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10 thoughts on “The Delinuents

  1. fourtriplezed fourtriplezed says:

    Kylie Minogue Joseph Conrad the fascist state that was ueensland and how I came to realise that the star rating system may not be appropriate for this bookAt a Lifeline Bookfest in Brisbane a while back I picked up battered copies of both this book The Delinuents by Criena Rohan and The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad both for only a dollar Conrad’s classic was known to me and had always been on my TBR The Delinuents on the other hand was a spur of the moment purchase based on the cover blurb Brisbane being the location was a lure I also realised after a look at the www that the pop diva Kylie Minogue has played the lead in a movie based on the book Not that I am particularly a Kylie type of fella but what did that matter Both of these short books I earmarked for a 12 hour flight I was making mid last year After taking my seat I half slept just about the entire trip so read little On leaving the flight I proceeded to leave both battered books on the plane I was a little annoyed with myself so once back in Brisbane I purchased new copies of both and decided to start with The Delinuents With that let’s be utterly brutal The Delinuents is a badly written book The writing has the appearance of being rushed and with that the need of a good editor It was almost juvenile in delivery at times The romanticism was so poor at times I imagined a high school kid writing this after too much Mills and Boon such was some of the narrative Events blended into each other so rapidly that it was almost as if the author had had so many ideas to tag to the story but knew not how Some parts are so badly written as to be almost funny At one point completely out of character to the way the story is told we get several sentences of possums peeking into a room deciding as what were the actions of either Lola or Brownie the main characters of the story in deciding as to who had cleaned the room they were in The sympathetic style towards the pair of “delinuents” was also just a little too much It lacked for me the grit reuired But And a big BUTWritten in 1962 this novel may be a bit observant of street life in Brisbane in the 50’s than my complaints about poor writing and delivery deserve The author is observing the subculture that was Australia at the time called Bodgies and Widgies ueensland historically the most reactionary state in Australia the authorities frowned upon this subculture just as much as the emerging Punk culture of my youth in the late 70’s The tale itself covers under age sex contraception and abortion living on the street and suatting amongst others themes Migrant communities are a big part of the narrative These I would suggest at the time of writing were radical in terms of what lders and maybe Australians in general were reading in the early 60’s The Bush was seemingly the ideal topic with the only critical writing being by likes of the brilliant Thea Astley writing about the reactionary bourgeois middle classes Books on subcultures? I know of none and if there are any out there can someone let me know please? I was once witness to a policeman beating up a punk rocker in King George Suare in the heart of Brisbane in the late 70’s and hearing the cop say to the boy that he should not “be allowed to dress like that” I heard the same at a gig I attended “They shouldn’t be allowed to listen to stuff like this” said a big burly policeman standing next to me It gets no innocuous than the pop pap of a band that is called Mental as Anything but they may have been subversive for all I know Perhaps he thought the nips were pornographic as opposed to alcoholic Interestingly the government at the time was elected via gerrymander and had at best a 30% popular vote They were authoritarian and used to discuss how they did not like southerners people from NSW and Victoria I kid you not and as late as 1989 they raided a record shop over supposedly obscene record covers From the Rocking Horse Records Facebook we get the following “On this day in 1989 Police raid long time 4ZZZ supporters Rocking Horse Records then located at 158 Adelaide Street in the city An undercover officer from the Licensing branch came into the store seeking out rude records for a “wild valentine’s day party” followed later that day by four uniformed police who raided the store Owner Warwick Vere was charged with exhibiting and selling obscene material under the Vagrants Gaming and Other Offences Act but ultimately found not guilty Albums included The Dead Kennedys “Give me Convenience” featuring the classic ‘Too Drunk to Fuck’ Guns n Roses “Appetite for Destruction” available at many major chain stores at the time the Hard Ons “Dick Cheese” and The Champs “Do the Shag” an instrumental album from the early 60s In an interview with Gavin Sawford for Time Off Magazine Dead Kennedy’s Jello Biafra commented “if these attempts to shut down record stores because an instrumental band mention a type of carpet on their record helps to galvanise people to vote out the present administration then by all means let’s see some raids” That government went soon after such was their lack of understanding that the world was the late 1900s and not the mid 1600s For me for all the poor writing and delivery that the book delivered it is a very important piece of writing Let’s be utterly brutal again Brisbane and ld in general was verging on a reactionary fascist state from birth until the early 90’s no matter the side of politics that governed The 50’s were no different from the past and the future For all the ham fisted writing poor delivery lack of character development etc this is probably an early observation of the fascist state that was ueensland and maybe a plea for help Strangely at times the author showed some literary smarts We got the following after boyfriend Brownie had come back from a stint in the merchant navy “it puzzled her that a little seaman with all the wonders of the wonders of the world just a voyage away in a manner of speaking should take an interest in the impossible marvels of the lurid type of historical fiction – what Brownie called ‘lusty busties’ ‘Wouldn’t you think they would read Joseph Conrad?’ said Lola innocently She had just discovered Conrad and had decided he was her favourite Author ‘Who’s he?” said Brownie Lola explained Brownie snorted He said that if Joseph Conrad was a sailor he should have known better than to go writing about the sea – and who wanted to read about the sea anyway”We also get a great line that resonated right up until the early 90’s considering ld’s police state credentials “‘If you ask me all Brisbane’s full of coppers and all of them are bastards’ she said expressing in one concise sentence the full theory of central government in the sunshine state” For me this sentence from a relatively obscure 1962 novel was an astonishing observation considering what was to come once the corruption in the Sunshine State was exposed during the Fitzgerald Enuiry of later years Interestingly I was telling a work college about this book the other day He laughed and told the yarn of when he and 3 mates were making a short film for their studies while at Art Collage when the film of this book was being made in the late 80’s a lane in the middle of the central business district they were setting up their cameras When he was asked what they were doing he being a smarty said they were filming a scene for the movie The Delinuents and expected Kylie to be along later Next thing there were about 100 people watching and waiting for Kylie to appear He had to lie later and say they had word that she could not make it that day Kylie is still very popular in this part of the world and as I write she plays in Brisbane this weekend Let’s hope the rain holds of for her and the fans So a couple of things Would I recommend this to others? I recommend it to no one It is poorly written Does it deserve to be read? Yes if one has an interest in ueensland literature and needs to understand its youth subculture and that it was a cultural backwater that the authorities were keen to keep that way Thank goodness we have moved on from the days of watching a kid with a funny haircut get bashed for being just a kid with a funny haircut With that I need to read Conrad’s Heat of Darkness If 1950’ delinuent Lola was impressed I will be disappointed if I am not Star rating? No idea How about five for the fun of it all


