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January 27, 2018


The Glass Canoe

by N@ncy



  1. The novel is about a man who spends his life at the pub…
  2. seeing the world through his beer glass – a glass canoe.
  3. 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)



  1. The bar  attracts the men…like moths to a flame.
  2. Barflys used to drink to erase their aches and tiredness.
  3. Now there are only a few of them left to do a hard day’s work
  4. ….they  drink to erase everything.
  5. This book is a collection of fragments that describe
  6. inner city larrikins who belong to a tribe.
  7. Their watering hole is the bar at the Southern Cross Hotel.
  8. There were high points:
  9. The Pub Widow, Mac the copper and Territorial Animal (Blackie the pub dog)
  10. There were low points:
  11. Liz the Large, Ronny and Prudence.
  12. My favorite barfly was ‘philosopher’ Alky Jack.
  13. He is the voice of the author himself, David Ireland.
  14. He comments …about being Australian, the Queen and politics.
  15. Queen: “She’s not a bad thing […] can really hold her grog as well” (pg 37)
  16. The book is full of bars, barflys, beer, broads and brawls.
  17. At the beginning I was drawn to the quirky characters
  18. …unfortunately the last 50% of the book felt like a punctured balloon.



Read more from #AusReadingMonth, fiction
6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 28 2018

    How on earth did this make it onto your reading pile! Sounds dreadful.


    • Jan 28 2018

      Well, I’ll have to blame JEAN GLEESON’S TOP 50 Australian books in last 200 yrs list that included The Glass Canoe and MILES FRANKLIN committe for awarding it the prize 1976!
      I could have thought of 10 other books deserving these accolades…but not this one!
      Live and learn! Thanks for your comments, Claire!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Feb 19 2019

    I’m glad you read it. It is an important exploration of the myths of Australian maleness, and the writing is often quite lyrical.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Feb 20 2019

    I need to read this one day. I love the best quote about gambling you shared!


    • Feb 20 2019

      There were many moments of humor in this book
      …especially about the pub’s dog!



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