I read this book with a big smile on my face. I found myself smiling and laughing all the way through, not only for the classic moments of recognition – I worked in newspapers with Dan and many of the things he writes about have the ring of hilarious authenticity – but also for Dan’s amusing and wry observations on newspapers, journalism, Sydney’s dating scene and more.
Dan was always one of the funniest writers at the Sydney Morning Herald and his talent and wit shines through in Drowning in the Shallows. Dan has a unique writing style that is not only immensely funny, but also has you cheering on his self-deprecating journalist-slash-teacher-slash bar reviewer (yes, humiliation does make for great copy). The characters are recognisable and well-realised and the story flows nicely. It can feel in Sydney that if you’re not six feet tall and wearing a expensive three-piece suit tailored to fit your gym honed biceps that you are invisible – and those opening night events and parties can make you feel like you’re in Logan’s Run, where the age cut-off is 30 – which is why David is an underdog hero you can cheer on and love.
Perhaps, as he says, journos really are less popular than used car salesman. But time spent with Dan’s hero David is time well-spent indeed … and a great antidote for our dark times.
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