Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Wanna see my impression of someone who's only just learned you can cross-post a Goodreads review to his blog?

The Mind and Times of Reg MombassaThe Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa by Murray Waldren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fascinating and comprehensive look into the mind of a genuine art polymath. The design of the book is beautiful, with countless Mombassa artworks displayed throughout the 400 pages-- the dust cover even folds out to reveal one lurking on the flip side-- and the wit, humour, and down-to-earth nature of O'Doherty the man, as well as Mombassa the creation, shines.

My only criticism comes from Murray Waldren's journalistic writing style: events are presented with little variation in sense of importance-- the fallout from the band's 'Australian Made' appearances is presented with the same level tone as O'Doherty's childhood holidays, and occasionally things are left in the wake of Waldren's rush to fit every available anecdote into the page count-- for example, when brother Peter O'Doherty decides to leave Mental as Anything after 24 years because of health issues, it's the first time his health issues are even mentioned, which lessons the impact.

But there's simply so *much* of Mombassa's life to fit into the book that it's a small complaint, and overall, the book is a superb encapsulation of a music and art career that has not only accompanied a critical period in Australia's cultural awakening, but been central to the greatest part of it.

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