Overview: What happened on Friday nights in the Sydney suburbs in the seventies? Read these stories about Campbell and his mates from Campbelltown, told in the style of The Adventures of Don Juan though with not so many heroes. Most of the characters in these stories are preoccupied with getting out of it. If you weren’t out of it, you just weren’t there. That was the whole idea! Here is a set of stories that examines the powerful asking made by your average teenager in the suburbs back then, told lovingly from the perspective of one who lived to see the expansion of life in these places as an answer to so much of all that asking.
WARNING: These stories contain references to the use of illegal substances, underage drinking, burglary, suicide, prostitution, illicit sex, gang rape, mental illness, domestic violence, bingeing on big macs, and sex in the back of a butcher’s shop. Read at your own risk.
link to smashwords ebook version here.
My comments: This book was so much fun to write. It’s a book of verse, all done in ottova rima. It was modeled on The Adventures of Don Juan, such a rollicking tale, though Mostly Friday Nights tells of tougher times, living in the outer Sydney suburbs in the seventies. It’s mostly fiction, though the setting and the mood are sourced from many memories of being there.
I remember the moment of inspiration for this book. I was in China in mid-2012 taking my parents on a package tour of about eight cities in ten days, and had with me David Marr’s biography of Patrick White. At one point, I sat feeling astounded at how so much of White’s life experience worked it’s way into his novels. Or perhaps it was Marr’s good detective work. I do remember sitting in a hotel room one night wondering what I would write about from my past if I was asked. Of course, we have all heard that advice to writers to write about what they know. For me this was but abstract advice which had never sunk in before. But at this moment, I actually saw something. I recalled one stupid scene of my friends, Jim, Hawksie and Batty driving around town in a HQ Holden on a Friday night, staring at the world from behind the car windows. it dawned on me that I knew about that experience, but there are many who don’t. And I saw the metaphor. From that one vision, I quickly sketched out over twenty stories that captured the mood, even the language of that time, and the rest was fun in putting the story together line by line, rhyme by rhyme, to meet the rules of ottova rima.