Books: Contented Riffraff

THE JOYFUL CONDEMNED (395 pp.)—Kylie Tennanf—Sf. Martin's ($2.75).

The McGartys were Australian riffraff —and well content to be, so long as nobody tried to reform them. Hector ran the "Sword of Fortune," a pub near Sydney's waterfront, where blood flowed almost as freely as beer. Grandma lived near by, pretending to be deaf yet privy to every racket within miles. Wilma had eight children, none legitimate. Fred, during a turn at the reform school, ate a tin of nails to spite the superintendent. Clarrie was a con man and the family intellectual: "It's a sort of poetry," he said, "to read...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!