Kicking in Danger – test post

Black Pepper Publishing, 1997

What kind of time warp is this? Collingwood has made the Grand Final. Their ace full forward is missing. Yes, Johnny Moomba, odds on for the Brownlow, Rhodes Scholar and Aboriginal land rights activist has been kidnapped! From Sydenham to Dingley, from Kew to Rowville, murky forces are at work. Through this mayhem ambles Damien Chubb, ex-Bomber ruckman, private eye to the sporting world, laconic centre of calm in a Melbourne gone even more berserk than usual. It’s heading towards the last Sunday in September. Anything can happen. It does.


Alan Wearne is one of the great masters of what can be done with the Australian vernacular. This is an alternative history of Australian Rules, rendered rich and strange by one of the great connoisseurs of suburban Melbourne. Damien Chubb and Johnny Moomba are great acquisitions to the rogue’s gallery of football myth. The ghosts of everyone from John Elliot to Dermott Brereton flit through this comic extravaganza which provides us with every possible archetype you could poke a stick at: a rich brew of sporting Australia as it is and as comic nostalgia can refashion
Peter Craven

The footy novel.
Ron Barrassi

Filled with unique takes not only on football but life in general, seeing things from both sides of the fence. Alan Wearne has given us The Great Australian Rules Novel.
James ‘Charlie’ Manson

Damien Chubb is the Philip Marlowe of the forward pocket.
Shane Maloney


… for those of us who do believe, and are passionate, and never stop yarning and spinning tales of footballers, and their alleged deeds, and misdeeds, this novel is a welcome addition to the not-very- long shelf of fictional works which take that endless conversation from the pubs and hairdressing salons to the printed page…”

Robert Pascoe (Overland No. 150 Autumn 1998)

“It’s a lot of fun, a hoot in fact, and the finale, involving the occupation of the MCG on Grand Final Eve, is way over the top.”

J.R. Carroll (Australian Book Review No 197, December1997/January1998)

“There is plenty too, of the world outside football. Crucial to the novel’s plot are the Koori Lesbian Kollective, computerised astrology, a particularly nasty bunch of racist, anti-football skinheads, and CNN. For all its elements of farce, and for all that it should appeal to those whose only contact with literature is reading the Footy Record, this book does not avoid issues of political, economic, even philosophical significance. And for all that the world of footy is a macho domain, it is women who emerge as the stronger sex, and it is a woman who, in one the book’s funniest scenes, turns the Brownlow Medal award ceremony into a massive land rights demonstration.”

Tim Thorne (Famous Reporter No 16, December 1997)

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