Category Archives: Iraqi Icicle


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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.

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.

MSM judges Iraqi Icicle

From the Daily Telegraph Sydney
 MARGARET Thatcher’s death caused confusion on Twitter where some users were apparently left with the impression that Cher had died.
That’s a bit like confusing my novel Iraqi Icicle with the Life of Pi.

The first newspaper reviews of Iraqi Icicle are in. As they are from the News Limited stable they are pretty much the same. Take a look.

·         6 Apr 2013 The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) HARRY BRUMPTON
The Courier-Mail Queensland Life 6 Apr 2013 Page 20 BOOKS
Iraqi Icicle
Bernie Dowling Bent Banana Books, $11.86
STEELE Hill hasn’t had a job since he lost his gig as a racetrack bookie, but it’s not for want of talent.
His major talent is his unfortunate but entertaining ability to be in a sorry spot at the most inopportune moment.
The moment is the late-’80s and the spot is Brisbane, in particular its underworld. As young Mr Hill slides through these scenes a string of his acquaintances begin to drop dead in circumstances that leave him looking red-handed. To clear himself, poor Hill is prompted to find the culprit.
The ride is clever but chaotic. It’s a littered with wild divagations and madcap monologues. It’s redeemed by character – often literally, with mentions of local identities including jockey Chris Munce, reporter Phil Dickie and others.
The narrator’s sardonic humour, adult wordplay and jaded world view give Iraqi Icicle a definite neo-noir feel. The pleasure of sorting through these mysteries lies in the story’s steady ascension through the clues. 
Harry Brumpton
The Verdict is interesting. I am not sure it reflects and was probably given by a journo other than the reviewer. What do you think?
Disclaimer: The price of $11.86 is the current Amazon price before shipping. Any bookshop should tell you how much it will cost if they order it in for you.

Here is our song. It is a tribute to the collective amnesia of MSM. For some strange reason, comments on the vid are disabled.

For your viewing pleasure

Some Go-Betweens videos for your viewing and listening pleasure.


And here is one in memory of Grant.

And here is a magnificent song from a britband who named themselves after a Go-bees classic: Cattle @ Cane

The Life of D: a bleak novel

Possible cover for my work-in-progress The Life of D

I wish I could write a life-affirming novel like The Life of Pi. It is just not my voice.

I would like Barack Obama writing to me as he did to Pi author Yann Martel. The president could take quill to paper to write about my novel Iraqi Icicle. He could write something like ‘…an elegant proof of the existence of Good and Evil and bloody good read, mate.’ But presidents really like to endorse life-affirming books not a sardonic neo-noir wild ride like Iraqi Icicle.

Why is that goody-two-shoes constant Pi getting all the attention, anyway, with people making songs, books and movies about it. I believe I am safe ground in presuming Marten’s  title has some reference to that circular thingy pi.

Pi is a very pushy number always putting itself first, as in 2πr and πd. The speed of light is happily last in mc2. In mynovel the life ofD, the eponymous D struggles against the evil warlord Pi. Chapters 5-107 will metaphorically reference the injustice of the circumference of a circle not being universally accepted as dπ.

If it were not for us writers, these important issues would pass by un-noticed.

It is like Sammy Beckett wrote in Waiting for Godot

How is it that of the four Evangelists only one speaks of a thief being saved. The four of them were there-or therabouts-and only one speaks of a thief being saved.

Exactly, what is going on here? Is someone trying to pull the wool over our eyes? And to what purpose?

Or what about Alfred Doolittle’s rant in Pygmalion?

I’m one of the undeserving poor: that’s what I am. …

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.’

You can’t argue with that splendid logic, but it took George Bernard Shaw to right it up for us all to see.

Barack Obama need not encourage these life-affirming novelists. Martel conceded writing The Life of Pi was its own rewards – the hefty royalty checks probably helped too. Let’s support us writers, shining our sardonic flashlights on the noir crawl spaces of life.

‘A good clear eye on the dirty ways of the world’

Bernie Dowling

The joy of publishing

A FUNNY thing happened – as it always does – on the way to publishing the paperback of my novel for Australia Day 2013.

All’s well that ends well: let’s get that out of the way.

Someone at Amazon decided that my novel Iraqi Icicle was part 1. It was declared Iraqi Icicle was part 1 of a series. I suspect that someone at Amazon decided it would help me sell my book if readers decided it was part of a series. But what of the readers who thought it was not the stand-alone novel that it is?
I never thought I would agree with anything philosopher Ayn Rand wrote but this was definitely a case of “I don’t want your help”.
The problem was mostly sorted by Australia Day, January 26. The link between the paperback and the eBook is yet to be re-established. The paperback sells for $14.99 so it emphasizes the value of the $4.99 eBook.  I have no doubt the link between the print and electronic versions will be soon sorted.
The responsive crew from Amazon sent me a list of electronic stores from which you can buy.
Canada is not on there, so I presume the Canadians mount their purchase from the US.
India and China are not on the list, so I am not sure what is happening there. Brazil and Japan also missed the cut for the list I was sent. All very confusing but I do not like to trouble the Amazonians with a heap of questions. I will find out what is going on, all in good time.
We in Australia are used to paying top dollar for our novels and I would imagine the shipping from Amazon US would be at least $10.
I am selling my copies in Oz for $25 with a 40% discount for local books shops, provided they pay cash up front. I have stated I am a commercial Luddite, but sale-and-return seems like a nightmare for me. Having to pick up unwanted copies is an “insult to injury” job. I am like that famous model; I won’t get out of bed for less than $9.99.
Below is the list of the electronic stores where you can but Iraqi Icicle for $14.99. Do it now; you know you wanna.
Here is a pic of the book. It is almost 380 pages long. Nothing more to say really.
This Aussie band is doing the theme song for the product launch.

