Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Distance By Kingsley McGlew

142 pages,


Melbourne Books


“This is what I need. Time to work out where I went wrong. I need to close the distance between my dreams and my reality. I can’t walk away forever.”

Kingsley McGlew is at the forefront of innovative writing. Distance plays on elements of psychological fiction and sci-fi, with McGlew using skilful narration and a distinctive voice to capture the barrenness of the north-western outback and depict the awkward-but-necessary friendships that can arise there.


Distance is a cross between a Robert G Barrett and Isaac Asimov novel, Aussie slang and backdrop and sci fi. At only 141 pages and in 6 chapters, it is quite a quick read; I finished it in one sitting. There are three main characters No Shit Harry, Spanish Mack and Hans Angel who travel along the Great Northern Highway and have some colourful conversations and adventures.

The story swaps between what seems to be a typical Aussie setting, with three blokes having a typical yarn about ordinary things, chicks, beer and the usual Aussie bloke stuff. McGlew drags the reader along behind the V8 Ute that is the story and fishtails them out into a futuristic setting at the end of the beaten track. Interwoven in amongst the narrative and between the chapters are some even more bizarre dream sequences with a character called Matilda.

Distance will appeal to the reader who enjoys a light hearted story in the fashion of Robert G Barrett or a real Australian atmosphere. I think that a few non-Australians might find the language a bit hard to follow, with the slang and terminology.

Would like to see a longer piece of writing by this author.

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