Paperback | Apr 2014 | Brandl & Schlesinger | 9781921556203 | 600pp | 234x153mm | GEN | AUD$34.95, NZD$39.99
The accidental death of MP Norman Cole precipitates a hung parliament allowing a core of extreme right-wing politicians to seize power. Telford, a high-ranking but unworldly public servant, is approached by Cole’s wife who believes her husband was murdered and asks him to investigate on her behalf. The reward for this, he hopes, will be her love. Despite the bizarre and threatening nature of his investigations, he remains convinced that the ‘scribbled note’ about the meeting with ‘N’ holds the key to what he seeks.
Meanwhile in an increasingly nightmarish city, in a countryside owing more to the Middle Ages than to the 1940s, or in two distant prison camps, a range of Australians struggle to find their own truths, a way back to love, and a means of survival — be it Roy and Vic, each struggling to validate and empower their painting; be it the artist’s model Missy, torn between passion and fidelity; or the writer Henningsen and Head of the Emergency Government Warren Mahony, each battling with their tenuous sanities. Told in a wide range of styles, N is a remarkable work of imagination woven about two unforgettable love stories.
“N is, literally, marvellous and utterly unlike anything I have seen in Australian fiction... One of the many miracles of this wonderful book is the fact that within the pyrotechnics of its multiple styles and alternative histories are contained the lives of human beings whose fates we grow to care desperately about.” - Martin Duwell
“I don’t think I’ve liked an Australian book or manuscript so much in years. I kept thinking in Australian terms of Capricornia, but I think, in reach and intelligence, inventiveness and imagination, N is actually closer to Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. It’s a masterpiece, as clear and as simple as that. An ironic compendium of Australian lore and legend — ironic and sometimes perverse — that shows how precarious our history and our hold on the landscape, in fact our own mindscape, has been.” - David Brooks