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Too Much Lip

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,360 ratings  ·  177 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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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,360 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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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
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
Winner of the Miles Franklin award 2019!!! So well deserved.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Talking crows, a spirit guide shark, tarot cards, and dreaming are all packed into this tale of redemption. Kerry, Black Superman, and other Salters have their reasons for flight. Flight as in a movement away from your home and family. They want to try out their wings and feel the winds of freedom on their backs. At first it is so exhilarating- simply being so full of energy and finding new sources of inspiration. They want to escape from and forget the bad times and create new homes. In that ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The blue eyes of the bogans widen in surprise. They don’t see too many black chick’s on Harley’s around here. Kerry has just ridden three hours from Brisbane across the border to the town of Patterson in Durrongo to pay her dying Pop a final visit.

The Salter family have never forgiven Kerry for leaving to live with the white fella’s in the big city a year ago. Kerry’s Mother livid that she has not bothered to contact them once since leaving. To her, no matter what happens, Kerry will always be
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.

(Read this a second time for bookclub and loved it just as much)
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,
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.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should have won the Stella Prize!!!!
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Checking off another of the #2019StellaPrize shortlisted reads ahead of the winner being announced next week.

I’m so pleased I finally got to read one of Melissa Lucashenko’s works - she is a highly acclaimed Indigenous Australian author, Too Much Lip being her latest release.

In this narrative we follow Kerry, and the complexities of her family and romantic relationships that are evoked following the death of her grandfather and the onset of a land rights dispute. A missing sibling that is
This is a gutsy book. The story revolves around an Aboriginal family living in a fictional community on the mid north coast of NSW. Kerry is the main character who is fleeing from a string of warrants and of a lover who she abandoned during a botched robbery. She returns to her old home where her grandfather is dying. Her family are proud Aboriginals but there is plenty of domestic violence, anger, alcoholism and other gritty family secrets.
These people live on the edge of the law and rely on
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
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.
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
Rachael (shereadsshenoms)
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
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
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ok, so I went overdue for the first time at the Melbourne Library Service [sorry!] because I was NOT going to give it up before I finished it. Amazing story of a life that most city dwelling Australians are too ignorant of - outback towns full of rednecks & the indigenous people who are forced to live alongside them.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: race, fiction, australia
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
Lesley Knight
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great walloper of a read! Confronting and funny. Loved the lingo and hats off and shiny stars to the surviving Salter family.
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.
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

3.5 stars

‘Some things don’t ever change, thought Kerry. And then, some things don’t change enough.’

Too Much Lip is a 2018 University of Queensland Press publication from novelist Melissa Lucashenko. Too Much Lip has received a whole host of awards and shortlist nominations since it was released last year. It was the winner of the 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award, it was shortlisted for 2019 Stella Prize, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and NSW
Too Much Lip is an excellent read - a fast paced contemporary thriller/mystery set in Northern NSW, yet it gives so much more than just an entertaining story. Lucashenko weaves her narrative around an Aboriginal household of several generations who are struggling to hang onto what little remains of their language, culture, family history and their youngest generation of children. The small interactions between the people, animals, birds and bush setting are important aspects of the story as they ...more
Tom Evans
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Winner of the Miles Franklin Award 2019, Too Much Lip is an important novel for Australian literature. Lucashenko leaves nothing to the imagination as she presents a raw and polemic story of an Aboriginal family that has been torn apart and is desperately trying to piece themselves together. A social commentary on sexual assualt, violence, stolen generations, and more, Lucashenko is nuanced in her depiction, yet still provides a compelling story that is suspenseful and easily accessible. The ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much culture and history and trauma buried under so much white oppression and erasure. Too Much Lip is fiction but it feels like a very real First Nations story, in the afterword Lucashenko notes that most incidences of violence depicted in the book have occurred within her extended family.

Like in Mullumbimby, Lucashenko has created a brash and defiant but loveable central protagonist and place and nature form as big a part of the story as the people but this time the supporting characters
Anna Baillie-Karas
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Great story-telling: drama, action and larger-than-life characters but firmly grounded. Characters are flawed but written with compassion - you empathise and see why they can be self-destructive. Confronting - issues of violence, alcohol & poverty - but told with love and wonderful humour. Beautiful prose with great rhythm. The dialogue and Bundjalung words ring true - you feel as if you’re there. All Australians should read this.
Gayle Parker
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A challenging read and well deserved winner of Miles Franklin award
Gritty and dark story with Kerry the central character and a disparate cast of characters to create a story told with sensitivity and humour
I found the beginning of book difficult but persevered and was richly rewarded
Freya Marske
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absolutely fantastic Aussie novel - the voice is strong and hilarious, the characters perfectly painted. It's got some very heavy, very angry and very smart things to say about the tragedy of intergenerational trauma and Australian Indigenous identity and how families can fuck one another up, but it's also just plain rollicking, and I adore the protagonist and her unapologetic personality. I'd have liked the narrative to decide whether it was close-third or distant-third and stop vacillating ...more
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
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel has an all embracing and unassuming ‘take me as you see me’ matter-of-fact unembellished feel that makes it a delight to read. I hope that it gets an international audience and that those readers are able to ‘understand what the hell is going on’. It has wonderful imagery, colloquiums and rhyming slang along with snippets of indigenous language that embed it firmly in the Australian landscape.
I’m glad I’m not on the judging committee for the Miles Franklin Literary Award because the
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 ...more
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.
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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 ...more
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“Into the river that was about to be stolen away again, as it always had been since Captain James Nunne Esq. first rode up with his troopers, one two three, crying I’ll have that, and that, oh, and that too, while I’m at it.” 0 likes
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