The Glass Canoe
- Author: D. Ireland
- Title: The Glass Canoe
- Published: 1976
- Trivia: Awarded Miles Franklin Award 1976
- Trivia: List Reading Challenges 2018
- Trivia: Magic Square Challenge – book set in another country
- The novel is about a man who spends his life at the pub…
- seeing the world through his beer glass – a glass canoe.
- The novel is told through the voice of Meat Man.
Title: The Glass Canoe (beer glass)
- …the glass got bigger and bigger, we stepped into the
- glass and claimed our freedom to float away. (pg 114)
Best quote: about gambling:
- He went to the races looking for the golden fleece
- …and got shorn. (pg 74)
- Beer tasted thick and nourishing…like roast beef! (pg 14)
- …the liquid golden god that spouted from taps.
- …the god with no voice of his own spoken through us.
- …we jumped into the froth of beer as if it was the spume of surf
- …like delighted children. (pg 52)
- The bar attracts the men…like moths to a flame.
- Barflys used to drink to erase their aches and tiredness.
- Now there are only a few of them left to do a hard day’s work
- ….they drink to erase everything.
- This book is a collection of fragments that describe
- inner city larrikins who belong to a tribe.
- Their watering hole is the bar at the Southern Cross Hotel.
- There were high points:
- The Pub Widow, Mac the copper and Territorial Animal (Blackie the pub dog)
- There were low points:
- Liz the Large, Ronny and Prudence.
- My favorite barfly was ‘philosopher’ Alky Jack.
- He is the voice of the author himself, David Ireland.
- He comments …about being Australian, the Queen and politics.
- Queen: “She’s not a bad thing […] can really hold her grog as well” (pg 37)
- The book is full of bars, barflys, beer, broads and brawls.
- At the beginning I was drawn to the quirky characters
- …unfortunately the last 50% of the book felt like a punctured balloon.