Destination: Melbourne

Seeing Australia Through Australian Crime Novels

B. R. Myers looks Down Under through the eyes of an American reading Aussie crime fiction. From the Atlantic

It is a rare crime novel that doesn’t seem better in the first part, when we are still trying to find our bearings. Perhaps we want to feel the way we did as children, when the genre was so much more thrilling for being slightly over our heads. This is the good thing about Australian crime fiction: as an American, you are never completely at home in it. True, the suburban backdrops appear very familiar, and on the printed page the Australian variant of English is almost identical to our own. But the characters in these novels behave much more differently from Americans than do the Swedes in those Stieg Larsson books, and this never stops feeling odd. Among male friends an intensity of joshing camaraderie is in evidence that even our frat boys would find stifling.

Previously, we noted Reggie Nadelson’s essay on the importance of place in crime novels, and Sarah Weinman’s piece on “international crime novels based in places as unlikely as Laos, Gaza and North Korea.”

Cheap Airfares! Buy Now!

Photo by egmb757lover, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

There is an amazing multitude of low fares for air travel out there right now. Want to fly cheaply to Australia? Shanghai? Las Vegas? I’ve rounded up some great travel deals below.

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Best Cities to Drink Coffee

coffee cafe REUTERS

Terry Ward takes a look at seven of the best cities in the world to sit and sip

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Kinglake, Australia

australia fires REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

A vehicle is seen near the remains of a house destroyed by bushfires is seen in the town of Kinglake, 34 miles northeast of Melbourne. Australian bushfires have killed more than 100 people and burnt hundreds of homes in the worst fire disaster in three decades.

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Melbourne, Australia

melbourne REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

Scaffolders, who were given the day off because of high temperatures, jump off Beach Pier in Melbourne.

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The Best (Almost) Fictional British Pubs

Among David Barnett’s picks for great fictional pubs: George Orwell’s The Moon Under Water and Anthony Burgess’ Korova Milk Bar, from A Clockwork Orange. Though they’re products of the authors’ imaginations, it looks like they’re so good they’ve both spawned real-world pubs. In his Guardian piece, Barnett mentions a series of British pubs named The Moon Under Water. I found another in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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