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.

Is Li-Lo Cu-Cu? No-No-

Critics praised Lindsay Lohan for the 2006 film  Chapter 27 
on the Lennon murder and now they’re gonna crucify her
A GAME doing the rounds is one in which we emerging/ nobody authors are asked to name our dream cast for the film of our novel.
I played recently and said I definitely wanted Lindsay Lohan to play Crystal Speares, the femme fatale of my novel, Iraqi Icicle. I said I thought she would make a good fist of the role. Besides, I added, think of the pre-publicity she would attract.

Little did I know, Ms Lohan had done just that for a minnowy budgeted film, The Canyons.
An excellent piece  by Stephen Rodrick in the New York Times Magazine covers the filming and post-production of The Canyons, an LA film noir with a reputed budget of $250,000. Yair, that’s right, a quarter of a mill – total, not the catering bill.
Before we move to LA, I must say I was surprised to see an additional credit for the Rodrick article going to Editor, Sheila Glaser. In all my years in Australian journalism, I have never seen that done in our country. It was kinda nice to see the collaborative nature of journalism recognized, but I wondered if writer Rodrick was losing some of the glory for what is a glorious piece of journalism. To my distant Australian eyes, the unusual by-line reiterated that New York can be a strange place. But nowhere near as strange as Hollywood.
At the start of Rodrick’s article I was cheering passionately for the success of this venture. By the end, I was scratching my head in wonderment and was unsure what I thought about the film project, The Canyons.
Director (Hardcore, American Gigolo)/ screenwriter (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) Paul Schrader says he cannot raise enough money in Hollywood for the sorts of films he wants to make.
Author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) says he is disillusioned with the novel as an artform and wants to script films.
Schrader and Ellis both put $30,000 towards The Canyons, a film written by Ellis and directed by Schrader. Producer Braxton Pope does not say anything about Hollywood, literature or art but he has $30,000 which he kicks in. The trio raised another $160,000 through crowd-sourcing.
With that financial structure in place, I wanted The Canyons to succeed to prove you can make a decent publicly supported film noir for $250,ooo. But I really wanted it to succeed for the sake of Lindsay Lohan.
It is disgraceful how sections of the media, for fun and profit, have turned Lohan into the cartoon character LiLo, the poster girl of youthful self-destruction. Lots of young people have played up like second-hand lawnmowers and got over it. But the media script does not allow this possibility, in the third act, for Lohan.  
When you read the Rodrick article, you will see that Lohan was sometimes unreliable and she caused a delay because of fear of the four-way sex scene in The Canyons. I did not read of one tantie from the woman working for $100 a day and a share of box office. Hardly the stuff worth the screaming headlines of her ruining the film making. The most offensive media banner read. “Why LiLo’s a Delusional AssholeWho’ll Never Legitimately Work Again.” WTF. FU, Jezebel.
Of the major players in the making of the film, only producer Braxton Pope comes across as focused and totally responsible.
Schrader seems sorta all right until we learn he has knocked back an offer from fellow director Steven Soderbergh. to do a free edit of the movie if given the footage for 72 hours.
Schrader said no. ‘The idea of 72 hours is a joke,’ Schrader said. ‘And you know what Soderbergh would do if another director offered to cut his film?’  Yair, Paul but Traffic had a budget of $46 million (grossed $207 million), not $250,000.
That was when I cooled on the positive fate of The Canyons. That and the ridiculous trailer which seems to be pitching the film for the bad-movie cult circuit. 

             Doubtless some critics will try to wing the film to the bad-is-good circuit by panning Lohan’s performance. Because that fits their cartoon script for her.
But she’ll be right when she comes to Oz for the film Iraqi Icicle. Cast and crew members will take her aside to gently explain we don’t do unreliability on our movie sets. We have this ensemble sort of thing going where you do not let the others down.
I will cry if our budget is only $250, 000 and we will not have lame self-deprecating trailers. Oh and Steven Soderbergh is welcome to fly his own way over for a final 72-hr edit.
I can’t find a release date for The Canyons. But quite a few critics have taken to reviewing the trailers. However and wherever it comes out, the film is likely to turn a handy profit. And Lindsay Lohan is the main person to thank for that.

Iraqi Icicle, the eBook is available HERE. The print book come out on January 26.

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.

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

Guest Book Review

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

To sex or not to sex

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

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

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

(warning: nudie bit)