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The Philosopher
'The Philosopher' (John Hazzard), all the way from Australia, or some other God forsaken place, arrives in a small Pacific North Western town armed only with his wit, his radical vision of Philosophy, and his foreign accent. His mission? To challenge the community's cherished values, traditions, politics and religious fundamentalism.'The Philosopher' soon attracts many enemies in town, and becomes the target of death threats and attacks on his property. A modern day Socrates, he is accused of 'mocking the gods' and of 'corrupting the youth.'Structured as a series of lectures, and full of Philosophical conundrums, thought experiments, and debates about God, Sex, Drugs, Pornography, Art, War, Animal rights, the Soul, and the Unconscious, this novel enlivens contemporary philosophical debates and crystalizes them in the ambitions of a man's struggle to transcend the mundane and escape Plato's dark cave of shadows.

On a dark night, Maddy Stevens, 10, opens a Book of Magick Spells and recites a spell: to find the perfect boyfriend. Her best friend Meaghan casts another spell to bring about the safe return of three girls who have gone missing in the Byron Bay area. Little do they realise that these spells will plunge them into a dark world of adventure they didn't bargain for. The next day, after playing music at the Brunswick Kite Festival, Maddy is kidnapped and imprisoned. Everyone fears she's dead. But Maddy is no ordinary girl. She has many magic spells to help her. She can separate mind from body. She can see cracks in people's souls. And she can outwit her kidnappers. Maddy escapes, but she is still not safe: she knows too much. Mr 'M' the man behind the kidnappings is still out there, and is coming back to get her. With the help of her magic book of spells, her friend Meaghan, and (unbeknown to her) a boy called Timothy Edge, she has to find the three missing girls, and the mysterious Mr M-before he finds her.