes are bright and your head is clear. You’ve earned a little taste of the Gospel according to Paul.”
Thanks Richard. Please leave a comment for the author or me.
And here is a pic of Aleister Crowley

And here is his Wiki entry.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visy
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity</a></li>
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price ofThe Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visy
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity.
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 

Visit Richard at

Here is our celebratory song. Enjoy.
 I have had to think hard about this one as we have travelled across quite some terrain. So why not a travel song.

Day Two in the Life of Paul

YES, it is Day 2 of my part in Richard Long’s Blog Tour of The Book of Paul.

It is Day 2 and I already have to apologise to yesterday’s readers for misleading you about your opportunity of winning all these fabulous prizes. It seems you all have the opportunity to win as you will discover when you read on.
After yesterday’s goof, I probably did not endear myself to blog tour organizer , Novel Publicity who kindly let me have a go, as we love to say in Australia.
At this point I had better show my tour badge to authenticate I am really part of this great enterprise and not some crazed troll.

I thought I would play safe today and post one of the files tour organiser, Novel Publicity, sent me. It is an excerpt from the novel.

Unfortunately, I saw it contained these HTML commands. I said to myself “Bernie, WTF are you supposed to do with those?” I am a simple blogger. I took them out and the end product looks alright to me, though I am known to be very forgiving of myself.
In case I have stuffed up again, I have value-added a mini-review of the excerpt and a song to celebrate today’s blog.
Well let’s get stuck in and see what we think.

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Book of Paul a nail-biting supernatural thriller by Richard Long. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
Monsters:  An Excerpt from The Book of Paul
You tell your children not to be afraid. You tell them everything will be all right. You tell them Mommy and Daddy will always be there. You tell them lies.
Paul looked out the filthy window and watched the little girl playing in the filthier street below. Hopscotch. He didn’t think kids played hopscotch anymore. Not in this neighborhood. Hip-hopscotch, maybe.
“Hhmph! What do you think about that?”
Paul watched the little black girl toss her pebble or cigarette butt or whatever it was to square number five, then expertly hop, hop, hop her way safely to the square and back. She was dressed in a clean, fresh, red-gingham dress with matching red bows in her neatly braided pigtails. She looked so fresh and clean and happy that he wondered what she was doing on this shithole street.
The girl was playing all by herself. Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop. She was completely absorbed in her hopping and scotching and Paul was equally absorbed watching every skip and shuffle. No one walked by and only a single taxi ruffled the otherworldly calm.
Paul leaned closer, his keen ears straining to pick up the faint sound of her shiny leather shoes scraping against the grimy concrete. He focused even more intently and heard the even fainter lilt of her soft voice. Was she singing? He pressed his ear against the glass and listened. Sure enough, she was singing. Paul smiled and closed his eyes and let the sound pour into his ear like a rich, fragrant wine.
“One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door…”
He listened with his eyes closed. Her soft sweet voice rose higher and higher until…the singing suddenly stopped. Paul’s eyes snapped open. The girl was gone. He craned his neck quickly to the left and saw her being pulled roughly down the street. The puller was a large, light-skinned black man, tugging on her hand/arm every two seconds like he was dragging a dog by its leash. At first, he guessed that the man was her father, a commodity as rare in this part of town as a fresh-scrubbed girl playing hopscotch. Then he wondered if he wasn’t her father after all. Maybe he was one of those kinds of men, one of those monsters that would take a sweet, pure thing to a dark, dirty place and…
And do whatever a monster like that wanted to do.
Paul pressed his face against the glass and caught a last fleeting glance of the big brown man and the tiny red-checkered girl. He watched the way he yanked on her arm, how he shook his finger, how he stooped down to slap her face and finally concluded that he was indeed her one and only Daddy dear. Who else would dare to act that way in public?
“Kids!” Paul huffed. “The kids these days!”
He laughed loud enough to rattle the windows. Then his face hardened by degrees as he pictured the yanking daddy and the formerly happy girl. Hmmm, maybe he was one of those prowling monsters after all. Paul shuddered at the thought of what a man like that would do. He imagined the scene unfolding step by step, grunting as the vision became more and more precise. “Hhmph!” he snorted after a particularly gruesome imagining. “What kind of a bug could get inside your brain and make you do a thing like that?”
“Monsters! Monsters!” he shouted, rambling back into the wasteland of his labyrinthine apartments, twisting and turning through the maze of lightless hallways as if being led by a seeing-eye dog. He walked and turned and walked some more, comforted as always by the darkness. Finally, he came to a halt and pushed hard against a wall.
His hidden sanctuary opened like Ali Baba’s cave, glowing with the treasures it contained. He stepped inside and saw the figure resting (well, not exactly resting) between the flickering candles. At the sound of his footsteps, the body on the altar twitched frantically. Paul moved closer, rubbing a smooth fingertip across the wet, trembling skin and raised it to his lips. It tasted like fear. He gazed down at the man, his eyes moving slowly from his ashen face to the rusty nails holding him so firmly in place. The warm, dark blood shining on the wooden altar made him think about the red-gingham bunny again.
“Monsters,” he said, more softly this time, wishing he weren’t so busy. As much as he would enjoy it, there simply wasn’t enough time to clean up this mess, prepare for his guests and track her down. Well, not her, precisely. Her angry tugging dad. Not that Paul had any trouble killing little girls, you understand. It just wasn’t his thing. Given a choice, he would much rather kill her father. And make her watch.

