Borrowed Time


What's a multi-skilled pharmacist, the local footy star and a Workers' Compensation investigator got to do with the local Art Society? Apart from inadvertently contributing to the economic welfare of a ship that's on the verge of sinking, not much.

Leaving their arty roots and moral principles by the wayside, the committee members of the town's Art Society decide to bite the bullet and present the biggest show the town's ever seen; a Beer Festival. Committing the cardinal sin by catering for the masses, the town's main players - along with a few stragglers - are let off the leash to run a farcical chaos. Thematically, it's all in the name of 'art' if only by accident and not by design.

Amid the drugs, the sex and a little bit of rock 'n' roll, coupled with a few ends of lawn bowls (yes, lawn bowls), enemies are made, victories are bitter sweet, while the losses taste very much the same. There's even room for a love story, or two. Will it be all strawberries and wine or will the ship sink? The clock's ticking.

The Background of Borrowed Time:

The idea of this book took shape back in March of 2011 while I was reading Joseph Heller’s Closing Time. Despite the work's title bearing a resemblance, it is in no way, shape, or form connected and this aspect is merely coincidence; not even a tip of the hat to the great man.

Words were penned shortly thereafter in which the first draft was done in 12 weeks. After that, continuous work on edits, re-writes and all the rest of it took place; fun times. I took a breather for most of 2012 shortly before reconvening.

Some of the places throughout this work – pubs’ namesakes for instance – naturally exist. As their names suggest, some of you - namely my Antipodean associates - will relate.

The characters, not so, despite those who claim to see themselves throughout the work of fiction (we've all been guilty of it, haven't we?). Paraphrasing what the great author, Christopher Moore, once said. "If you think it’s bullshit, chances are it probably is."

The typical 'pub' in this country is now few and far between. The vast majority of Australian inhabitants of legal drinking age have set foot inside a 'Tattersall's', 'Australian' or 'Oxford' Hotel. These establishments once solidified the social fabric of this country. Now, most have been acquired and watered down by big chain enterprises, crushing the moral fibre by compartmentalising these establishments into yuppified drinking grottos, despite most still bearing the same name. "Atmosphere", indeed.

Will Borrowed Time be your cup of tea, or not?:

To sort the wheat out from the chaff, here’s a pitch, or a deterrent - depending on which side of the fence you occupy.

- Most will throw this in the ‘anti-literature' basket. Cool! I don’t hold any desire to associate with those in the literary world. Hearing stories has always fascinated me. Over the last couple of years I’ve found that telling them is also quite alluring. Maybe that’s a euphemism for being a bullshit artist?

- If you like reading about the antics of degenerates, loose cannons and those of the ilk where 'salt of the earth' springs to mind, then this may be your cup of tea.

- If you don’t like satire about the "rough and tumble" of our society, then this probably won’t be your saucer of rat poison. The terms “raw” and “gritty” may apply to those enthusiasts so hell-bent to pigeonhole.

I’d hope that this will be ensconced somewhere in the sphere of escapism. It’s certainly not a read for the wintry months. This is more of a summer time holiday read. From the Gold Coast to Benidorm, or one would hope. Work commuters in the luxurious realms of public transport might even find this as a breezy pastime. Particularly those who don’t like Metro, MX, or the like.

Think of this as stodge. We all need some horrible food from time to time to balance our dietary requirements. Don’t get me wrong, there’s good stodge and bad stodge (pizza; good stodge. kebabs; bad stodge). Just like a record collection needs something easier on the ear and less thought provoking. Hopefully this can be the good stodge one requires every so often to fill that void. Pretentious, this is not.

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