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Iain Banks' Crow Road begins thus: 'It was the day my grandmother exploded. It is vulgar, too brash. It is an opening by a writer that wants the reader to look at him, not the words on the page. It shows off. Murray Bail's short story 'Camouflage' begins thus: 'All things considered, piano-tuning is a harmless profession. Two trifles, both about flying in odd ways.

Impossible to put down, to be read in moments. You end reluctantly, wishing for more, like the end of a dessert that wasn't quite large enough, or sex sometimes. View all 3 comments. Dec 31, Alex rated it it was ok. More writing experiments at times than stories, and even one of the most story-esque pieces, "A,B,C Words are on the page. Letters typed. This word is made of letters. That sort of stuff. But over all, these are stories without real clarity.

Any intrigue these oddities and experiments could hold tends to be dissolved in the fact that there is no story to be found. Dec 02, Jane rated it liked it.

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I picked up of the 2 story version of Murray Bail's collection. Like an old school single the A side was great: Camouflage - the artists and musicians from Adelaide painting the corrugated iron aerodrome. The B side The Seduction of my Sister was disappointing and definitely not a hit! Apr 16, Blair rated it liked it. I actually read a stripped down version of this collection that just contained the title story and "The Seduction of My Sister.

I'm still interested in reading Eucalyptus. Feb 07, Alicia rated it liked it. Interesting, but not particularly memorable. It's very slight, felt more like a new yorker story than a collection of short stories. Sep 05, Jennifer Rolfe rated it really liked it.

Two short stories. Is this really the question she is asking me? I feel disdain creeping in and I am certain there must be a script for the first visit. I look at the clock, ticking like a time bomb, but only 20 minutes have passed.


Maybe it would help if I lay down like they do in the movies. Life does make me sad in a lot of different ways. On the second morning I was sitting by the fire watching my two eight year old cousins chucking a basketball at each other. I called them over. I had to call a few times before they reluctantly came. I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up.

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They stared at me blankly and shrugged. I really wanted to know. I watched them take off, their answer leaving a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach. What is happening to my people that our kids think they are not good enough by eight years old? I close the door on this memory. This woman thinks she knows me. Suddenly the room is stifling hot. I feel a sheen of perspiration on my forehead. I shift my body on the sticky vinyl couch I am melting into.

I blink quickly but my eyelids feel like sandpaper. My throat is parched. I am teetering on the precipice of control. Images are flashing through my mind like a strobe light. I do not want this stranger asking me any more questions. I want to make her understand. She looks at me warily but I am not saying this for her benefit.

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I am saying it for mine. Residential schools, the Indian Act, and Treaties came about because somebody thought they knew what somebody else needed. She looks confused. But I was wrong. My heart is racing. I think about my ancestors, those that walked this earth before me, and I wonder what they would tell me if I asked them why? Why do I have to walk through life wearing camouflage and carrying the sorrows of the past on my shoulders?