END excerpt. Want More!
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is to visit
Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of  The Book of Paul  for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
About The Book of Paul
A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of  The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series  The Dream Palace He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 
Visit Richard at

Save the Book mini-review of chapter
The author’s signature humour weaves through this chapter.
The play on words, Hip-hopscotch, appears early.
Scene switch has Paul soaking up the innocence of youth, only to be distracted by the remote possibility a stranger could be a pedophile. Paul, an extraordinary monster, rails against monsters.
Even as Paul’s monstrosity is revealed, the reader is appalled by what he would do to the father and child if he only had time.
The chapter is delicately written and subtly references some major themes of the book.
Here is our celebratory song. Enjoy.

Bernie Dowling, Day 2

More than just a naughty boy: the life of Paul

This week, Save the Book is part of a whirlwind blog tour in support of Richard Long’s novel The Book of Paul. I am not sure what the tour badge is about. As I understand it, only the bloggers can win the prizes. WTF, they give me badge: I’ll wear it

There will be some generic stuff from the tour organiser, but you know we have to do our own thing, as well. We start with a Q&A session and we will finish the week with our own review.
I have asked some general questions to keep the spoilers at bay. So to begin, we will let the author talk about the book and any spoilers are on his head.
STB: The book covers a lot of ground in touching on religion, philosophy and psychology among other subjects. Do you see readers reaching for Google and Wiki?
RL: I hope so. There was an enormous amount of research that went into this book. I’d love for it to spark the same curiosity I felt when I discovered some of these things, particularly the Gnostic and Hermetic material and the connection between them.

STB: You cleverly insert parts of the back story of childhood throughout the book. Did you always plan to do this or did it evolve as you were writing?
RL: The present day action in the story takes place in a very compressed three day period, yet the central conflicts between the characters spring from childhood traumas. So yes, the exposition was complex and had to be carefully orchestrated so the flashback scenes didn’t detract from the present and instead amplified that tension, suspense and mystery. Another challenge was the revelation of the mythological material that goes back to the creation of the universe, then on to ancient Egypt, Greece, Jerusalem and Ireland. It’s an epic story with a lot of action and I wanted to keep the freight train rolling. 

STB:  There are a lot of four-letter words to the point that you seem to be parodying your own use of them. What is the go there?
RL: These are gritty characters trapped in a terrifying situation with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. So yes, there are going to be a lot of F bombs dropped. Humor is a big component in my writing, so many times the profanity is played for laughs.

STB: There is  a saying in literature that every villain should have at least one redeeming quality. I could not find any in Paul. Are there any?
RL: I suppose that depends on what you consider redeeming qualities. Paul is extremely intelligent, clever, jovial, ambitious, successful, powerful, fearless — all highly valued qualities in our society. Unfortunately for the other characters in the story, he also happens to be exceptionally cruel and nearly devoid of compassion. It’s clear he has affection for Martin, William and Michael, yet he’ll allow nothing to stand in the way of his objectives. In some of the scenes near the end of the story, you learn part of what happened to Paul that transformed him into such a monster, and in the sequels and prequels the full story of Paul will be revealed. I think you’ll find Paul to be a much more complex and sympathetic character than you can imagine from the first volume. One of my favorite lines in this book is, “Sometimes I think evil is just loneliness with nowhere else to go.” Ultimately, that’s true of both William and Paul. Maybe the rest of us too.  (I thought that was the best line in the book and I made a note of it when I read it. I would buy a T-Shirt with the punchier Evil is loneliness with nowhere else to go – STB)

STB: At least one critic has found your work too violent. What do you say to that?
RL: Read Emily Bronte instead. Shakespeare is horrifically, comically violent. In any Shakespeare tragedy, at the end of Act V, the stage is covered with blood. Nearly every character has been horribly murdered. Greek tragedies are even worse. Matricide, patricide, suicide, infanticide, you name it. ( Richard, Greek tragedy had a rule that all violence happened off stage, but I certainly agree about Shakespeare, with jokes about rape in Romeo and Juliet, as an example – STB) These literary impulses have been very well represented for a very long time. I’m just continuing the time-honored tradition! What I find amusing in the few negative comments I’ve received along these lines is that they uniformly come from male reviewers, not women. I’m not sure why female reviewers seem to be less squeamish, or less vocal about it. Maybe having to deal with men all the time toughens you up. Another thing I find interesting is that a great deal of the violence in the book is not directly described and happens “off camera,” so to speak. So perhaps I spurred the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks in a particularly grisly way. Ultimately, this is a horror story. By definition, horror isn’t pretty. You get what you pay for. As Hunter Thompson said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

