The premise of The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies, set during the early years of the Howard government, is that the soon-to-be Prime Minister’s invocation of Robert Menzies has the effect of reviving the great man.
Back on earth, this spectral Menzies is at first powerless and anachronistic, little more than a symbol. Three distinct narrators - the Antibiographer, Menzies himself, and J, who seems to have inside knowledge of the back room operation of government - tell how revenant Menzies escapes, becoming larger and larger as he runs across Australia.
“Brave and brilliant: Bernard Cohen’s The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies manages the impossible. At once autobiography, fiction, incisive political analysis and a sustained reflection on biography and writing generally, Cohen has invented a new genre. This is the most daring piece of Australian writing in years”— Mark McKenna (biographer of Manning Clark)
“Gutsy and iconoclastic. Satire should always be this inventive and insightful.” — Nigel Krauth
“Entertaining and impressive work … one is left with resonances of the Menzies voice and character, both Beowulf and Grendel.” — Brian Castro