Review of The Importance of being Cool...
The honesty of Conrau's memoir glows with a rare humility that is almost devoid of self-consciousness – a powerful attribute in this genre. As this approachable speaker lures readers along the labyrinth of her journey, which in various shades may be familiar to many, it is a tale marked by descent. At the start, the storyline is peaked by highs and substance-fuelled friendships but over time, the narrative is gradually underscored by trenches, hangovers and betrayals.
While the content may be familiar, the angle is presented in an original way. This Melbourne woman propels us through a galaxy of substances, a collage of self-indulgent, sometimes drug-addled men, and the ever-present need for cash, which in itself, reads like a knotted metaphor for survival. All while, this metaphor slowly tightens around the speaker herself.
Elements of the speaker's world spark with contemporary, global issues, such as the posing of illegal drugs against prescription pills; and staging bomb threats alongside mistrust for the very forces which claim to protect us. Lucid, crisp and sometimes funny, the memoir covers slippery ground while maintaining a searing focus.
– IP Picks 2010 Judges' Report