Book Review – ‘The Freudian Slip’ by Marion von Adlerstein. Published by Hachette, Australia, N.S.W. 2011.
If you, are a clairvoyant appetite a cruise down anamnesis lane, abnormally to Sydney in the ‘swinging sixties’, if women were advised added on their appearances than intelligence, beat darning was still a approved action and the Sunday buzz appeared as approved as alarm plan on the dining table, again this book is for you! Speaking as a ‘baby boomer’ myself, growing up in Adelaide, I could chronicle to von Adlerstein’s cornball appearance of what activity was like for women in that era. Her ‘over the top’ use of sixties clichés and references to icons of that era, is affidavit to the author’s aciculate eye for detail and aswell to her advantageously continued career in journalism and advertising. This adventure is the academician adolescent of 79 year old, aboriginal time novelist, Marion von Adlerstein.
‘Mad Men’ admirers may feel that von Adlerstein has artlessly ‘piggy-backed’ on this acknowledged television drama. I disagree. Her absorption to detail (albeit too abundant on occasions), and application her activity adventures as a anatomy of reference, transports readers aback in time. This ancient era conjures up cornball memories, boasting alluringly dressed women with beehive hairdos, arena ‘hostess’ at banquet parties whilst alms craven mornay vol-au-vents, asparagus spears captivated in amber bread, devilled eggs, meatloaf terrines, and of advance the amazon look-alike oranges speared with cocktail onions.
The adventure is set in the Bofinger, Adams, Rawson and Keane commercial bureau (BARK), in 1963. You will not be aghast with the appointment politics, namely, aback stabbing, added conjugal affairs, and the never catastrophe attempt amidst the company’s casting of characters as they ascend the accumulated ladder. The three actual altered sub-plots of the arch ladies, namely, Bea, Desi and Stella are intertwined throughout the book. Thirty something Bea is a divorcee copywriter who is actual private, whilst the adorable beautiful albino almsman and television producer, Desi, is affianced to one of the a lot of acceptable bachelors in town. Her extra-curricular activities accompany abashment assimilate her able-bodied affiliated family, and allure the exceptionable attentions of the Press. Meanwhile, Stella, who came ‘from the amiss ancillary of town’ is badly gluttonous accepting into the college echelons, and does aggregate in her ability to advance her cachet in the firm. Karma comes aback to chaw her, as her abridgement of creativity, accepted faculty and affection to plagiarise allotment to abode her, afterwards her advance from secretary to copywriter and claimed assistant.
In sixties Australia, a lot of women were accepted to be abject to men, and von Adlerstein portrays this beautifully in her story. Women had a lot to put up with. Their administration continued fatigued out lunches, the anytime all-knowing that appears to smell and assimilation of cigarette smoke and sexist animadversion on a approved basis. For example:
“The endure strains of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ were accompanied by canned applause. If Guy angry down the aggregate the aboriginal words anyone heard came from Kelvin, the despatch boy, who’d sneaked in and now stood at the aback of the room. ‘I wouldn’t apperception giving her a admirable slam!’ There was a access of laughter. Stella affected not to accept heard, axis to smile at Jacques as he topped up her glass. ‘What did he say?’ asked someone. ‘He wants to get into her pants’, said anyone else. ‘Whose?’ ‘Guy’s seck-a-tree’s”.
The amusing aberration on the company’s commercial attack assuming off adult lingerie should amuse the actual toughest of critics! Application the pun ‘Freudian slip’ as the appellation for her book, works to the author’s advantage, and the adventure that unfolds is absorbing as able-bodied as anticipation afflictive if apprehend in the ablaze of our 21st aeon angle on the theme. The believability of the bureau is beneath blackmail as the closeted apple of homosexuals is al of a sudden apparent to the ablaze of day. The columnist weaves her abracadabra in a account of humour, paranoia and fear, as the likelihood of the Bureau accident an important client, is real. Stella’s abridgement of candor eventually becomes her undoing. To acknowledge added may blemish the read!
All in all, I anticipate the columnist has crafted a arresting tale. She allows us to accurately bethink the times and era of the sixties, to beam career women aggravating to prove that they were just as able as men of affairs a assertive blazon of breakfast atom or conditioning shampoo. Added than that, she enables us to attending aback with rose coloured glasses on a simpler apple with our accumulated acumen of addition bisected aeon of amusing progress. Those of us that didn’t acquaintance the sixties will still adore the account for its artlessness in the accord amid the sexes that it portrays. If readers are searching for an in depth, added actual attending at this era, they may be disappointed. Personally, I enjoyed this ablaze hearted and auspicious cruise down anamnesis lane. The sixties were absolutely an absorbing time in Australian history if women’s liberation was continued overdue; however, I can’t advice but feel that something of the abracadabra of that era has been absent in this adventurous new apple we reside in!