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Bali and Oates - Book Review

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events.
Published December 22nd 2013
Paul Greenway's debut novel

Bali and Oates by Paul Greenway is the first book in a trilogy that reveals how absurd political machinations can become when Senior Liaison Officers for ASIO, ASIS and the AFP source information from political groups such as BALLS, BOOBS and BUTT for the purpose of protecting the Australian Prime Minister whose visit to Bali is to sign the Bali Oil & Gas Access Negotiations (BOGAN) agreement. I couldn't help but wonder about Paul Greenway's good fortune in the coinciding of his recent book launch with the headline media reports of Australian Security taping the phone calls of the Indonesian President and his wife. Note how the Australian Prime Minister has neither denied nor confirmed Australia's interest in intelligence gathering.

Bali and Oates revolves around various political manoeuvres and conspiracies revealing just how wrong things can go when major Australian Secret Service Agencies get involved with trying to protect Australia's interests, including our Prime Minister. This book shows how if anything is to go wrong, it will, and it does with humorous and entertaining outcomes, which reflect poorly upon the various government services and figures that are accountable for protecting Australia's interests and international relations.

Bali & Oates by Paul Greenway Book Review
Paul Hellander & Paul Greenway launching Bali & Oates at SA Writers Centre.

Paul Greenway has written a very clever, funny, intelligent, political satire that reminds me of popular TV programs like Yes, Minister, Hollow Men, and Clarke & Doyle. What is clearly shown is how the word 'intelligence' is not so much about gathering information for our 'national security' and 'anti-terrorism purposes', but is collected by Australia for political and economic purposes. This entertaining and farcical look at the absurdity of certain political blunders seems so accurate and believable at times, that I am sure other readers will along with myself, question when and how to separate truth from fiction. Be prepared, the secret service and intelligence gathering characters in Bali & Oates are a long way from the glamorous, exciting and action packed James Bond type characters usually associated with the world of spies and secret intelligence agencies.

Bali & Oates is a well constructed story that will hold your attention with a wonderful collection of characters and situations that will provide lots of laughs. Greenway knows Bali and the local people extremely well as the story unfolds in numerous locations offering wonderful insights into the country and its people and how some Australians may be unfavourably perceived, for obvious reasons.

Greenway has utilised his background and experience as a former ASIO Officer for some 9 years and Lonely Planet author of 30 books to write a fiction book bringing together his broad experience of gathering intelligence and his first-hand knowledge living in glamorous locations in Bali and other Asian destinations. The adventures of the main characters will continue in Vietnam with Vietnamnesia, which is due to be published in early 2014.

Bali & Oates is published by JoJo Publishing.
Available from Dymocks Books.

Bali & Oates by Paul Greenway Book Review
Bali Dancer, Diah Ohara performing Swamp Bird Dance at the Bali & Oates book launch.
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Why? Extremely intelligent & humorous action book about the absurdity of political machinations.
Phone: 03 9681 7275
Cost: RRP $24.95
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