“Search for Mrs Right”

December 9, 2010 at 4:14 am (Fiction, Love on the Run, Papua New Guinea) (, , , , , , )

THE EXAMINER, Saturday, December 4, 2010

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An author in contemplation

November 30, 2010 at 11:46 pm (Love on the Run) (, , , )

From afar in a cold climate an author contemplates his love away in "Second Rome".

ACTM no longer on the run nor in a hot climate thinks about his beloved in faraway Istanbul.

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Inspirational Volumes for the Jungles of PNG

November 2, 2010 at 11:33 pm (David Wall, expatriates, Love on the Run, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk) (, , , , , , , , , )

I was recently asked by a friend that if I were marooned in the bush of Papua New Guinea for three months and was allowed to take four works of literature with me, what would they be? Without a moments hesitation I named them:

Love on the Run and  Love in a Hot Climate by A.C.T. Marke

Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk by David Wall

The Confessions of St Augustine

I would be interested to hear from anyone who can come with a better selection.

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Tasmania discovers A.C.T. Marke

August 31, 2010 at 5:15 am (David Wall, Love on the Run, Papua New Guinea) (, , , , , )

THE EXAMINER, Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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Professor Hank Nelson comments

April 18, 2010 at 5:20 am (Angoram, David Wall, expatriates, Love on the Run, Pacific war, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk, Temlett Conibeer) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Letter from Professor Hank Nelson

I was so grateful to receive the above from Hank Nelson. The now late Professor Hank Nelson was a wonderful man and great academic.

See: http://ips.cap.anu.edu.au/ssgm/nelson-obituary/index.php

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Love in a Hot Climate by A.C.T. Marke

March 8, 2010 at 8:14 am (expatriates, Papua New Guinea, Somerset) (, , , , , , , )

A.C.T. Marke, what a fine figure of a man!

A.C.T. Marke & John Kelly in the wilds of PNG
Marke, in a reflective mood, before the publication of LOVE ON THE RUN and LOVE IN A HOT CLIMATE
“Will Temlett Conibeer never learn?”

Andy Marke does it a again with his latest novel,  Love in a Hot Climate.

Extensive reviews and commentaries will follow. You are urged to get a copy before supplies run out.


Love in a Hot Climate

Available from Frogmouth Press

PO Box 90, Ainslie ACT 2602

Mobile: 0428833212

$30 a copy posted to you

Hot off the press!



Review by Maurice Thibaux

Andrew Marke’s second book, Love in a Hot Climate, comes at the right time with the screening of the documentary on the Kokoda campaign on the ABC for ANZAC day to remind us that New Guinea was once part of the Empire and Australia. Even though Marke’s second book is again meant as a light-hearted account of the sexual adventures of a malaria eradication officer in New Guinea in the 60s, the jungle assumes a foreboding presence over the proceedings. His hero is still looking for the woman of his dream and the jungle is more part of his strategy here than just a backdrop to his hi-jinx amorous quest. 

This book may be highly entertaining for those ex Territorians who want to relive the good ol’ days, it is not a travelogue for those who are seeking exotic sensations in a wild location. They may miss the jokes altogether. The jungle of New Guinea is treated with as much familiarity as the fells of Cornwall in the early chapters of the two books, where his character starts his journey. The atmosphere is set at a brisk pace. “Tough if you don’t get it, seems to say Marke, this is not a romantic novel”. 

When you are reminded of the gruelling trek Australian soldiers had to endure on the Kokoda trail, you get a hint of the harrowing experience it would have been for one (amongst many) of our hero’s young English female companion who ends up for several days and nights in her underwear in the middle of this jungle in one of the most memorable episode in the book, after their Land Rover is swamped by a swollen river. 

And yet, the hero and the young lady spend several days and nights, soaked to the bone in tropical rain, discussing Victorian literature and other such pressing matters, while waiting for the odd passing native, Ariel-like, to bring them some fresh supplies from a village that we never discover. This requires a fair suspension of disbelief or perhaps a highly developed sense of humour, of which only the English have the secret. The book is indeed subtitled “Further exciting and very funny adventures of Temlett etc.”. I wonder. I would have called it The Tempest no.2, since the Shakespearian analogy is uncanny with Temlett as Prospero running the show and weaving his magic and a cast of colourful characters very similar to old Bill’s . 

