Malodorous Melbourne. "The White Body of Evening" by A.L. McCann. [review]
'Australia is all an illusion. A trick with smoke and mirrors, performed by demagogues and balladeers.' So says Paul Walters, one of A.L. McCann's main characters in this black, sometimes bleak, but very readable tale of Melbourne monstrosity and madness at the turn of the twentieth century. "The White Body of Evening" is sprinkled with such sentiments, uttered behind chilled hands into penurious South Melbourne, intoned at middle-class tables down the road in St Vincent Place, and wanly ruminated over in the superior cultural environs of Vienna. McCann revels in the detail, and his map of 'Marvellous Melbourne' is rich with it.