Rock and Sitcom. "Confessing the Blues" by Anson Cameron and "Saigon Tea" by Graham Reilly. [review]
With his first two novels, "Silences Long Gone" and "Tin Toys", Anson Cameron revealed himself as a peculiarly spiky talent, possessed of a finely tuned literary sensibility, an invigorating disregard for the moral sensitivities of his audience and a blackly ironic sense of humour. Neither seemed to have been conceived as comic novels per se, but both were funny, if cruel, black and slippery. "Confessing the Blues", his third novel, is an attempt to emphasise the humour. It’s a rock ’n’ roll novel that is not so much about the bittersweet taste of success as the galling taste of failure, and the pain of ordinariness for someone who has aimed at being anything but. Graham Reilly's "Saigon Tea" is a much more conventional work than "Confessing the Blues". Part of a growing trend for humorous novels, presumably driven in Australia by the immense success of Nick Earls (who's on hand to give Reilly a plug on the cover) and Jessica Adams, it throws together an eclectic combination of Glaswegian mates, Australian meatworkers and Vietnamese criminals.