STB: There are no obvious heroes in the book yet the reader does seem to want a few of them to survive their various perils. Was this creation of sympathy for extremely flawed characters difficulty to write.
RL: I think Martin and Rose are decidedly heroic in addition to being flawed. We’re all flawed. We’ve all been hurt and damaged. No one gets out of life alive. (We had better attribute that one to Jim Morrison of the Doors unless someone has an earlier reference. – STB) The reward for a lifetime of passionate love with your mate is that one of you gets to watch the other one die. This is the human condition. I am extremely sympathetic to these characters because I came from an abusive household. Their pain is my pain, though far from that extent. And yes, that kind of pain was as difficult to write as it was to experience. 

STB:  Why did you want to write a YA book after this horror novel? Was it a commercial or artistic decision or come from somewhere else?
RL: I have two young children and I wanted to write something they can read before they’re adults. My daughter is autistic and that’s a major theme in the family story at the heart of The Dream Palace fantasy series. She and her brother are the heroes. There are some fun sci-fi elements in addition to the overlapping dream/real worlds. In the next sequel, it gets steampunky in nineteenth century America and Germany. Basically, The Dream Palace is as light as The Book of Paul is dark.

STB: For prequels and sequels to The Book of Paul, are you committed to 500-page books or will you shorten the length?
RL: I’m not committed to any word or page count. I’m committed to the characters and the story. We shall see where the final period is placed. 

STB:  How long was your eBook for sale before you decided to drastically reduce the price and why did you make that decision?
RL: The eBook has only been reduced for this promotion. I’m not sure you can call the difference between $3.99 and .99 drastic. The full price is equivalent to a Starbucks Grande latte. 

STB. I guess people should be aware the book also has quite a bit of comedy in it. Was that the intention from the start?
RL: What can I say, I’m a funny guy. 

The Book of Paul is available in print and digital:

from  AMAZON
Here is our musical tribute:

-Bernie Dowling Sep 24, 2012

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

What’s hot these days?

A MAN who has been dead for 30 years, an 80-year-old car and a teenager are the hottest tickets of the week.

More than 160,000  readers of  British music magazine NME voted John Lennon as the greatest rock icon of the past 60 years.
The top 10 are

  John Lennon
   Liam Gallagher
   David Bowie
   Alex Turner
   Kurt Cobain
   Amy Winehouse
   Jimi Hendrix
   Morrissey
   Noel Gallagher
   Ian Curtis

For the record Ian Kevin Curtis (July 15, 1956 — May 18, 1980) was the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division.
Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. In the 1980s he was the lyricist and vocalist of the The Smiths before commencing a long solo career
Alex Turner[4] is the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter of the English  band Arctic Monkeys.

If you do not know the rest, what are you doing still reading this; Move on to the car yarn.

Cashing in on a car
In 1994, Morrissey had a hit album, Vauxhall and I. 

I would love to say it was a humble British Vauxhall which fetched more than $5 million at auction but I would be lying.
At the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester, UK, on Saturday 15th September
An extraordinary an unrestored 1928 ‘S’ Type Sports Tourer Mercedes fetched more than £2.8 million. Type Sports Tourer battleship grey ‘S’ Type was owned by the same family from new and had never been restored, retaining its original blue leather upholstery in its entirety.
Never has the tag “one owner” had so much value. Oh Lawd, won’t you sell me a Mercedes Benz.
A 1929 Maserati Tipo 26M four-seater sports racing car raised £1,681,500.
A1929 Alfa Romeo 1750 SS Competition Tourer went  for a lousy £1,099,100.
What the highest priced Vauchall went for is not recorded. Used to be such a sweet car, too.

Still a sweet girl

Abigail Gibbs, 18, has signed a six-figure publishing deal with HarperCollins for her vampirific novel.
Gibbs is  a sweet girl, and like Morrissey, a vegetarian. There the comparison  ens as the teenager can’t stand blood while Morrissey bleeds from the mouth,mthe ears and the amp.
Ì do wish people would stop writing things like six-figure sume. I have to count ion my figures to some up with $100, 000 or more.
I do hope these bidding wars for indie writers continue. One day they might get down to you or me.
HarperCollins’s publishing director, Shona Martyn, said: ‘I think this book has traction – Abigail’s storytelling is pacey and vivid; her characters and plot are sexier than Edward and Bella.’’
E&B, I presume, are characters in the Twilight series.
 In the meantime, this book has not sold for a seven-figure sum.

