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Our Father Who Wasn't There
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Our Father Who Wasn't There

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  15 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
A masterfully rendered memoir, this account weaves bits of truth and fiction in an attempt to tell the life story of Brian Carlin, the author’s father. In 1960s conservative Western Australia, Carlin commits suicide, resulting in his son David’s yearning to conjure up his father and uncover the series of events that led to his death. Piecing together Carlin’s tale from ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Scribe Publications Pty Ltd. (first published 2010)
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Oct 28, 2010 Tracey rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I really liked this book, written about the author's quest to uncover the man who was his father and who committed suicide when the author was just a baby. The book is part mystery, partly showing that we all can go down different paths depending the on the circumstances as the author tries to track down what happened during the war, and after, hypothesising on the number of routes his father could have taken.
John Burbidge
Jun 02, 2016 John Burbidge rated it really liked it
Recommended to John by: Jill Elderfield
Having grown up in Western Australia in the 1950s and 60s, and later come out as a gay man in another country after I'd shed the shackles of my upbringing, I found much in this book I could relate to. Fortunately, I didn't suffer clinical depression and wasn't subject to treatments such as ECT and insulin comas.

Without having memories of his father to draw on, David Carlin skillfully recreates the time and place in which his father grew up, married, worked and raised a family. Sadly, it also ult
Jan 22, 2016 Chelsea rated it liked it
Carlin has really put himself and things personal to him out on the line. In this memoir, he investigates the circumstances around his father's death, a journey that takes him from Melbourne across the Nullabor and back, and provides insight into the mental health system in the 50s and 60s. There were times in this book that I found the writing a little self-conscious, the voice a little too 'creative writing tutorial.' I also felt that at times, Carlin put a bit too much of his own life story ...more
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