Unlike the first book, which got me cracking up at times, this book did not produce such mirth. It made me smile but not in the same way, but, as in the previous book, there are moments of pathos and even tragedy. Sure there are a few crazy characters in the stories, such as, French, Marcel, who keeps murdering the English language with near fatal consequences, or, German, Erik, who has very set views on women and proper behaviour, which he cannot reconcile with the sexual revolution of the 60s, or, Aussie, David Ware who keeps coming up with the most inventive ways of making money. 

Literary references and Latin quotations abound and sound as fantastic in this book as Pink Floyd’s music in the film, The Valley, by Barbet Schroeder about a lost paradise deep in the New Guinea highlands. The places where Marke takes us with Temlett do feel like that: a lost paradise of earthly pleasures that regularly turn to disaster. Nature vs nurture but, this time, it seems that nature won. Sorry Bill.

Despite the almost unbelievable situations in which his hero puts himself, Marke keeps us hoping that, this time, he will reach marital bliss with one after another curvaceous creature. Oh, yes, I forgot: this book is definitely not for women, who will loathe it with a vengeance. You are warned! I repeat: this is not a romantic novel, quite the contrary. A mixture of religious inhibitions and traditional Victorian morality and good manners seem to prevent him from achieving his marital plans.Nevertheless, again in this book, there is a lovely story at the end about a child that is quite sad and moving. But perhaps, this is what is so endearing about his character and the writer: the chase is certainly exciting and the women an essential ingredient, but it seems to be the child who is the real purpose. He may have inadvertently discovered the meaning of life or a new literary form. In a way Marke has revived the Victorian novel in the context of the sexual revolution. 

I read it twice because I could not think of anything better to read (I finished Les Miserables in between – thanks for reminding me). It left me gasping at some blunt statements, but it is so full of details and references of all kinds, except about what you would expect: the jungle and the natives. Occasionally we are reminded that they are around when he mentions briefly: “they had bidden goodbye to the Councillor and villagers and were off”. Ah! I almost forgot we were in PNG.


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An Old Wellingtonian, A.C.T. Marke

September 5, 2008 at 3:27 am (Commentary) (, , , , , , )


Notable Alumni, WellingtonSchool, Somerset

  • Jeffrey Archer, Author, politician and convicted fraudster who, it is alleged, falsely claimed as a young man that he had attended Wellington College;
  • Keith Floyd, Food critic
  • David Suchet, Actor known for playing Hercule Poirot;
  • Simon Singh, Science author
  • Tom Singh, founder of the New Look chain of stores;
  • Major-General E. Renouard James, soldier
  • Dame Joel Harkins, Noted philosopher, famous for her views on Phil Collins
  • Sir Henry Bale, Chief Justice Natal
  • Sir Roy Price, High Commissioner in South Africa;
  • Sir Alec Zealley, head of a division of Imperial Chemical Industries
  • Sir Ivan de la Bere, soldier who became Secretary of the Central Chancery of the Orders of the Knighthood
  • D.T. Young, England rugby and British Pentathlon team 1928
  • J.D. Robins, Wales and British Rugby Team 1950.
  • Wellington, from The Wombles, named after Elisabeth Beresford‘s nephew’s school.
  • A.C.T. Marke, 1952-8, Author of Love on the Run, Love in a Hot Climate,and Twixt Semites and swastikas: Temlett Conibeer’s greatest challenge.

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“Love on the Run” reviewed by Maurice Thibaux

August 1, 2008 at 12:29 pm (Commentary) (, , , , , , , )