But you can buy it as it rushes past 7 reviews.

                  HERE   and HERE

10 annoying things in fiction

“I know nothing about him,” I murmur.
“…Thank you,” I murmur.
“Um. Actually –” I mutter.
“Raising the ordinary to the extraordinary,” I murmur.
“It’s shrewd business,” he murmurs.
“Very well,” she mutters, then exits.
“Oh I’ll bear that in mind,” I murmur.
– All the above quotes are from Chapter 1 of Fifty Shades of Murmuring and Muttering

10  annoying things in fiction

 10.  A sentence which starts with Then.
  9. A sentence with then in it.
  8. Sentences without verbs except those in this article.
   7. Sentences with many overblown annoying unnecessary florid adjectives.
   6 Characters who express direct speech in any of the following ways: laugh, grin, cry, smile, exclaim, explode, object, sigh, scowl, murmur.
  5. Adverbs which constantly modify how someone speaks, I say scathingly.
  4. Characters who appear for no reason
  3. Characters who disappear without explanation
  2. The word very which is a very bad word.
  1. More than one ante-climax.

Gates swing better

THE mainstream Olympics are done and dusted and it is time to turn our  passion to popular science.
By popular science, I mean knowledge to help people. If it can compete in the media with Brad, Angelina, Jen and that other bloke, all the better. More dollars may befall science.
Today, two great scientific endeavours crossed my path. One is from Australia and the other from the U.S.
For some strange reason, for which I am most grateful, the publicly funded Australian scientific organisation CSIRO likes to keep me in the loop of what they are up to.
My last review was of The Pirates of Penzance. I am not convinced a story on The Sultans of Science will sneak past my day editor. As I am a writer, managing editor and chief coffee-maker of Bent Banana Books, it will fly high here.
Gates, farm and Bill have improved

CSIRO today announced a new type of cattle gate SaferGate aimed at preventing farmer death and injury has completed rigorous testing and development by the CSIRO.
Farmer and inventor Edward Evans designed SaferGate  which was  put to the test by a CSIRO-developed “crash test cow”.
Between 2000 and 2005, 211 Australian farmers were “caught, crushed, jammed, or pinched in or between objects”. Gate incidents also account for 0.5% of deaths among agricultural workers in Australia. The figures would be much higher in the U.S.
It seems cows play a part in many incidents. CSIRO’s 60kg test cow, which has authentic horns and hide, is designed to simulate the force of a bull or cow charging a cattle gate, used on farms, feedlots, in trucks and abattoirs across Australia.
CSIRO concluded its research last week with a series of simulated crash tests designed to evaluate how SaferGate would perform when charged or kicked by an animal. Designer Edward Evans broke a leg broken when operating a cattle gate on his farm. Unlike a traditional cattle gate, SaferGate swings away from the farmer or operator when a cow charges it, preventing injury or death.
Mr Evans said, ‘With the help of CSIRO, it is great to finally see my vision for SaferGate coming to life.’
SaferGate will be initially launched in Australia and the United States.
 Being government funded, CSIRO is subject to the vagaries of political priorities.  It received an economic windfall after it was recognised as the discoverer of Wi-Fi technology.
International computer and telecommunications giants borrowed Wi-Fi from CSIRO without paying royalties.
In June 2007,  CSIRO won a case in the U.S. Federal Court against Japanese manufacturer Buffalo Technologies, the basis of which the research organisation used to demand royalties from others manufacturers of  Wi-Fi equipment. 
CSIRO filed patent infringement suits against 3Com, Accton, Asus, Belkin, D-Link, Fujitsu, Marvell (manufacturers of Apple’s iPod), Nintendo, SMC and Toshiba.
Several big names bit back with HP, Apple, Intel, Dell, Microsoft and Netgear bringing cases against CSIRO in an attempt to have the research organisation’s patent invalidated.
As the case played out in a Texas court, the Australian Government-funded research organisation struck agreements with the big  players:  Dell, Intel HP, Microsoft, Asus and Fulitsu.
CSIRO’s remaining opponents Nintendo, Toshiba, Netgear, Buffalo, D-Link, Belkin, SMC, Accton and 3Com caved and also settled.
The settlements netted CSIRO $200 million with continuing licence royalties.
You will notice Microsoft was one of the settlers and a lot of computer consumers are hostile to that corporation. However founder Bill Gates is putting his money towards alleviating tragic conditions within the poorest nations on earth.
Over the next two days, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will process 200 litres of artificial poop to trial out new toilets that do not need water, electricity nor connection to a sewage system. Maybe that should be” faux human poop’’ as artificial implies manure made by people.
Enough of that crap, the Reinvent the Toilet Fair intends to improve the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the third world who do not have access to a toilet.
Using $3 million in grants from the foundation, eight engineers are creating self-contained, power- and water-less systems.
One is powered by faeces, which are also dried and burned into fertiliser.
Another invention is a solar-powered toilet and one that converts waste into electricity with microwave technology.
It seems Bill Gates has finally got his shit together.

