A Book Review by Carol Haberle

The Right Side of the Dirt (Fiction) by author Michael Kelly

Right Side of the Dirt - Michael Kelly
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About the Author: Michael Kelly

Michael Kelly was born in Queenstown, on the West Coast of Tasmania. He and his wife founded and produced the recipes for the Red Kellys gourmet dressings and spices, exporting from Tasmania throughout 23 different countries, and winning for Tasmania the prestigious Agri-Business Export Award in 2006. After retiring from the company, Michael enrolled at University to complete a Bachelor Degree in English, but became side-tracked toward the Human Sciences and became involved in Psychology, especially in the areas of Sport and Motivation. Viewing people and his own life in a new perspective, stimulated thoughts into action and inspired the novel The Right Side of the Dirt.

Today Michael lives in Perth, Tasmania.

Right Side of the Dirt - Michael Kelly
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The Right Side of the Dirt

One beautiful Spring morning, having awakened and risen from his bed, a retired psychologist finds himself reviewing life. His memories of clients past cases come to the fore, and now with spare time on his hands, he contemplates writing a book based on the insight into lives of everyday people. In writing the book he bases it on one particular client, a man he calls ‘Mackers’, whose life obviously made a deep impression on his own, and from his notes he builds a story of a young boys journey to adolescence, through his adolescence and puberty, and into manhood and beyond. This journey is told with emotion… with laughter and happiness… with sadness and despair… with all the emotions of real life given in raw, stark reality… a story in which I’m sure every reader will find something that relates to their own life.

In reading The Right Side of the Dirt I have to say I so loved the opening chapter, where the story begins with the psychologist waking up from his night’s sleep. Michael Kelly has done a brilliant job writing a perfect description of a man’s waking moments, or “the arousal of one’s body upon awakening”. No matter whether male or female, there is something within these paragraphs which will have you laughing, wincing or even almost crying as you relate. Simply brilliant. Michael Kelly has the ability to hold ones attention and incite the imagination with his use of wonderfully descriptive passages.

Right Side of the Dirt - Michael Kelly
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So begins the story, as memories begin to surface, and focus hones in on one particular client whose life story begins as a young boy on the rugged West Coast of Tasmania. From here Mackers journey takes him to Victoria, to life being schooled in a boys college, of a father’s expectations of his son, of his adolescent dreams and realities, and then his journey through adulthood where heartbreak, tragedy and despair take control of his life… where Mackers life takes on a totally unexpected twist, and where upon I reached the point of ‘I just could not put the book down’! One is drawn into the doctor/patient confidentiality world as this man opens up to his psychologist and tells of a life which led him to a downhill spiral to depression, a psychologist left with a burden of knowledge he could not reveal to anyone.

The Right Side of the Dirt does contain some very course language, but this story is of a real life adventure and told as it was, and in reading it I feel every word is warranted. This is a story of human endeavour, a book that will have you experiencing a whole range of emotions. To say more will be to say too much. This book I highly recommend if you enjoy a real life adventure read!

The Right Side of the Dirt: Get a Copy

Michael Kelly has offered a signed copy of The Right Side of the Dirt as a Think Tasmania reader giveaway. Details of that opportunity will be published soon.

The Right Side of the Dirt has been accepted into the National Library of Australia (heritage section) and the State Library of Tasmania. It is currently available as an e-book through Amazon, iBookstore, Gardners, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Copia and Kobo. We’ll advise of Tasmanian retail book outlets as soon as they are confirmed by Michael Kelly.

18 March 2013 ~ Thanks for waiting so patiently for your chance to win a copy of this book by Michael Kelly. Details are online now…

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