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There's a Bear in There (and He Wants Swedish)
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There's a Bear in There (and He Wants Swedish)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  147 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
This behind-the-scenes look at life in a brothel is told with a lively sense of the absurd and an understanding of human frailty.
Paperback, 332 pages
Published August 14th 2003 by Profile Books Ltd (first published 2002)
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Nemo (Young Adult At Heart)
See this review and more on The Moonlight Library!

I’ll admit, I didn’t recognise Merridy Eastman’s face or name prior to the end of this book where she reveals she got a job on the one TV show mentioned that I actually watched (Always Greener). Her stint on Playschool was before my time, and I’ve never sat through an episode of Blue Heelers or managed to see her in the countless other programs and commercials namedropped in. I wasn’t a fan of hers. What drew me to the memoir was the fact that it
Dec 05, 2015 Cassie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at a second hand book fair, because I found the idea of a children's tv presenter working in a brothel hilarious.

The book isn't particularly well written - no one is going to mistake it for important literature, but it was a very enjoyable read. Eastman talks about her time working as a brothel receptionist in a way that is warm, funny and non-judgemental. She writes about the women she met there as whole people, not one-dimensional cut outs as sex workers are often portra
Feb 04, 2015 Belle rated it really liked it
At times I found this to be moving but it was also full of humour - both self depreciating and observational. Merridy Eastman writes with a caring but assertive manner. She was brave enough to question her own prejudices and values too. It felt honest. She describes the women (and men) in her book so intricately and with such flair that it feels as if you are also in the room with them or that you know them. I've read this book a couple of times now and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it; especia ...more
Heather Barrett
Jan 26, 2014 Heather Barrett rated it really liked it
Having never read anything about the sex industry before I was drawn to this novel for the reputation of the author's humour. I feel enlightened now about this now, and thankfully, without the usual sombre indulgence one could expect of violence and low-life. The author's humour was effective and I found it a good read that I at times could not put down.
Jan 31, 2013 Pauline rated it really liked it
One day late in the twentieth century an out of work Australian actor called Merridy Eastman took a job in a brothel as a receptionist. This is what she learned. There's a Bear in There and He wants Swedish, like the famous Australian novel name-dropped on the cover, is a bullshit-free zone. Like Miles Franklin, Eastman is funny, caring and not easily intimidated. She writes about her own life, is not afraid to be vulnerable, and is fair to the people she describes. Like Franklin, Eastman has a ...more
Luke West
Sep 13, 2012 Luke West rated it really liked it
This book is about an unemployed Merridy Eastman, an actress in her forties who can't find an acting job so she decides she wants to try being a receptionist but little does she know, when she gets a job at a brothel how much she will love it, it's/her troubles and it's/her prostitutes. The book is very entertaining as their are so many interesting stories that go on and all the different characters (my favourite being Urszula/Saphire an elderly lady, by prostitute standards, who despite living ...more
Daniela Galati
Sep 16, 2015 Daniela Galati rated it really liked it
Couldn't put this down, loved it!
May 17, 2016 Beky-Mae rated it liked it
A bit of a trashy read . However it reads like fiction and is actually quite an addictive easy read . I'm just disappointed as I honestly do not remember her from Play School or anything she was actually in .
Jul 25, 2009 Chel rated it it was ok
Loan from Fiona, ANZLL
Read whilst on holidays in Melbourne for friend's wedding. Merridy writes humorously about her experiences as a receptionist in a brothel.

Each vignette was interesting and was well written but the book became a bit stale by the second half. I persisted to the end, with full knowing that she would return to acting full time.
Jul 20, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
Australian out of work actress gets job as receptionist at a brothel. This is actually a very funny memoir although I think 'down under' readers will probably get more out of it due to the author being a former presenter of a well known children's TV show.
Denise Sutherland
Jan 05, 2012 Denise Sutherland rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
Not the sort of book I usually read, but I found it very amusing and a quick read. It was really interesting reading about Merridy's experiences as a brothel receptionist, and nice to read a book set in Sydney, with many familiar places.
Farm Mum
Jun 13, 2009 Farm Mum rated it really liked it
I found this was a very interesting (and midly disturbing!)behind the scenes look into brothels. Can't believe it's Merridy from Playschool!
Jul 23, 2011 Read_instead rated it liked it
I read this in a day and a half. It was surprisingly addictive.
Jun 08, 2011 Pip rated it liked it
Faded toward the end. Very interesting read to start though.
Jan 29, 2012 Kumar rated it liked it
Enjoyable book...but the flow is a bit disjointed.
Cate Kavanagh
Apr 29, 2013 Cate Kavanagh rated it really liked it
Wow, this girl can bitch!
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Merridy Eastman is a writer and actress who lives in Sydney with her German husband Tom, and their son Henry.

A NIDA graduate, Merridy has performed in a swag of productions for the Melbourne and Sydney Theatre Companies and spent several summers leaping about botanical gardens across Australia, bringing Shakespeare to the masses. As well as being an ex Play School presenter, Merridy has also had m
More about Merridy Eastman...

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