Bernie Dowling, August 14, 2012

Mohamed we adore you

Olympic Rant #18 On the fourteenth day God resumed work

THE squabbles and rancour of this year’s Ilympics were run into the ground on Day 14 as Great Britain, Jamaica and the United States turned in memorable performances.
Britain’s Mohamed Farah was stunning as he held off Ethiopia and Kenya to take gold in the 5000m.

Mohamed Farah

I usually cheer for the African nations in middle distance events as I love their team strategy in running. But my hat and running shoes go off to Mohamed Farahwho won his second gold medal of London 2012 with a thrilling victory in the 5000 metres on the final night of athletics.
Farah was denied any hope of assistance from GB team mate Nick McCormick who failed to make the final.
Here were the other things stacked against Farrah:
# He admitted to tiredness after his win the 10,000m seven days earlier
# He ran 3rd in his heat.
# He was ranked 11th in the world and was competing against seven of those rated above him.
Farah took the front with 700m to go but had little peace. American Galen Rupp sprinted quickly but could not cross the Brit.
Sensing the American might have weakened the leade,r the Africans queued up to have a crack at Farah. He repelled each one and kicked on the home turn.
The fastest runner over the distance this year was Dejen Gebremeskel and he made his move, looking to have Farah’s measure half-way down the straight.
The Brit kicked again and safely held the Ethiopian for a magnificent courageous victory.
             Farah said each of his twin girls due to be born shortly would have a Gold Medal from the London Games. They will be the heroes of show and tell in a few years, especially if Dad is part of the presentation.
USAIN Bolt took his third Gold when Jamaica raced to a world record in the 4x100m relay.
Bolt was a little less certain that Rio 2016 might be beyond him than he was after his 200m win.
I’ve thought about it but I think it’s going to be very hard because Yohan (Blake), he’s just come into the game and he’s running pretty well, and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more cats coming up to run.
I’ll take it a step at a time.
THE U.S. captured the women’s 4x400m relay and Allyson Felix achieved her third gold medal.
Felix ran the second leg after a brilliant start by DeeDee Trotter gave her a big lead at the first change. American 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross ran the anchor leg and the U.S. won in 3:16.87 – the fastest time run in 19 years.
 Russia was three seconds behind Jamaica took the bronze.
Russia had its revenge when Anna Chicherova won the women’s high jump ahead of American Brigetta Barrett. Another Russian Svetlana Shkolina was third.

           The Chinese are yet to get the knack of track and field and the Americans comfortably were ahead in the medal count in gold and total.

Leaders after Day 14
AT Beijing 2008, the count was
China’s fall in medals and CB’s rise tell us that in any sporting contest, home field advantage is real.
So let’s hear the Unofficial Official GB London Games Anthem. Take it away one more time.
Bernie Dowling, August 12, 2012

Phoney war on drugs

Olympic rant #16 Journalism 101 Create a furore
THE Bolt v Lewis drug brouhaha was a classic media beat-up. It raced across international television screens and newspaper front pages with a speed worthy of the central characters.
Carl Lewis points the finger
only to have it bitten off

There was little to the yarn and it was hardly news but, by the time the egg-beater had a mish-mash, it came out thicker and messier than chocolate pudding.
A London Sun journo had the most measured report on the story and it is not often you can say that.
Steven Howard wrote in  The Sun
Usain Bolt talked about Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Bob Marley. And those Swedish handball players.
And sex. And drugs. And rock ’n roll.
And how Manchester United should sign Robin van Persie.
And how he thought that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio would be Mission Impossible.
He even talked about cricket and the IPL.
And he put the boot in on Carl Lewis, which he probably shouldn’t have done.
Yes, Bolt could have left out the bit about the Swedish handball players and should have swallowed the lines about Carl Lewis when they popped up his throat.
The wordy Bolt had come to speak on many things. He felt provoked by Carl Lewis’s assertion that Bolt’s incredible feats might be drug induced.
Wiki says Lewis made his remarks during the London Games. Someone bettere tell them it’s dead wrong. I tried correcting a Wiki article once but getting accreditation to do so baffled me.
Other reports had Lewis makibg the veiled accusations ‘pre-game’. That was more accurate, as I guess 2008, or 45BC, for that matter, is pre-game. Bolt had obviously been stewing over the insults for four years and fired back.
Carl Lewis made his assertions in a Sports Illustrated article after Bolt’s 100m and 200m victories at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Following the international protocols of calling someone a drug cheat, Lewis in
demurred he was not saying Bolt was on drugs.
 ‘Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. I’m not saying anyone is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing field.
…he’s not going to have me saying he’s great and then two years later he gets popped.

