“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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Novel idea takes off

November 21, 2008 at 4:57 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Novel idea takes off

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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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Genre and Classification

September 3, 2008 at 1:47 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

.Genre and classification   French Letters and the English Canon by Mark Daniel  (Timewell Press 2007)


Two brilliant works of literature have recently hit the market: Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk and Love on the Run. Both are said to be works of fiction but are they? Do they go to the fiction or non-fiction part of a collection? Should a reviewer give them an artistic or intellectual complexion by naming them among other great roman à clef novels? To help me answer this I have referred to the above excellent work by Mark Daniel.

   Could it be we are dealing with boring didactic novels that are more like those of a roman a these classification? In Sepik Blu… the protagonist is James Ward and in Love on the… we have Temlett Conibeer. Both characters are anything but boring. James, tortured by religious scruples and sexual desires  wants to get a bit but still go to heaven. Temlett is not beyond getting a bit but what he really wants is a wife. In both cases their ends or purposes in life are left in the lap of the gods. Whether they knew it or not both were Aristotelean and Thomistic in their teleological life aspirations and because these aspirations are left somewhat up in the air: James’ flight to heaven is unknown and Temlett does not seem to get a wife, we might think that both tales are ones of hopelessness. However, both James and Temlett are on a life journey and as Stevenson said: “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive…”

   Love on the Run has something of a roman fleuve about it but it’s not really about a family. The same applies to Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk. Both books are certainly not of the roman policier  variety. So back we are left with the old roman à clef.

   The PNG setting of both books adds to their exotic flavour.

   Whatever you might think of these books and of James Ward and Temlett Conibeer and it is probably all French to you, anyhow. I only hope, if they are real, that in their life activities they always practised safe sex and used a French Letter or several. Maybe on second thoughts it’s all Greek to you!

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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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