Feature

dry crossingAuthor Russell Guy will be guest speaker at Author Talk at the Alice Springs Library is next Thursday, 4th June at 5PM

No armchair social critic or Facebook cut-and-paste philosopher, author Russell Guy has clearly had his perspectives hammered out on the anvil of experience.

As revealed in his recently released novel, Dry Crossing, the poetic imagination and eye for life’s oddities that made Guy’s radio play What’s Grafton To You is Rangoon To Me a cult classic has been shaped by decades as a journeyman on roads less travelled.

Dry Crossing is in itself a road novel that takes us on a journey of a lifetime. We share the ride with its chief protagonist, Dizzy Roundabout, the only non-Aboriginal member of a rock and roll band apparently resigned to endless touring. Dizzy wants more

Guy’s sketches of life and landscape in the inland are often haiku-like, eschewing the beauty-spot vernacular associated with outback-as-tourist-destination and powerfully evoking its increasingly unsung glories: the birds and the stars, for example. Other times he departs from the narrative to linger longer in scenes that simultaneously illuminate Dizzy’s burnt-out state of mind and the desolation of humans and human settlements left behind by the mainstream. One of the book’s most memorable scenes takes place in a wrecker’s yard, as Dizzy ponders the poignant left-behinds of an unknown traveller.

These slow-downs, accompanied by flash-backs, punctuate the lively pace of the narrative in first half of the book and prepare us for Ziggy’s eventual crash as he collides with the consequences of his unresolved contradictions. Up until that point we get a sympathetic and often amusing portrayal of the manic lifestyle that keeps Ziggy on the roundabout. The conversations and events that pepper the story are convincingly rendered.

Guy has chosen to write a short novel, probably for the sake of maintaining momentum, and leaves us wanting to know more about his lost love and the other members of the band. But more detail might have cluttered the storyline, which strays occasionally but always quickly returns to Dizzy.

Dizzy’s tale has unfashionable themes that may become fashionable again as society reevaluates its shallow infatuation with atheism and recognizes the inexplicable gift of grace and the need for meaning and redemption in our individual lives. – D.R.

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 01, 2015 | Categories: Faces & Voices, Features | Leave A Comment »

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