It was all a misunderstanding. Lewis did not say Bolt was on drugs. It was just that Bolt and upwards of 10 million readers thought Lewis was saying just that. Bolt silently did his years of stewing. At London 2012, with back-to-back golds in the 100m and 200m and totally unpopped, he hit back.
Four years down the athletics track,  should have left Lewis alone. It was unfair of Bolt to bring it up as if it were yesterday Lewis said it.  Some articles mentioned Lewis had tested positive three times before the 1988 Olympics. No article that I read added Lewis was exonerated on the grounds the drugs, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, andphenylpropanolamine were in prescription medication. Whatever you think of that decision, no drug suspensions are against Lewis’s name.
Lewis fared badly on Twitter.
If you are Jamaican I think you should be allowed to slap Carl Lewis in the mouth with a breadfruit.
Carl Lewis’s reputation ko’ed. On the night Bolt achieved what he never could, a bitter man who failed 3 drugs tests gets put in his place
@CharlesRobinson Nobody under 30 knows who Carl Lewis is. They know who Usain Bolt is.
Actually, Lewis’s  Sports Illistrated interview finished with a musical analogy which he should have been spruiking earlier insyead od f drugs in reference to Bolt.
Lewis said:
We get caught up in comparing all the time. I have this discussion with young people. They’ll tell me Beyonce is better than so-and-so. Why can’t we just say that Beyonce is amazing and so-and-so is amazing? I mean Ella Fitzgerald is amazing. Sarah Vaughan is amazing. Whitney Houston is amazing. Why do you have to say that Beyonce is better? Let’s just be happy that we had a chance to celebrate all of them.

Well said Carl. Why could you have stuck to such a line, throughout? When Black women and men become role models, it is unseemly to see them fighting among themselves. Also you have  mentioned Billie Holiday .
For his part, Bolt was at his best in victory interviews when he talked about Bob Marley.
And who was the greatest Jamaican — him or Bob Marley?
Bolt said: “When it comes to Bob Marley, he is one of the greatest ever out of Jamaica.
“He really did wonderful things for the country before me.
“So I’m just carrying out his duty. 
“We’re the same, we have the same goal to make Jamaica one of the most loved and finest countries in the world.

Bernie Dowling, August 11, 2012

Daily Mail arrives every 24 hours

Olympic Rant #15 The Mailman delivers
OLYMPIC coverage by the U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail is ranging from traditional adolescent-male nonsense to the downright weird. Extremely talented GB cyclist Victoria Pendleton is physically attractive and this has not passed across the Mail eagle eyes without notice.
The Mail loves pedalling Vicky

Condoms in the athlete’s village were gold for newspapers throughout the world but the Mail brought to the yarn its personal touch – horny adolescent male meets Monty Python.
The story should have been a few pars in length: 150, 000 complimentary condoms are available to 10,000 athletes. But of course, the Mail banged on and on, mainly in pics but with a few choice words, with the stamina born of erecting thousands of innuendoes to their mastheads.
The oh, oh, Ohhh-lympics! As record 150,000 condoms are handed out to a host of super-attractive athletes, could London 2012 be the raunchiest games ever?
·                     Athletes will receive 15 condoms each for the 17-day festival
·                     Victoria Pendleton among the glamorous female stars offered condoms
The phenomenal outpouring of prophylactics means there will be 50 per cent more available to athletes in London than the 100,000 handed out at the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
The Mail loves to re-work information already supplied as simple equations such as 150,000 is 50 per cent more than 100,000. It certainly pads out the story and maybe, for some readers, adds gravitas.
On the internet edition of the paper we next have two sexy pictures of Ms Pendleton and four pictures of coloured condoms. 
Then more basic maths which readers apparently cannot get enough of: 
   It works out at nearly 15 each for the 10,500 competitors taking part in the Games, with Durex ready to deliver more if the sports stars exhaust their ration.   
A bit of an interview with an athlete describing randiness in the village. 
Then another sexy image of Victoria Pendleton, this time in evening wear beside with a cycle. The caption reads: Racy: Sprint cyclist Victoria Pendleton is one of the most glamorous of the British athletes. She has even posed nude in the past.
Now a photo of cyclist Jess Varnish  beside pic #4 of Pendleton.  This time the caption is: Bicycle babes: Cyclist Jess Varnish said she would pose naked if she was as glamorous as her gold medal champion colleague Victoria Pendleton, right.
A barrage of photos from various sports including what look like two young-teenage synchronised swimmers and a playful photo of two young women which the Mail tagged: Intimate: Jenna Randall, 22, right, tweeted a photo of herself sitting by the pool, with her legs wrapped around teammate Katie Skelton, left.
The readers have not seen any numbers for a while so the next photo is captioned: Splashing: Team GB divers Tonia Couch, left, and Tom Daley, right, are dating. Perhaps they will make use of the 30 condoms they’ll have between them.
Four buff lads attract the caption: Macho: Australian male swimmers Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, James Magnussen and Matt Targett on Manley beach in Sydney.
How ironic the macho men from the Mail spelt Manly Beach wrongly.
Four Swedish athletes would be the appropriate way to finish this fantastic report and the Mail does not disappoint. Caption: A recipe for romance: The Swedish women’s swimming team will be staying in the same block as Team GB footballers. Let’s hope they all behave themselves.
That was good light-hearted entertainment if you ignore the sinister overtones.
But let’s move on…to Victoria Pendleton.