  2. Lynx Lynx says:

    Australian author Deirdre Cash pseudonym Criena Rohan was certainly ahead of her time In The Delinuents we follow young lovers Lola and Brownie as they deal with teen pregnancy abortion abandonment prostitution corruption and poverty Not exactly a light read but certainly a worthwhile one that will stick with you long after you've put it downThank you Text Publishing Edelweiss for this review copy


  3. Saturday& Saturday& says:

    Way back in 1989 a movie version of this novel was produced staring Kylie Minogue and Charlie Schlatter and I recall watching it because I thought he was cute At the time I had no idea that it as based on a novel When I recently happened upon a copy of it on a library shelf I decided to give it a read I have now discovered another “classic” Australian novel


  4. Brian Reed Brian Reed says:

    I read this book when i was 17 or 18 This is the book that set my path in music fashion and the girls I would like for the 20 years I loved the movie so much I Bought the promtional leather jacket that came with it for 500 my first weeks pay on the mines in 1990 Still got that leather jacket still fits heh heh If you like thie this I recomend A Buch Of Ratbags by William Dick A lot brutal but I remember after my father read it he said it was excatly like he grew up Scary


  5. Text Publishing Text Publishing says:

    ‘A back street Tristan and Isolde’Daily Mail


  6. Lorraine Lorraine says:

    Rubbish


  7. Jacinta Barrow Jacinta Barrow says:

    My favourite all time novel 2 teenagers in love in post war Australia trying to survive just about anything life throws at them it's a lot The description of the different cities is very nostalgic; the talk of weather puts you there Women doing what they had to do in order to get by


  8. Jessica Reads & Rambles Jessica Reads & Rambles says:

    35 stars


  9. Alison Alison says:

    A forgotten classic that deserves a wider readership I had to read this book in Year 12 and while I didn't hate it as much as some of the other prescribed texts I didn't really like it either and I mostly associated it with Kylie Minogue who starred in the movie version int h late '80s I was inspired to re read it when I read Nick Earles' introduction to the re issued edition where he praised it as the most Brisbane of books The plot is pretty simple and almost reads like a series of short stories But Criena Rohan's wit is sharp and dry and her observations are spot on She doesn't need many words to skewer the insular puritanical world of mid 50s ueensland and her descriptions of Brisbane are beautiful and evocative The book does feel a little dated in parts what people used to believe about contraception and fertility is astonishing; and all the women over thirty are either dissolute sluttish wrecks or horribly uptight matrons but it is still an excellent novel and a great read


  10. Rebecca Fung Rebecca Fung says:

    Two young lovers in Brisbane The writing is not too bad but I'm not sure if it's the untessential Brisbane book However the Brisbane settiong does come alive very nicely in the bookIt's a dirty side of Brisbane with the prostitution and poverty but I honestly didn't find it heavy to read probably because at no time did I find myself overly emotionally invested in the characters I never felt really well engaged with them I always felt like an observer and that Lola in particular was of a slightly annoying character making very bad decisions rather than someone I fully empathised withThere were some nice little snapshots here and there the cheap extravagances of Lola her irresponsibility the working on the ship the pompous people who look down on Lola and Brownie's attempts at freedom and cannot understand them some good scenes and dialogue and it was a breezy read that didn't drag but I didn't feel sorry to leave Lola and Brownie behind and didn't end up caring too much what happened to them


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The Delinuents ❰BOOKS❯ ⚦ The Delinuents Author Criena Rohan – Liversite.co.uk 'Most great lovers if they lived today would be considered juvenile delinuents'And so it is with Brownie and Lola two displaced teenagers who find their homes in each other But in Brisbane in the Fift 'Most great lovers if they lived today would be considered juvenile delinuents'And so it is with Brownie and Lola two displaced teenagers who find their homes in each other But in Brisbane in the Fifties the age of pony tails rock 'n'roll and backstreet abortions those who go their own way are not rebels but delinuentsIn the eyes of the world that is of their mothers welfare and the cops they are unprepared for adult responsibilities Despite outsiders' attempts to separate them they prove themselves capable of surviving in a world to which they give a love and understanding that is seldom returned.