Say When
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Say When

Catherine Deveny

At 2 a.m., everything seems like a good idea … In 2008 the Pope came to Sydney, petrol prices soared and Australia proudly became the fattest nation on earth. Big Brother got the chop, Sam Newman mauled a mannequin and the Logies were as wonderfully bad as ever. Thank goodness for Catherine Deveny- always ready with a salty aside or a provocative question. Each week in the Age she brings her passionate, irreverent wit to bear on the big issues of the day. Say When collects Deveny’s funniest, sharpest and most outrageous columns from the past year. Whether taking on God, climate change or Kerri-Anne Kennerley, she is sure to leave you begging for more.


I read Catherine Deveny’s previous book, It’s Not My Fault They Print Them on a 12-hour train journey from Melbourne to Adelaide. The other passengers glanced worriedly at the crazy lady (me) guffawing and knee-slapping and murmuring ‘yes!’ and ‘absolutely!’, but I had a grand old time. I don’t always agree with CD, but when I do, I really, REALLY do. (She’s spot-on when it comes to 4WDs, private schools, Sam Newman and Home and Away, for instance.)

And when I don’t, I generally enjoy the experience of reading her argument anyway. This year’s offering is another ripper. Some examples: she describes The Farmer Wants a Wife as ‘a bachelor and spinster’s ball set in Saudi Arabia’. Judge Judy ‘is a total mole but in a good way’. After a few episodes, Lost made her feel ‘like a 19-year-old guy who’d been dating a girl for two months who wouldn’t put out’. And that’s just the TV stuff … There’s also a wonderful piece written before the 2007 federal election about voting for the sake of the not-so-well-off rather than the hip pocket that I think is one of the best things Deveny has ever written. Not particularly funny – but spot-on.

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