Victoria Pendleton rode tearfully into the sunset last night with her dream of a golden goodbye indelibly tainted by a final clash with her biggest rival. 
From the first par, the reader can sense a poetic effort rising from the Mail
She failed to trounce her Australian arch enemy Anna Meares – a win that would finally have laid to rest the controversy, competition and cat-fighting between them.
Ah, cat-fighting the last of the three Cs.

she was beaten to gold in the next race by a powerhouse performance from the 28-year-old Australian.
Whatever the result, the crowd still adored Vicky, Vicky, Vicky!
And so to the big finish
This was Last Night of the Velodrome, a Land of Hope and Glory for the people and one last hurrah for Queen Victoria.
An Australian ran first against Vicky, Vicky, Vicky but Britain did dominate the cycling. The Velodrome had morphed into a Jewel in the Crown of Empire. Well I’ll be a Dutchman. 

The Mail totally lost it in the euphoria of counting almost 40 GB medals before the Games were half over.
I have the feeling this report must go down in the history books of journalism. I am just not sure why.
Here is an edited version because the whole is too much.

Kings (and queens) of the sitting-down sports:

Two thirds of first 37 medals came from ‘sitting down sports

With gold medal contenders including Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy still to make individual quests for glory, Team GB could well be on for its best Games performance in 100 years. 

There’s Queen Vic again.

Statistics revealed that of Team GB’s first 37 medals, 66 per cent were in sitting down sports.

Star performances in equestrian, sailing, rowing and cycling have all contributed to Team GB’s impressive third place standing in the overall medals table.
By contrast, the two leading nations, China and the USA, both excel in non-sitting down sports.
At the same stage the two nations had over 121 medals – with a sitting down element of just 7 per cent.
Has anyone out there a clue WTF the Mail is on about?
Got to be good readin’ because it’s so hard to see.

Bernie Dowling, August 8, 2012.

Winners and sinners

Olympic Rant #15 Third-rate Stuporpowers declare war

THE rivalry for Olympic medals between Great Britain and Australia is difficult to understand if you are not from one of the two countries. It is impossible for the surprisingly large number of Americans who think Australia is a European country near Germany.
Jessica Ennis helps GB leap over Oz
Australia which is my home country was invaded by England in the 18th century to establish a penal colony. Much if not all of the lingering hostility of a nation of guards versus a country of prisoners is a concoction of the countries’ respective media (many owned in the same interests) and is fought over sport.
The most genteel of the British media refers to Australians as colonials when an insult is required. The more brash English papers call us convicts.
In Australia the war is fanned by our media reprising an insult by an English tabloid, preferably on its front page.

For variety, Aussie media relished the rather restrained earlier front page from the Sun: Wanted. Gold Medal. Australia’s Sydney Morning Heralddecided that headline was a screamer but it was tepid because Sun journos knew the gold medals would come for Britain.
Hell, even the Mad Mayor of London went out on a wire to declare Britain could win more medals than Australia. In what passes for a pep talk in Tory circles, Boris Johnson told British athletes before a pool lap had been swum in anger, ‘Can we beat Australia? Yes, I think we can.’
You can see how classical studies have sharpened Johnson’s analytical mind to allow him to predict the host nation would accumulate more goodies than a team of athletes which had travelled across the entire world to compete.
Still it was relief for both countries to win their first individual gold. It seems individual gold is worth more than a team one. That’s capitalism for you.
The feats of both medal winners were insipring.
British heptathlete Jessica Ennis was robbed of a chance for Gold at Beijing 2008 by injury.
By contrast, Australian laser sailor Tom Slingsby went into the Beijing Games as world champion. He finished 22nd at the Chinese Games.
Another contrast was the relative celebrations. In typical Aussie style, Slingsby went to the pub with family and friends.
Ennis and cycling gold medallist Bradley Wiggins were special guests at a boutique gig by the Stone Roses. Led Zep’s Jimmy Page was in the audience.
Wiggins even got to party with legendary British muso Paul Weller formerly of The Jam, The Style Council and individual projects. Who knew Wiggins wore an mp3 player when he won the Gold?
Let’s all share in the great win by Ennis by playing the Officially Unofficial Great Britain National Games Anthem. 

