Last night I attended the launch of the new novel "Five Oranges" by Melbourne author Graham Reilly at the Rob Roy Hotel in Fitzroy in inner Melbourne. Idiosyncratically launched by fellow Melbourne writers Arnold Zable and Barry Dickens, 'Five Oranges' is the sequel to 'Saigon Tea' where we first met the characters Frank and Eileen, Jimmy and Stella, Danny and Mai.
Written with loving attention to the minutiae of life in Glasgow, Melbourne and Saigon, Graham has created stories where you feel you know these people and their every day ( and unlikely) predicaments.
The launch speeches were entertaining; I managed to buy Barry Dickens a drink when he asked to have it put on the long exhausted 'launch tab'; Arnold Zable left before I had a chance to say how much I enjoyed his book 'Scarps of Heaven'; the following live music drowned all hope of conversation; the Rob Roy is no yuppie pub; talked ( or yelled) with Graham's dad who claimed Graham got a good number of ideas from him. We left at around 10.00 leaving Graham and a hard core group of drinking/smoking journos from the Age.