Steinbeck vs. Kerouac in Oz

Jack Kerouac seems to be more popular in Australia than Steinbeck.  Penguine has issued a new series of classics and the one source indicates that “On the Road” is the third most popular book in the series. 

Fruit picking is a big industry in Australia, but Steinbeck and “Grapes of Wrath” is rather unknown.  Perhaps the owners of the fruit farms prefer it if the workers don’t get radicalized by that book and have convinced publishers to ignore what some American critics think is the best American novel ever written?

Gavin Bishop (according to our source) has written a children’s book titled “The Private Lives of Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” which is about a pair of assassins who are married but unaware of the other’s job.  The author has noted the similarity to a recent movie that starred one of Hollywood’s power couples and is exploring the possibility that he may have the grounds for a plagiarism lawsuit.

His nephew is working in the mining town of Kalgoorlie and is into 4WD off-road adventures.  We have strongly suggested that he contact the American magazines devoted to that activity and try to do some stringing for them.  Some Americans would be surprised to see just how  big 4WD is in Western Australia.  It is very common to see vehicles on the street with snorkels and that indicates they must go through some rather deep streams.

We are trying to contact our friend Dennis Etchison to get some information about what a writer should do if he thinks he may have been “ripped-off” by a Hollywood movie maker.  (Dennis is also supposed to be starting some agenting activites for a new take on the vampire genre.  DE has his own agents but if he can sell the story to a magazine . . .)

In Kalgoorlie, we have made friends (using his laptop right now) a local journalist who will be working a monk’s existence in the mine fields for the next several months and we have told him of the theory that if you write a thousand words a day (after work) then by the end of a month he will have 30,000 words written.  Robert B. Parker recommended this daily workout for would  be writers.  If Greg is in the field for several months, he could, if he sticks to the 1,000 words a day goal, finish a novel while he is working on this new project.

Bill Bryson is considered a cultural treasusre by folks in Australia.  We have been told that “down under” is a pejorative term, but Bryson’s book about traveling in Australia, is titled “Down Under” in the copies for sale here in Australia.  (Did we get bogus information about “down under” being a pejorative term?)

We have picked up many more nuggests of literary information, but this quick post will have to do for now.

To be continued . . .


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