‘The world according to Bryce’ – Jane Cazdow [Review]

I like the way Cazdow has delivered different versions of the ‘truth’ to the reader to then let them then decide what they will believe. A great example of this is her telling of Bryce’s side of his story and then getting information from his sister, and conveying both sides of their childhood. As a reader, you get to see both side of the story and then decide who is telling the truthful story. She continues throughout the piece to deliver information in this ‘he said, she said’ manner but to me, it becomes apparent through all the different stories that the world according to Bryce is most likely a fabricated and embellished ‘lie’.

I think the line ‘I am uncomfortably aware that there are some strange inconsistencies in his life story’ is very powerful because I get the image of a journalist entering her profiler’s house and embracing him knowing that she will have to write contradictions on the many things he has to say about his story. For me as well, when you read through the piece, you grow a bit uncomfortable reading the fabrications that Bryce Courtney has made, knowing that this man is somewhat of an Australian literary icon.

As a reader, I am left wondering how many true stories Bryce Courtney has told in his life and also his motivations for making up so many untruths. Some would say it would be to bolster his standing in the public eye and make him appear more interesting. But for me, I think it would be more a case of his personality and the knowledge that he can weave these intricate stories to entice people into his ‘abnormal’ childhood and adulthood.


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