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Too Much Lip

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Too much lip, her old problem from way back. And the older she got, the harder it seemed to get to swallow her opinions. The avalanche of bullshit in the world would drown her if she let it; the least she could do was raise her voice in anger.

Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an
Paperback, 328 pages
Published July 30th 2018 by University of Queensland Press
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  232 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Mar 01, 2019 marked it as abandoned
Objectively I think this is promising but for whatever reason at this point in time I am struggling to pick it up each day. The diagnosis might be a mini reading slump and so it would be best to move onto something else and hopefully return to it later.
Cass Moriarty
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I finished reading Too Much Lip (UQP 2018) by Goorie author Melissa Lucashenko, and have spent yesterday and today fiddling around with this review, adding bits here and there, trying to get it right and not feeling very successful. This is a hard review to write, or rather, it is difficult to express myself in the right way.
This book is good. Very good. It is an unflinching, raw and honest exploration of one modern-day (fictional) Aboriginal family, with all its flaws and problems. But it
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Brilliant, fierce, brutal, and funny. Too Much Lip focuses on the lives, loves and struggles of a Goorie family in the wake of a death in the family and the looming threat of 'redevelopment' of a sacred site.

The most vivid portrait of contemporary Indigenous experience I have read to date, Lucashenko weaves land rights struggles, inter-generational trauma, the legacy of the Stolen Generation, institutional racism, sexuality, and so much more into a narrative with so many laters.

But above all, t
Michael Livingston
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A brilliant portrait of trauma, dysfunction, resilience and strength. Lucashenko writes about tough people who've had tough lives and brings a sharp, funny eye to difficult topics.
Lucia Boxelaar
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very confronting read. I particularly appreciated Lucashenko’s powerful use of language to portray the key characters in this Aboriginal family and their ongoing - often violent - struggle to carve out their lives, to maintain their connection with the land, and with each other. The book shows how the daily lives of this family - particularly the women - continue to be shaped by our colonial history of violence, dispossession, stolen children, etc. I hope many people get to read this book.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this - a total page turner, I laughed, I cried and occasionally I went ‘oh come on!’ because some bits should not have worked but they did. Lucashenko is a fearless and entertaining writer and on the strength of this book writing some of the most essential fiction in the country. I want to read more fiction from her, and about contemporary Aboriginal Australia, pronto.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, fiction, race
This was my most anticipated book of 2018, one I pre-ordered as soon I knew it existed and saved until I was on leave and could read as long as I wanted, to enjoy. I was aware I was setting up a far-too-high bar, which would almost inevitably ruin my experience. So when I say this book is extraordinary, something so much more than I could have expected (and nothing like what I did), I'm not grading on a curve.
Lucashenko's trademark smart-arse, dramedy style is well on display here. Her protagoni
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
As Bundjalung woman Melissa Lucashenko’s latest novel Too Much Lip draws towards its climax, Black Superman counsels his sister not to abandon her family. And he says these words that are a metaphor for unfinished business in Australian Indigenous affairs:
‘Thing is, you run now, after last night, and it’ll haunt you forever. You can go as far away as you like, but the past always comes along for the ride.’ (p.255)

As I write this, events in Canberra are drawing to a climax too, and it’s possible
Rachael Bettiens
I timed reading Too Much Lip over the Invasion Day / Australia Day long weekend, for extra poignancy, I think.

Lucashenko has written a no holds barred account of the lives of the fictional Salter family. With flawed characters and a family on the brink of implosion and an uncomfortable depiction of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, this book confronts you from the get go.

Crime. Violence. Alcoholism. Child abuse. Intergenerational trauma. The ongoing effects of colonisation. Harsh
Hannah Wattangeri
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching. Intergenerational trauma seems too trite as a description of the harms done to our First people. But Melissa Lucaschenko tells this story with warmth and humour. She shows not only of the harms done, but the resilience and strength of strong people, connected to the land and their history in a way that we should all learn from. Thank you Melissa for telling us this heart-warming, intelligent ways of your people
Australian true history written as fiction
My dream - that every person in Australia has the courage to read this, to be totally and absolutely confronted by the rawness of the power, pain, resilience, hope and potential of this story. That ever reader gets to the Afterword on the last page and accepts the truth in this story and then honours it by reflecting on what they can change.

As with Melissa Lucashencos' previous novel, Mullumbimby, the use of the mix of languages shifts the readers aware
Last year my goal was to read my way through my grief; this year the goal was to expand my reading repertoire. I know what I like to read. I know what is safe, easy and enjoyable. However, you might then miss a wonderful, fantastic, confronting and uplifting delight like Too Much Lip by Aboriginal writer, Melissa Lucashenko.

The book was a recommendation by the Chat 10 Looks 3 Podcast (by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb; a new find and already a firm favourite) and safe in the knowledge, I have lov
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Too Much Lip is one of those fiction books that tells some important truths about the world. It focuses on Kerry, and her Bundjalung family in Northern NSW, as they fight to protect their family’s land from development. Throughout the novel, the influence of the past reverberates throughout the present day.

