The Laughing Clowns

The Laughing Clowns Peter Kennedy Is A Very Large Man Who Is Remarkably Happy With His Life Yet Something Is Not Quite Right, And It Started With A Dream That Smelt Of Luncheon MeatPeter Is Successful At What He Does, Even Though He Is Not Sure What That Is Any When Titan Development Contracts Him To Go To Queensland To Assess A Prime Piece Of Real Estate On The Pickersgill Peninsula Showgrounds He Jumps At The Chance It Will Give Him Time Out From Having To Be With The Family He Loves And It Will Take Him Back To The Home Where He Grew Up To His Parents, Who Are Members Of The Show Society, His Twin Sister Pearl, A Bingo Caller And Foster Mother, And His Brother Gary, The TV WeathermanOver These Few Days, He Will Come To Realize That Sometimes When You Go Back To Where You Came From You Find Out How Much You Actually Have, And How Much You Could LoseAll He Has To Do Is Make His Mind Up, And Listen To The Advice That He Is Given By, Of All People, The King Of Hot DogsBut Will He

William McInnes is one of Australia s most popular stage and screen actors His leading roles in Sea Change and Blue Heelers have made him a household name The mini series Shark Net and My Brother Jack earned him widespread critical acclaim He has been nominated for numerous stage and screen awards, and has won a Variety Club Drama Award in 1997 and two Logie awards for Most Outstanding Actor in

❮Read❯ ➳ The Laughing Clowns  ➶ Author William McInnes –
  • Paperback
  • 296 pages
  • The Laughing Clowns
  • William McInnes
  • English
  • 19 December 2018

10 thoughts on “The Laughing Clowns

  1. says:

    This is the story of Peter Kennedy a development consultant from Melbourne sent to the Pickersgill Peninsula, just north of Brisbane, to assess some prime real estate the local Showgrounds Kennedy is a big man literally and in terms of his perceived lot in life who leads a comfortably middle class existence in the leafy suburbs He has nothing, in particular, to be unhappy about and yet he is not enjoying his life He loves his wife and his kids, but he has trouble showing it He is of a generation of Australian men for whom effusive interactions are awkward and unnecessary He doesn t like to be uncomfortable.For much of the novel, Kennedy made me feel like someone was sitting on my chest he is suffocated by his own self censorship People around him regularly refer to him as a funny one because he is so hard to read He can t laugh freely, nor tell someone he loves them, without second guessing the action Pickersgill, however, is his old stomping ground It s the place where he grew up, and where his extended family still lives alongside many of his old school mates and their families It is a place chock a block with memories, which will fly at him like pelican poop as he crosses the bridge from the mainland to this beachside reckoning It will force him to take a long hard look at the way he expresses himself.McInnes and I, as it happens grew up on the Redcliffe Peninsula, just north of Brisbane Fictional Pickersgill is not Redcliffe, but you re unlikely to see them in the same room Anyone from that part of the world will feel a sting of resonance as the mature Peter drives from Brisbane airport towards the ghosts of his youth It is easy to think a town you ve left behind has been frozen in time during your absence, but, since Peter left, there have been big changes on the Peninsula Before leaving Melbourne, Kennedy and a colleague joke that Pickersgill is a town of yokels where Toranas go to die Being on the outskirts of the city, it traditionally attracted a combination of lower socio economic families and fishermen, alongside a showy minority with the money for beachside mansions One of the first things Peter notices, as he sits in the crawling traffic between Brisbane Airport and the Peninsula s access bridge, is a distinct lack of Toranas.Pickersgill bears a pretty close resemblance to Redcliffe, but it could really be any one of many seaside towns around Australia where the fishermen s shacks have been bulldozed for high rise holiday apartments, and the crusty public bars now have polished wooden decks and kids eat free on Tuesdays Even the local bakery is all wagyu beef pies and coconut water, alongside the custard tarts It s an area in flux between the old ways and the new and it operates as a fine metaphor for Kennedy himself.This is a story that unfolds gently There is very little action, but lengthy explorations of influential episodes of Peter s life Anyone who has ever revisited their home town, or gone along to a school reunion or a family wedding will know the unique pleasure and pain involved in memory The mere mention of Coon cheese or the smell of luncheon meat itself one of the book s running metaphors sends you ricocheting back 20 years to relive the sounds, the smells, the harshest or kindest words of the people who ve populated your life Why is it that two adult siblings can annoy each other with the most benign conversation Why is that you can love your parents so much it hurts but can t eat a meal in their house without rolling your eyes at their habits This is the stuff of life, and love, and family It s all, as Peter says in a typical display of emotional abandon, a bit strange.McInnes symbolism can be very heavy handed, and his nostalgic wanderings may not hold the interest of anyone who prefers a good car chase Some of the language is an anachronistic brand of Strayan that you rarely hear any in the burbs Some pop cultural references stick out as self conscious inclusions, and some characters err on the side of caricature But, any criticism I might like to make about this not being my usual cup of tea is pretty much voided by the fact that I cried like a baby at the conclusion Resist as you might, McInnes knows how to tell a story and a very touching, very human one at that.An extended review of this book can be found at

