Sydney Pub Book Club Event Featuring “Goodbye Crackernight” by Justin Sheedy Sunday 17 April!
At the outset let me express my heart-felt thanks to Book Lovers’ Book Club founding members, Donna Barlow, Julie Wall and Lindsey Leehy for inviting me to feature as guest author at their inaugural Book Club event with my first published book, Goodbye Crackernight. Set to take place from 1pm on Sunday April 17th at the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, 148 Enmore Road, Enmore, it’ll be the first time I’ve ever been to a ‘book club’, let alone getting to yack about my book at one. So what form, I wondered, might the event take? Event organiser, Donna Barlow, comments…
“The most common question I’ve been asked about Book Club is ‘Will we actually be discussing the book, or is it just an excuse to drink beer?’ I reckon the two go together well and there will be plenty of both. It’s actually how Book Lovers’ Book Club came into being – 3 mates who regularly found themselves discussing books and literature in between much loud music, booze and good times. I’m looking forward to heading down to Duke of Edinburgh and tripping down Memory Lane with author of Goodbye Crackernight, Justin Sheedy. Justin’s childhood in Epping was remarkably similar to my wonder years growing up in Bexley, I even had a coveted Moove t-shirt (mine was Strawberry, my brother’s Chocolate). I predict it will be loud, funny and a delightfully good time.”
So I imagine what might actually punctuate copious beer-drinking on the afternoon will be purely incidental readings from Goodbye Crackernight, an amount of not-very-well-behaved discussion of the book, and of the lost era of the 1970s whose life and times it portrays, along with a liberal dose of raucous behavior generally. It must be born in mind that the societal experience we observed as children in the suburbs of 1970s Australia was one of the next-door-neighbours throwing pants-off three-day pool parties, a time of Streakers, of electric pink hotpants, of Nuns in bikinis and UFO sightings. So now we’re all grown up, dear readers, it’s time to get our OWN back, I say. (!)
Present on the day will be the wonderful Collette McGrath, dynamic czarina of classic pop-culture, who just recently offered the following comment on Goodbye Crackernight…
“I must say it is a very compelling read so far, but imagine my shock when only two chapters into the book you have already made reference to Romper Room, Batman, The Monkees, and preternaturally still… Georgy Girl! Perhaps it is a northwestern suburbs thing, or more likely still the powerful tractor beam of the Channel Seven Antenna, but our retro memory banks seem to be somewhat enmeshed? I rarely laugh out loud while reading a book or watching TV, but have done so several times already while reading Goodbye Crackernight and am not even half way through.”
For me, it’s comments like this that capture the very intended essence of the book: Though told from my childhood and early adolescent point of view, Crackernight is in no way just my story of growing up, but a ‘shared’ memoir, a portrait of the Era. So massive thanks to Collette. It will be superb and my privilege to have her present on the day. Given her lovely response to and enthusiasm for the book, I asked if she might like to pen a mini ‘review’ on it. She wrote the following…
“More thrilling than a Malvern Star with no brakes, more pleasurable than the sustainable indulgence in twenty cents worth of mixed lollies, more exhilarating than the return ‘V’ sign from a Valiant Charger driver… Holy Crackernight Batman! Boy Wonder Justin Sheedy’s Palin-esque humour and poignant anecdotes (ie.The Dubbo Incident) will have you reaching for the Cheese Twisties as he takes you back to a time when we had Less of everything, but, let’s face it, More Fun!” – Collette McGrath.
Goodbye Crackernight is intended as a comedy, for if I have a scripture-quoting fundamentalist religion within me it’s one born of my comic gods and heroes past and present. If I have any ‘Faith’, it’s in the Sanity of laughter. However, it is just such a massive reward for my writing efforts to discover that readers are also engaging with the ‘serious’ aspects of the book: With the sometimes very sad perspectives it touches on, the product of the involuntary honesty of the Child’s Eye that we all once had. With the passing of Innocence, the pain and exhilaration of Growing Up. With those embryonic realisations of the adult world around us. Book Club member, Julie Wall, offered the following comment…
“Half way through the book Justin. Can’t believe it has made me cry already. Love your stories of Jose. They remind me so much of my own grandmother. And Round John Virgin had me howling with laughter, being Catholic educated myself.”
Thank you, Julie.
So, dear readers, I richly look forward to meeting as many of you as can make it at the Book Lovers’ Book Club inaugural event. If you’re on Facebook, please do indicate your possible attendance by clicking HERE. Or simply leave a comment below. It’s not essential to have read the book before the day; there should be readings aplenty, also some copies available on site. Though if you’d like to pick up a copy at your local bookstore between now and then, please bear in mind that you may just have to request one to be “ordered in” over the counter if there’s not one left on the shelf. This kind of “order in” can be done at any good bookstore but, given the delivery time, you might just wanna check your local at the first convenient opportunity.
Yours very excoitedly
JUSTIN’S LATEST BOOK, NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN NOW AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK AT SMASHWORDS, AS PRINT-ON-DEMAND PAPERBACK AT AMAZON AND AT DYMOCKS GEORGE ST SYDNEY, CHATSWOOD, MACQUARIE CENTRE, ROUSE HILL, BROADWAY, BONDI JUNCTION & CAMPBERWELL (VIC) stores.
EXCELLENT REVIEWS! CLICK HERE TO READ.