Some of the world’s greatest-ever novelists have heaped praise on the debut effort as a romance fiction writer by former federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
His novel of schoolgirl angst and lesbian love, The Woes of Willamena, has stormed up the worldwide sales charts since being released only last week.
Among the messages of praise have been:
Harold Robbins: Bravo to Bill Shorten who I understand turned his hand to fiction writing as a way of coping with losing the unloseable election. Other authors of the genre have been put on notice: Shorten has shown more than enough potential here to become unchallenged master of the clitterati.
Phillip Roth: Holy Moly! Has there ever been anyone capable of depicting girl-or-girl action with the heat and passion of this emerging Aussie author? I had to race straight down to my local butcher for a half-pound of fresh liver.
E. L. James: Oh, boy! Or should I say, oh girls! I turned fifty shades of green with absolute envy when I read Shorten’s take on young lesbian love. How a man has managed to get himself perfectly into the minds – and bodies – of girls on the cusp of fecund womanhood beggars belief! And without a whip in sight!
Captain W. E. Johns: I enjoyed the book immensely but I thought it lacked an evil Nazi major, a cruel scar down one cheek, brandishing a luger pistol.
Germaine Greer: Bravo to Mr Shorten for illuminating so brilliantly one of life’s truisms: only a woman knows what a woman wants!
Patrick White: The virginal Willamena reminds me of most of my own books – totally impenetrable.
William Burroughs: It’s the best thing I’ve come across, literally, since naked lunch – and I don’t mean my book.
Left: Shorten’s new best-seller
At top: Antonia Alwayseasy, one of the main characters in The Woes of Willamena.