  2. says:

    An unremarkable, but very enjoyable book about ordinary people with ordinary lives and aspirations Easy to read, mildly touching, amusing and reflective of people and circumstances that most Australians can relate to The story of a typical mid life business man sent to his home town with a brief that may bring significant change to the community reveals a great moral tale of life priorities and the appreciation of the people who make up your life It s the type of story that could easily be made into one of those quirky, distinctively Australian, movies about ordinary people with funny traits and habits In that regard it reminded me a bit of Muriel s Wedding, although the characters in this book were much morally upright and likeable.Having just read a series of award winning books that sacrificed a plot to be smart and intelligent this lighter and engaging book was very welcome and entertaining and reminded me how reading fiction should be about pleasure and relaxation than about cerebral challenge.

  3. says:

    Love William McInnesMiddle age crumpet As a literary text it s a bit plain speaking and rather too many similes and metaphors used, but they are useful for the nostalgia factor I lived in Redcliffe where the story is set and despite renaming etc it was very much The Peninsula The places the people, the events were all very familiar and offered a warm fuzzy feeling.The story itself is charming a finding oneself recount full of reflection and coffee and hotdogs A great holiday read.

  4. says:

    I really enjoyed The Laughing Clowns I think anyone who grew up in Australia in the 1970 s will find a lot to love, laugh or smile about here It s possible that the author William McInnes yes, the actor overdoes his writing just a tiny bit sometimes, but saying that, I found myself laughing a lot The ending was a bit predictable but who cares, the rest of the story made up for that, and quite frankly it was a book that couldn t have ended up any other way Recommended reading

  5. says:

    McInnes has a great capacity for description of ordinary Aussie life, from mid 20th century till 2013 His characters, conversations, dress, town landscapes, travel pictures struck chords many times for me Then he creates a warm feel good story along the fathering theme.I did find the memories within memories within memories hard to get my head around at first though

  6. says:

    This book only just made it to the 3 star slot.It faltered in the middle, but he rounded it off well.It s him big and goofy and oh so Australian It s his Mum and Dad and family and it s oh so Australian.It made me laugh, it made me cry perfect Australia Day read not his best effort by a mile, but oh so Australian.

  7. says:

    I couldn t get into this book so I did not get to finish it in the time alloted It started out good but that was it.

  8. says:

    What a delightful book I could just see the characters as I read along They were the people I grew up with, and still hang out with Will track down from this author.

  9. says:

    Just couldn t work out what I thought of this My trade paperback was 287 pages long I started to enjoy it at Page 218 The main character went from being quite a disconnected human being to experiencing some kind of epiphany that was poignant and somehow lovely Leading up to this point, it was frustrating reading Lots of time shifts which would have been OK, but the story would move from the present into a memory, which would delve into a further memory, and somehow try to swim back up to the present Too much detail and almost no lovely moments Some peripheral characters got way too much time, and some fabulous characters Ken Kennedy didn t get quite enough Maybe this book should have started at Page 218 and built from there.I feel like a traitor William McInnes is one of my favourite actors

  10. says:

    Peter Kennedy has reached middle age, feels like his wife is drifting away from him and his kids see him as either a joke or an embarrassment He stopped doing what he loved at work long ago, eats too much and is a man without direction.That is, until he has to go back home for a work project.Going home gives a chance recalibrate not turn the clock back but rather to rediscover the influence his background should be having on him and to find the treasure of love.In this quintessential Australian novel, William McInnes takes all back to a world we will recognise, because although we did all come from Pickersgill, we all did He quirky humour is all through the narrative and he pulls the stroke of taking us to the ending we expected by a route we never expected.

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