poet, novelist, speechwriter
Just finished Catch and Kill. I never expected it to move me to tears but the lines from Ithika read by Daniel Andrews at Lynne Kosky's funeral moved me greatly. Joel's account of his years with Labor, in particular Bracks and Brumby is told in a way that transcends politics as it provides real character analysis of each of the main players which is both critical and generous. To the side of the narrative is Joel's own story as he rides the waves made by an ascendent Bracks, Brumby, Hulls and Thwaits return to power in Victoria. His story is all the more poignant for it's understated telling and the philosophical distance he keeps from what went on around him, his prioritising of family over ambition and his eventual illness. It is a 'page turner' as much as any essay on the machinations of state and federal politics can be with the unique ingredient of compassion and distance that Joel brings to the story.
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