Arrakis [pt.2]



Herbert, Frank (New English Library, ISBN 978-0450011849)

For Sophie, physical necessity, by itself, didn’t fix the moment when the future must arrive. Time marched rubato, stretching and bending to the individual rhythms of the players. As long as you stuck to the spirit of the arrangement, Time would turn a blind eye to a few extra minutes here or there.

To those with a pragmatic turn of mind, the view must’ve seemed an unmitigated failure. You found Sophie forever running late, out of petrol and waiting on her next paycheque to make the phone work again. Repossession agents chivvied her in flocks while friends she’d failed to meet crammed her answering machine with irate messages. Continue reading

Arrakis [pt.1]



Herbert, Frank (New English Library, ISBN 978-0450011849)

Sophie kept a boyfriend named Alan – the same way that one might keep a housecat or a gerbil. Alan belonged to that shadowy class of persons who somehow leave no discernable impression in your thoughts. You would’ve found him listed in the credits as ‘fireman #3’ or ‘guest at party’.



He had a genial temperament; he’d amble out to see you when you arrived and make small talk. He just appeared underwritten. When you looked up from a conversation, you’d find him standing in the background fiddling with something, as if his actor didn’t have any lines and needed to full up the time pretending to do something. His presence left so scant an impression that to this day I can remember only two facts about him: he owned a video camera and slept heavily. Continue reading

Boosterism [pt.1]



Lewis, Sinclair (Bantam Classics, ISBN 9780553214864)

Hilary and I both held tenure as delivery drivers at a pizza restaurant on Centre Road called, ‘La Casetta‘. I majored in second-hand smoke inhalation while Hilary pioneered a study into the effects of alcohol on Italians.

The cook used a substance called, ‘Beef Booster’. Like Sinclair Lewis’ boosterist, he knew that you had to have pep, by golly. When the pizza needed more pep he would open a bucket of Beef Booster and heap it on. Continue reading

Peter Temple’s Truth



Temple, Peter (Text publishing: Australia, 2009, ISBN 9781921520716)

Peter Temple’s Truth reads like an Australian television miniseries. You can even see where they would show the tits.

The novel’s beauty comes from the vividness of its writing. We leave it with afterimages of “sharp-toothed skulls” and “beer cartons blown flat against the fences” still glowing behind our mind’s I. We can still hear the footsteps on the “gap-planked verandah” and the “rip and flap of a loose truck tarp in the nearest yard”. Continue reading

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