Making News, Tony Wilson’s second novel, is a scathing commentary on tabloid journalism’s gorge on the greasy spoon of contemporary celebrity. As well as, almost fondly, rewriting football history — Australia defeats Italy in the 2006 World Cup — it offers substantial, if easy, entertainment with biting wit.

Charlie Dekker is a principled, Beckham-like football star who has only recently retired from playing Premier League and Socceroos matches alongside the likes of Cahill, Neil and Schwarzer. His wife, Monica, is a highly strung superstar of the “shelfhelperati” circuit.

His son, Lucas, is a doe-eyed 16-year-old who prefers writing to football, and wins a trainee stint with the sensationalist British paper The Globe. When Charlie’s entanglement in a sordid scandal threatens to wreck the Dekkers’ respective careers, the young lad’s gonzo idealism puts his family’s dramas and his own moral and ethical dilemma on the front page.

Making News is a fast-paced, near-realist melodrama sliced through with box-cutter blade humour. Previous comparisons with Ben Elton and Shane Maloney are not misplaced; it should have no trouble picking up good press.

Peter Fray

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