Julian Corkle Is A Filthy Liar
Julian Corkle Is A Filthy Liar is an incredibly amusing novel from D.J Connell. Right from his birth his Mum decides her Julian will be a star, what follows is a rite-of-passage novel about Julian's childhood, and his attempts at fame.
Even from childhood Julian is quite clearly gay. The book, which is Australian, strikes a very humorous Aussie tone and I found I was hearing Aussie accents as I read it. Julian is born in the Sixties, his father is an out and out homophobe who attempts to "play away the gay" by encouraging Julian to play with Meccano and get involved in cricket. He makes dark references to Julian's gay Uncle Norman who somehow disgraced himself in the past. For Mr Corkle it is his worst nightmare that Julian should become a hairdresser or a male nurse. For his part Julian wants to be a TV star and would much rather have a Nancy doll like his sister Carmel.
Though it tells of the awkward childhood many gay children suffer through with a parent who doesn't accept them for who they are, it deals with it with wit rather than misery, and reminded me greatly of the short stories of David Sedaris. I enjoyed the progress of Julian's childhood and school years, his friendships and his crushes.
Where the book faltered for me slightly was in the later stages, when Julian quits school and tries several jobs. I was not as engaged with these chapters as I was with his early years at school though Julian as a character remains very funny.
Carmel too is often highly amusing, and though she is the "apple of Daddy's eye" because of her sporting aptitude, I felt there was more than a hint that she may not be straight either.
Julian Corkle Is A Filthy Liar is a book that I would recommend for a light hearted comic read, which came at an opportune moment for me after two quite "heavy" books, it isn't perfect, but it is very enjoyable. 8/10