Author(s): Philip Butterss
The Sentimental Bloke and Doreen are famous characters in Australian popular culture, but their creator deserves to be better known. C.J. Dennis transformed the larrikin from a street thug into a respectable image of Australian identity, and helped shape the Anzac legend. Many people regarded Dennis himself as a sentimental bloke, but this book shows he was a much more complex and sometimes darker personality - not only examining his humorous and lovable side, but also his struggles with alcohol and depression, his political activism, his marriage and his financial dealings. An Unsentimental Bloke traces Dennis's early years in rural South Australia, his work on a bohemian newspaper in Adelaide and move to Melbourne as a freelancer for the Bulletin, his period of political involvement, followed by enormous successes (he was more popular than Banjo Paterson or Henry Lawson ever were), spectacular fall, and re-emergence as an elder statesman of Australian letters.