Book Review: Fools' Paradise Life In An Altered State

Ross Fitzgerald & Trevor Jordan, Fools' Paradise Life In An Altered State (Arcadia:Melbourne, 2011, $24.95).

I have not written a book review since I was in high school and even then I believe we were mainly asked to produce book reports.

I was inspired to write a review of sorts of “Fools' Paradise: life in an altered state” due to the looming Queensland  election and the all singing all dancing Bob Katter Party.

The book is set in Mangoland, where an ex football hero is premier which kept images of Wally Lewis and his smudged nose front and centre. There are big shoulder padded power-suits and SNAGs, remember them, the sensitive new age guys of the last century?

I know one of the authors, Dr Ross Fitzgerald and it was totally impossible not to have his image playing in my head, as the central character Grafton Everest. Dr Ross is a tall, academic, teetotaller with a beautiful wife and intelligent daughter and so is Grafton.

There are plenty of sex scenes featuring Grafton so with Dr Ross’s image imbedded in my mind I found them a bit disconcerting.

The politics of the story are somewhat outlandish but so is Queensland politics. There are many characters you will recognize like Jo Bjelke Peterson, Pauline Hanson and even Flo.

My favourite, the Gay Shooters party is probably one that might never take off in QLD. But then again who would have thought the Australian Sex Party would have garned the 4th most popular Senate vote in Australia? And that Queenslanders elected five One Nation politicians in one election. One who wore Mickey Mouse socks, tie, cufflinks tie clip, watch and proudly carried a matching briefcase.

Fools' Paradise will be a great Xmas read and I found a number of items in the book to add to my Xmas wishlist such as a kookaburra alarm clock (please tell me they exist), a morning tv program filmed live from bed and five mini buses and three ex army personnel carriers filled with election day volunteers!

I found myself laughing out loud at the madness of some of the characters and the events in this book. Noticing the frightening similarities with politics today, made me wonder if Dr Ross had a special political weegee board or something.

Fiona Patten
Convener
Australian Sex Party

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