And let us not forget the phony enemy. Here is the Aussie Games Anthem:
While we are in the mood for congratulations, let us hand out to three outstanding achievements. First Officially Designated Naughty Nation Iran collected its first ever Olympic Gold in Greco-Roman wrassling through Hamid Soryan’s gold in the 55-kilogram class. Iran had collected a swag of Olympic medal in freestyle wrassling but none in Greco-Roman. On Monday, Omid Noroozi made it a double for Iran with   the gold in men’s 60-kilogram Greco-Roman wrassling at the London Olympics. Reports by Tea Party members that Iran wrasslers threatened their opponents with nuclear weapons proved unfounded.
Kirani James, 19, of Grenada won the Olympic 400m in 43.94sec. He is the first athlete from outside the USA to break the 44-second barrier. His gold was also Grenada’s first ever Olympic medal. 
Pavlos Kontides won Cyprus’s first medal at an Olympics when he took the silver on Monday in sailing`s Laser class.
Bernie Dowling, August 7, 2008

Run up for Jah

Olympic Rant #14 Celebrate Jamaican Independence

OLYMPIC athletes  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt and  Yohan Blake provided a thrilling prelude to  today’s Jamaican Independence Day with a combined four medals in the marquee 100m sprints.
Fraser-Pryce and Bolt  completed back-to-back golds, an uncommon feat in the 100m dash. Campbell-Brown took the bronze and Blake the silver behind their illustrious team-mates.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: Four names in one: 
no wonder she is so quick

A couple of anomalies turn up when we look at the fastest woman alive compared to the men.
Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive and the world record holder.
Carmelita Jeterof the United States is the fastest woman alive (10.64s) but the deceased Florence Griffith-Joyner of the U.S. holds the world record.(10.49)
Shelly-Ann Fraser is the fourth faster woman alive and not the holder of the Olympic record either, That also goes to the deceased Flo-Jo  (10.62)

Sprinters – Women’s 100 Metres (World Record10.49 by Griffith-Joyner at the ’88 Olympic Trials)
1. Florence Griffith-Joyner (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.49 seconds
The 100m 
Olympic record (10.62) was set by Flo Jo at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.
2. Carmelita Jeter (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.64 seconds
Jeter ran a 10.67 at the 2009 World Athletics Final and a 10.64 at the 2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix.
3. Marion Jones (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.65 seconds
Jones won the 100 metre at the 1998 IAAF World Cup in South Africa with a time of 10.65.
4. Shelly-Ann Fraser (Jamaica) – Fastest Time: 10.73 seconds
Fraser, along with her Jamaican teammates, dominated the women’s 100m at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
5. Christine Arron (France) – Fastest Time: 10.73 seconds
Arron placed third in the 100m and 200m sprints at the 2005 World Championships in Paris.
6. Merlene Ottey (Jamaica) – Fastest Time: 10.74 seconds
Ottey has won more World Championships medals (14) than any other female sprinter in history.
7. Kerron Stewart (Jamaica) – Fastest Time: 10.75 seconds
Stewart won the silver medal in the women’s 100m at the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2009 Worlds.
8. Evelyn Ashford (United States) – Fastest Time: 10.76 seconds
A U.S. Track Hall of Fame athlete, Ashford set a later broken Olympic record at the 1984 Olympics.
9. Irina Privalova (Russia) – Fastest Time: 10.77 seconds
Privalova is a World Champion in numerous indoor events, and holds the indoor records for the 50m and 60m sprints.
10. Ivet Lalova (Bulgaria) – Fastest Time: 10.77 seconds
Lalova’s best 100 metre time was set in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2004 when she ran a 10.77.

INDEPENDENCE from Great Britain came to Jamaica in 1962, not long before the rise of the trio Bob Marley and the Wailers, with various backing musicians.
Teenager Millie Small paved the way for the success of the Wailers with her surprise 1964 international hit with a cover of My Boy Lollipop.

In the mid-1990s I wrote my plat Tosh, a dramatisation of the history of the Wailers: Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer.
The play is still to be performed.
With the success of self-publishing over the past decade has put the destiny of novels in the hands of authors. But getting a play up is still in the hands of Jah.
If you drop me an email at, I will send you a copy of Tosh as soon as I retrieve the disk from Strathpine Library. Don’t ask; it is safe.
In the meantime, let’s hear another song from the play which these days would be called a jukebox musical.

Spoiler alert! What song do you think finishes Tosh?
Bernie Dowling, Jamaican Independence Day, 2012