Been a while since I sat down and read a novel cover to cover, but friend of the store and familiar face around town Max Easton’s (Barely Human, Meatspin Recs, Romance, Basic Human, The Baby, BB & The Blips etc. etc.) debut was one that I eagerly tore through in the past couple of weeks.
A coming of age novel set within western/inner Sydney footy, leftisit political, and underground music communities of the past 20 odd years, it was weirdly uncanny how many parts of the book seemed to ring true to my personal experiences in all of those worlds. A lot more human and local facing than what the cover and title may suggest! Lots of familiar places (The Square, The Vic, Repressed Records!) and circumstances (the great drum machine uptake of the mid-2010s) dotted throughout to hold interest and anchor the story in. But what I think Max does best in the book is use fiction to grapple with the weighty question of whether (and how) sub- and countercultural communities can be mobilised in a politically generative manner. (I’m still a believer that they can be!)
- Mitch (Repressed Records)