Lucashenko identifies as a Goorie author of Bundjalung and European heritage, and an Afterword clarifies that, while the location and plot are fiction, the reality of the Aboriginal lives, no
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Lots of issues but i guess that's how it is for indigenous communities. Layers of complexity, family drama, political unfairness and unrest. Some parts i felt were overly familiar. I thought if someone was reading this story from outside Australia or out of touch culturally, they would really struggle to get the nuance.
Sherry Mackay
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Not sure what to say about this one. I loved her previous book mullumbimby but this one took me a very long time to warm up to-
In fact only in the last few pages did I like it. The author is indigenous so I guess she is allowed to speak harshly of her own people. Me being white would not be allowed to do so. She gives us a really brutal insight into indigenous Australian culture, nothing spared. These characters are not particularly nice or charming or honest - the protagonist is a thief for a s
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a raw and unadulterated depiction of the ongoing impact of colonialism and dispossession of Indigenous people in Australia. Whilst that might sound heavy Lucashenko does a great job of using her narrative, a dose of humour and a cast of flawed but lovable characters to show us the real and ongoing trauma. The incorporation of Bundjalung language and slang makes the writing fresh and unique. This is a book that all Australians should read and also anyone wanting an insight into contempora ...more
Elisa Grassa
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
David Fonteyn
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The latest (2018) hard hitting novel by one of Australia's best Aboriginal authors, Too Much Lip pulls no punches as it delves into the often violent world of an Aboriginal family living with the consequences of the extreme violence of both the past dispossession and present oppression of Aboriginal people by White Australia. Set in the North Coast of New South Wales, the idyllic hippie Seachange/ Treechange coast, Lucashenko exposes the shadow side of such real estate and lifestyle from the Abo ...more
Megan Saunders
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book 4 2019;

Too Much Lip-Melissa Luchashenko

Loved this the time myself & my family were camping in Bundjalung National Park-ironically, where this novel is set.

I immediately fell in love with the wise-cracking Kerry Slater who has spent her lifetime avoiding 2 things-prison & her hometown.

The characters where all beautifully depicted & colourful. I absolutely enjoyed getting to know them & spending time learning about a culture that is rich in tradition & beliefs.
Dani Ringrose
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness, the Salters have to be my favourite family in literature in a long time. What a joy to read. Fiction needs more sharks.

“Darn. I feel sorry for whiltefellas, going around thieving all the time. They need help. Shame nobody ever tried to get em back to their culture.”
“I blame the parents.”
“Yeah, Brussels, true, eh. You mob wanna take these whitefellas round here up to the city. Show em some of their sacred sites. Shopping malls and factories and shit.”
“And for God’s sake, can’t ya
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a rambunctious read; the writing roars like a fire taking off, popping and cracking with energy. Sometimes the writing is very funny, sometimes the family violence and conflict it describes is disturbingly vivid.
This was my first reading of a book by Melissa Lucashenko, but it won’t be my last. She writes powerfully about history between indigenous Australians and white colonisers, telling parts of the stories we should all know but are mostly horribly ignorant about; unspeakable cruel
Rashida Murphy
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"They say every child grows up in a different version of the same family." This statement by Kerry Salter, the protagonist of Melissa Lucashenko's latest novel, is one among several 'truths' good fiction delivers. And this is truth telling as fiction at its best. Tough, grim, darkly funny, this novel ought to become required reading in university English courses. The writer is a contemporary Bundjalung woman telling the story of colonialism and its aftermath through the lives of Aboriginal men, ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shortlisted for the Vic Premier’s Literary award, this was a difficult book to enjoy. The main character Kerry, an indigenous Lesbian woman returns to her family in a stolen Harley. I found her and her family quite difficult to relate to and particularly found the middle section of the book over long and easy to put down. The final third was much more engaging. The book deals with the many injustices faced by the indigenous community that have resulted in crime, drink, family violence, pedophili ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I found it slow to get going, but that may have been me getting into rhythm having to having to understand the style and thoughts. Once I caught on, or caught up perhaps I found it compelling reading. Very thought provoking as it is not an historical novel, but a current tale of life. I am sure my book club girls will bring more out for me to ponder and consider! I keep thinking about it, and that is always a sign of a thought-provoking author.
Reannon Bowen
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
In really loved Mullumbimby but I just could not get in to this one. For 200 pages, every time I picked it up I wanted the story to suck me in but it never did. In the end I kept going because I wanted to know what the hype was about. By the end I liked the story a bit more but nowhere near as much as Mullumbimby.
Alys Martin
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed - I know I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. This well paced, engaging and beautifully written novel explores broad themes universal to the human experience as well as ones unique to aboriginal culture, touching particularly on connection to country and the intricate, nuanced nature of the family dynamic. Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shattering, loving, wise, funny, intensely Australian, an open door to First Nation today and where and what they came from and what they endured at the hands of many non First Australians - no punches pulled but about love and connection too, a gift.
Marina Angeline
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a gritty and difficult read for me. I didn't particularly like the characters: their abrasiveness and aggression had me unsettled and on edge as I read. I also found some of the events a little unbelievable. However, the deeper layers of this story were delivered with authenticity: violence, abuse, belonging to family and country, and cultural differences between Indigenous & 'white' Australia. I was glad to finish this book as it was an intense world that is unfamiliar to me, but I ...more
Greg Sale
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read books of non fiction on aboriginal history and have always felt we should address the true history of white impact on the aboriginals but nothing has given me a more real understanding what that lack of acknowledgment means, till this.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this very much. Filled with interesting characters and especially Kerry and her immediate family. Aboriginality, kinship, country, running away, coming home, racism, all beautifully interwoven. Had a few laughs too!
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Melissa Lucashenko is an Australian writer of European and Goorie heritage. She received an honours degree in public policy from Griffith University in 1990. In 1997, she published her first novel Steam Pigs. It won the Dobbie Literary Award for Australian women’s fiction and was shortlisted for both the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Steam P ...more
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