Comments on “Love on the Run” by Andrew Marke  Available from: Frogmouth Press, 187 Low Head Road, Low Head Tas 7253  $25 or $30 Posted
Having worked in Papua New-Guinea at the time of independence, I was curious to read this new book about this place and time, apart from the teaser about “a remedy for sex and romance”. The title and cover of the book hinted at a series of romantic encounters and promised to be quite exciting. Not surprisingly it starts as an account of an English expatriate’s life taking us from a farm in Somerset to the Falklands and Papua New-Guinea. The link to these remote and exotic locations is love, but it turned out to be definitely on the run. As soon as we hit PNG, love virtually disappears from the scene and we are immersed in the lonely life of a malaria eradication officer trekking through the Highlands. Having been to Goroko and Mount Hagen in the early 1970s, I was very keen to revisit this strange place, which I had enjoyed only too briefly, and read this vivid account of daily life amongst these tribes from another age in this most extraordinary landscape of snow peaks under the equator. But I kept looking back at the cover, which promised love and romance, of which there was precious little except for the reason for travelling – perhaps to escape or to forget. I felt a bit cheated, although I did not mind it that much since the story was quite exciting but not exactly as I had anticipated. Right from the first line, the book is very lively and the author has an uncanny sense of humour and ability to write gripping dialogues and short and sharp descriptions. Every detail is genuine in substance and in feelings. It never dwells on the missed opportunity or mistake and keeps taking us towards new sensations and adventures.
But midway through the book, after a delightful but too short episode back in England, the pace suddenly lifts when the hero decides to try his luck in mainland Australia to find a wife with a vengeance. The first part of the book was just the premises to his quest for sex and romance, which would have been meaningless without some understanding of loneliness in  these remote parts of the world, where alcohol is often the only consolation concentrating around the expats club. The author takes us through a whirlwind search for the elusive woman of his dreams. Each episode is more fascinating than the previous one and the hero seems to have endlessly imaginative and ingenious ways to meet women, although he sometimes gets more than he bargains for, leading to many hilarious situations. But, at other times, it is very moving. When he takes the young girl Molly on a trip to Tasmania where his new posting takes him, there is hope that he would eventually find happiness with the mother. She does reappear later, as we approached the end of the book, but the story takes a different twist and sees him back in PNG for another weird episode where the book leaves us gasping for volume two.
The first part of the book is substantially different from the second part and the two don’t seem to connect fully to the point where, as soon as I had finished, I started reading it again to catch up on the bits I had missed. The hints are there but it is easy to miss them, the book being so rich in images and sensations, especially for anyone who  has ventured in these parts of the world or has emotional connection to them. It is easy to let one’s imagination run wild. 
This book should be a candidate for the Miles Franklin Prize. It is rare to see a book that takes us around the world from England to the Falklands, PNG before decolonisation, Queensland, Tasmania and Capital Territory and expresses so well the solitude of expatriates stranded between their British culture and the void of their adopted colonies at the end of an era and all the way to Australia. A rare and delightful book that can be recommended unreservedly. Can’t wait for the sequel.
Maurice Thibaux         mtxtrans@aapt.net.au

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Love on the Run A Temlett Conibeer Story By A.C.T. Marke

May 31, 2008 at 2:21 am (A.C.T. Marke, Book review, Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

  A.C.T. Marke criticizes the reviewer and the review.

The geographical expanse and character portrayal in this amusing tale makes for pleasurable and easy reading.

 From the rural West Country of England to a bleak sheep farm in the Falkland Islands, we are taken on a journey to Australia and Papua New Guinea. 

 Temlett Conibeer, a young Englishman, artlessly steers his life, with something of the innocent abroad about him, in manoeuvres and tactics in search of a wife: from his rather inept and clumsy socializing to advertising in the personals, to visiting coupling agencies- we jaunt with Temlett on a psychological and sexual adventure.

 We are told of a loving but slightly censorious mother who discourages Temlett’s romantic endeavours and a lusty possessive older Hungarian woman, Mayar, whom he keeps at bay sexually. There is a vast variety of women such as Evelyn in the Falklands and the Argentinian, Manuella, with her full figure and pretty looks in Brisbane. 

 A collection of strange, romantic and passionate women come and go in Temlett’s life. The world, as it were, was his oyster but the pearl he wants eludes him.

  The love scenes are always tasteful but they reveal more than mere hints of female cleavage and ample thighs.

  The reader will find the male characters in the book highly entertaining. ‘Farmer’, Temlett’s uncle with his snuff and mean and wily ways – Dr Petrolov, the urbane Russian medical doctor, and David Ware with his get- rich plans, with many others, are jocular and amusing. The accounts of conversations and life in the old Territory of Papua and New Guinea have a realistic tone about them. In fact, the whole novel is, I suspect, something of a roman à clef .

  This book is hilarious and is highly recommended for the suburban commuter or others wanting to enjoyably while away their time. PNG expats will find this novel especially amusing.



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