"Australia and Ireland... two great countries joined at the funny bone. The year is 1966, and at a run down municipal swimming pool in Sydney, an overweight, balding swimming coach squints into the midday sun and dreams of his only son representing Australia in the Olympic Games. And so begins an epic story which spans three generations and three continents... a wonderful story guaranteed to make you laugh and make you cry."
Review by: Michelle Fernon on Jun. 13, 2011 : This book totally ruined last weekend as I was unable to put it down (apart from when I had to go for the tissue box) Luck it has plenty of laughs or I would have been a total wreck. I love the time frame, and the way it brought in current affairs... and the way of thinking... because it is so recent, you don't read about it often. And it had the most wonderful 'men's business'. My husband is allowed to read it now... I'm dying to know what he thinks. Michelle Fernon... Wagga NSW (reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Anne Robertson on Jun. 06, 2011 : In George O "Bannion"s words "there are two types of people, those who are willing to have a go and those who are not". Chris, you had a go and proved yourself to be a talented writer as well as film producer. An amusing and enjoyable read. How about a sequel or maybe a film?
Review by: Thomas Bagot on May. 10, 2011 : (no rating) I have picked up and put down dozens of books in the last year including two by Baldacci because they bored me silly. I am very impatient. This book has drawn me back. To me it approaches being an important classic...cf Fringe of Leaves by Patrick White. The period and the events covered have made an immeasurable difference to Australia and some of the strengths and characteristics covered need to be held in the present and into the future. This book covers, shows and enlivens important characteristics which sometimes seem in danger of vanishing. Thomas Bagot PhD (MGSM) MEngSc (UNSW, BSc (Comp Sc) NDT (UNISA) (reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Carol Smith on Apr. 28, 2011 : Chris, thank you so much for your beautiful book. Please write a sequel. I wish this story had never ended. It was powerful and funny and I could not help but be there with the O'Bannion family. They all just came alive off the page. I hope you make this great story into a movie so other people can have the great memories, plus relive their childhood as I did.... boy, how I cried when Elvis died...how I cheered when 'Sydinee' was awarded the olympic Games! I'm glad I did not miss out on this great read. I will never recycle it, as you can just re read it anytime, and always enjoy it. Carol Smith Sydney (reviewed within a week of purchase)
Review by: Sandy George on Apr. 19, 2011 : You sent a paper copy of your book on the proviso I told you what I thought of it.... I so enjoyed getting to know Max and his life. I guess I loved him and hated him in equal measure. There was his honesty, but also his dagginess. His unconstructed nature, but also his humour. I guess that means he was complex, like all of us.I was going to give the copy back so you could send it to someone else for their reading pleasure, but I'm afraid I've just given it to a lovely Irishman from Concord who built me a fence this week. Sorry. Sandy George. Journalist SCREEN INTERNATIONAL (reviewed the day of purchase)
I really enjoyed this book. It's not exactly Dickens, being a fairly lightweight read but the characters are engaging and likeable (if I don't like the main characters I don't read the book) and I didn't have to force myself to carry on reading - believe me, there are many books that I force myself through a few chapters of, in the hope that they'll keep my interest. This one had no problems in that department. I've no idea if the author has written anything else, but I'll read it if he has (I'm guessing it's a he, as the book is written mainly from a male perspective, though you can't tell with the name Chris). Anyway, read it, you'll most likely enjoy it very much.
I loved this book. The story is very believable and has some very modern 'twists' - at times I forgot it was fictional. The places described in Sydney in the 1970's are those my sister recognised as she has lived there since then and we compared notes as she recommended the book to me. Well worth reading.
Well maybe not the first but the first for a very long time. I find more factually based books much more interesting. As soon as I realised it was fiction I nearly put it down but persevered and actually enjoyed it very much.