Author(s): Anthony Macris
Thirty-something Nick is walking down Parramatta Roads six lanes of thundering traffic to see his former girlfriend Penny for the first time since they agreed to be just friends. By the novels end, he is racing back up that same road so he doesnt lose her. Nick and Pennys awkward romance is played out against the backdrop of high capitalism and the rise of the digital age. Bombarded by advertisements, slogans, news, wars, politics and consumerism, just a little silence is hard to find. Even in the bedroom with the woman he wants so much to love, Nicks mind spirals off to other times and places. Through him we revisit the Gulf War watched on a rented TV in a London flat; we meet the girl who broke his heart; and veteran political journalist Kerry OBrien interviews Margaret Thatcher in a pastiche of Molly Blooms soliloquy. In the hyperbolic, media-driven world they inhabit, can Nick and Penny somehow find ways of being, and maybe even being together? In a world of casualised employment, media saturation and a constant push for market innovation, what happens to the fundamental human need for belonging? What happens to the most fundamental relationships between people when they are asked to build their lives on quicksand? What is it like to live and love in the time of contemporary capitalism?