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Family Law Paperback – June 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Black Inc. (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1863955313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1863955317
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,213,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Benjamin Law is a senior contributor to frankie magazine. His work has also appeared in the Monthly, the Big Issue, the Courier-Mail, Growing Up Asian in Australia and The Best Australian Essays. He lives in Brisbane. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dee18 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
In 2010 I had the rare pleasure of loving a book I'd been anticipating for as long as I'd been stalking the author.

Benjamin Law is a freelance writer who first blipped onto my radar when I started reading his pieces in hipster-darling magazine, `Frankie'. He also contributes to `The Good Weekend', `The Monthly' and has written for `The Best Australian Essays' and even appeared on ABC's Q&A. I love him. He's enviably witty, self-deprecating, and writes brilliant argumentative pieces with first-hand experience as his weapon of choice. I'd been looking forward to his novel debut for so long, and when `The Family Law' came along in 2010 I was not in the least bit surprised by the novel's brilliance. . .

`The Family Law' is a biography in 23 parts - as Law recounts mundane and extraordinary familial events through 23 short stories.

Benjamin Law is gut-achingly funny - so funny he's sometimes freakin' painful to read. But he's at his funniest when describing his family and their weird, endearing mannerisms and quirks - like in `Baby Love', in which he writes about his Cantonese mother's horror-filled stories about raising Benjamin and his four other siblings.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mum also said childbirth was unbearably, gratuitously painful. When I once asked her to compare and rate
each of our births - which was easier, which was faster - she balked. `No birth is easy!' she exclaimed. `Of course a man would ask that question. Men can't even begin to imagine. Can you imagine a lemon coming out of your penis-hole? Yes, yes! That's what it's like! I'd like to see a man squeeze lemons out of his penis-hole. OUT OF YOUR PENIS-HOLE, BENJAMIN.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tony on June 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not sure what the other reviewer was going on about - this was an incredibly funny book! I can't remember how many times I had to look away from the book to laugh my head off. Benjamin Law has a wonderful way of telling his stories and I think this a WONDERFUL introduction for those new to Benjamin Law and the type of humour he has.

This book pretty much set me off on a wild chase for all the stories I could find of him online, and I think I've pretty much seen it all.

I read this all in one sitting and I ask those curious about this book to read a few passages :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne from Windsor on October 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny book .... relaxing light reading.
The story showed how similar life is from family to family regardless of the ethnic background but highlighted the very significant differences when the family is Asian.
Made me want to buy the second book.
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Format: Paperback
The teen FOB market, current and former, will identify with the material within and have a good chuckle over some of the predicaments faced by the author. Grose, tragic and hillarious at times, it's a wonder he survived the trauma.

Thankfully, the author has grown up rather respectfully as a journalist, columnist and has appeared on numerous occasion as a panelist on ABC's Q&A programme. Articulate, composed and disarmingly engaging on tv where his opinions on a broad spectrum of matters were openly sought, this book is however quite different and written from a juvenile perspective a work in progress from which he has emerged.

Honest, raw and quite often "too much info" nevertheless makes an easy and entertaining read. BLaw is a brave man indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Echidna and the Fox on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Benjamin Law's book is a memoir, written as a series of self-contained essays, each on a particular aspect of the Law family. It feels as if the essays have been thrown up in the air and included in the book in the order in which they fell, but this actually works, due to the strength of the characters - Benjamin, his siblings, their father, and especially their mother, Jenny - and to Law's ability to craft hilarious stories and write about tricky subjects with a light touch.

Each essay looks at the family from a slightly different angle so that, as I laughed at the goings-on, I got to know the family better (especially Jenny and Benjamin) and increasingly felt real affection for them. Law's main theme is coming of age as gay and Asian on the Sunshine Coast, and his descriptions of this are both funny and moving. Other themes include adapting to a new country and culture, divorce and the often absent workaholic father, violence at school, attitudes to nursing homes, and the time many of his extended family were rounded up as illegal immigrants.

The focus is on telling good stories with humour, rather than on treating issues at depth, and this sometimes produces witty but glib statements such as: "Every marriage begins with passive aggression, but couples soon learn that being passive requires effort. It's easier to be openly hostile."

A funny way to write a memoir, but (mostly) it works. And I suspect that more substantial books from Benjamin Law may be on the way.
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