There’s a bit of Glover in here…The Mud House

We all know him from his critical but humorous approach to life.  But there’s heaps of Richard Glover we will never see just from reading his weekly column in The Sydney Morning Herald – Spectrum. Find out more


In his book The Mud House, Glover takes us back to the 1980s when Richard and best mate Phil, and their respective partners Debra and Gillian, decide to build a mud house. They have no tools, no experience and only the land.

“Suddenly it’s obvious,’ I announced. ‘Mudbrick making was invented by chiropractors as a way of drumming up trade’.

The others wimpered their agreement.  We were each bent double like 90 year olds. Still, we had made 40 bricks.  Which meant we’d have enough bricks for the house in just 350 hours of back-breaking, soul-destorying, fly-covered and mud-spattered labour.

Of course, the winner in this book is not the plot, but the wit Glover brings to the table.  When Debra and Richard finish hosting a commercial for SPC Baked Beans at their Marrickville home, they become the proud owners of 3456 cans of baked beans:-

‘Yeah,’ cautioned Debra. ‘But no one says we have to eat them all at once.’

And when Richard decides to take 456 cans up to the land to eat while building, he evokes the shock and worry of his good friend Philip

“Too bad, it’s all I brought.’

“You’re mental.”

“I don’t think you understand,’ I answered, speaking slowly so he’d have a better chance of grasping my logic. ‘They are free. It’s free food.’

The Mud House is definitely a recommended read this year. Now it’s up to you to find out how making a house can help you find a side you never thought you had.

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Filed under Fiction - Australian Literature, National Year of Reading 2012, Starter Reads - Start here if you haven't read a book for a while and dont know what to choose

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