Review: Housemeeting by Lano & Woodley

Until recently I had no idea that Australian comedy duo Lano & Woodley had written a novel. It turns out that Housemeeting was originally published by Penguin Books Australia in 1996, a year or so before the first series of the brilliant The Adventures of Lano & Woodley television programme aired on the ABC. (A second series aired in 1999. You can find some clips on YouTube and Facebook, like this one here.) Anyway, Housemeeting runs on a similar premise to the television series, with Colin and Frank sharing a flat in inner-suburban Melbourne. Except that there is one problem. The arrogant and egotistical Colin wants the innocent and lovably stupid Frank out of "his" house. And Frank does not, under any circumstances want to leave ...

This was a fun and entertaining read. It's not too heavy, with the bulk of the novel written in a format similar to a play or a tv script, with a few prose bits in between and some amusing illustrations by Frank Woodley. The characters remain in keeping with the duos other work and the vast bulk of it is set inside the flat. The humour works quite well in the format, and a lot of the prose bits between scenes feel like a cross between PG Wodehouse and a pisstake on literary fiction. A couple of times I felt a joke went on for two long, but that feels like a very minor grumble. Overall, it's fun and still feels very relatable despite being published almost thirty years ago, mostly due to the fact that the humour isn't weighed down by the politics of the day, or references to technology.



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