The Brush-Off

Narrated by: Rupert Degas
Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction, this is the second Murray Whelan adventure.

Murray Whelan, political minder, is world-weary, terminally horny, and addicted to cigarettes. On a sultry Melbourne summer night, while Murray is in the Botanic Gardens tasting Salina Fleet's apricot lips, a dead artist is being fished from the ornamental moat outside the art gallery. Whelan goes looking for the big picture among the culture vultures of Melbourne's art world and quickly learns there is nothing abstract about a loaded gun. A romantic comedy and drop-dead thriller, The Brush-Off mixes high art with low blows.

©1998 2001 2011 2014 Shane Maloney (P)2013 Audible Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

You probably have to be a Kiwi...

First let me say that I love New Zealand. Virtually everything about it is great. I even applied for a job there about twenty years ago, having traveled through both islands for about three months. However...this book is uneven at best. It starts out funny, as a lot of art works do, but quickly runs out of that steam. Then it wants you to get very deeply involved in what I assume to be the author's world, which is the art bureaucracy in Melbourne. This is a cloistered world full of very particular types of people whom I did not find interesting enough to form the basis of an entire novel. Way too many in-jokes and in-references that you just can't be expected to get unless you happen to inhabit that world. I didn't get all that involved with the protagonist or his struggles with the bureaucracy and with his love life. It left me cold. As I said, if you happen to be a Kiwi or have some connection to the tiny world in which the book dwells, then I imagine that you can appreciate what goes on in it. Otherwise, from 8000 miles away, it feels quite foreign to me, and is aimed at very specific tastes that I don't share.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect narration!

Any additional comments?

I read Shane Maloney back in high school and listening to this audiobook brought it all back. He's witty, he's political, and completely safe - no terror-stricken 21st century for Shane Maloney, but the laidback incompetent local politics of the late 80s. He does tend to do that thing that crime writers do, where women are attracted to the sleuth/detective/total amateur like mozzies to human flesh, but hey. Apart from the first chapter this shtick doesn't get on my nerves as much as it usually does. I think Shane Maloney captures Australia well, although I might be saying that because he doesn't shy away from talking about migrant communities. It adds a new dimension to the usual Anglo-Aboriginal dichotomy in Aussie novels.

And how good is Rupert Degas? The second he got to Angelo Agnelli, that character seemed to walk whole-bodied out of my headphones - first time for me, but very much appreciated. He gets Shane Maloney's sense of humour. Between the two of them, my gut almost ruptured with laughter at the octopus scene.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narration is everything

This is a good, regular Joe turns PI, mystery caper made great by the narration. If you do not listen to many Australian books then it may be a tough first few chapters but keep going, you will settle in for a great read.

1 person found this helpful