John Bede Cusack. They Hosed Them Out. Kent Town: Wakefield Press, 2012 [1965]. An Australian war novel, originally published nearly half a century ago under the pseudonym John Beede, and republished a number of times since; this edition has been revised and edited by John Brokenmouth and includes a glossary, footnotes, appendices, and a memoir by Cusack's daughter. It's based on the author's wartime experiences as an air gunner in 2 Group, RAF Bomber Command. The title immediately evokes Randall Jarrell's poem 'The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner', but a more relevant comparison is Don Charlwood's No Moon Tonight. (Review copy.)

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2 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. Ran across this cracking little read a while ago. As always with fictionalised memoirs you wonder about specific characters and events but I had no idea about the pre-CBO air campaigns (or Australians in the RAF in general) so Beede's tale was an eye-opener.

  2. Post author

    I must confess to not being aware of it before being asked to review it! Interesting fact: Cusack was the brother of the famous playwright and novelist (Come In Spinner) Dymphna Cusack, and it was she who encouraged him to write a novel based on his recollections of the war, which he had been writing down as a way to deal with his traumatic memories.

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