I was at my boyfriend's place one morning last week, standing up while eating my two weetbix and milk before work, and snooping around to take something on the train to read. When you spend two hours commuting on the train every day it can be a damn pickle if you run out of reading material, hence the emergency. I picked up this book with the filthy smooshed up cigarette on the cover and threw it in my bag.
The novel is set in Bondi and it follows the life of Ned; a dope smoking, beer chugging surfie type. The chapters jump between Ned at age 15 and at 35. At 15, his life is just beginning and although he's already caught up in the drug scene, he feels there's an undercurrent of hope. At 35, nothing much has come of Ned's life since he left school: same boys, same drugs, same town, single, and pretty confused about what he is meant to be doing with his life. As time winds on, Ned is trying to figure out who the real losers are - the 30+ singletons at the same old bars, trying to pick up chicks; or the guys who are married and locked into a boring cookie-cutter life.
This book was somewhat depressing. When I was reading it I couldn't help thinking of all the real-life Neds out there... stuck, confused, lacking direction, and wound up in spiral of addiction. It's a bit dark, a bit sad, but it was real. We all have our own addictions and insecurities, and I think that's what you can relate to in this story.
I liked this novel for its clever and elegant prose. Bogan, but elegant.
I hated the start of the book. It gave a glimpse into the mind of a 15 year old school boy that I really, truly could have lived without! I did like this book, but it didn't leave me with any deep insights or revelations. I've started reading the sequel; hoping it will deal with some unfinished business.