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In small town suburbia, three young men are ready to make their mark.
Solomon is all charisma, authority and charm, down for the moment but surely not out. His half-brother, Jimmy, bounces along in his wake, underestimated, waiting for his chance to announce himself. Aleks, their childhood friend, loves his mates, his family and his homeland, and would do anything for them. The question is, does he know where to draw the line?
Solomon, Jimmy and Aleks: way out on the fringe of Australia, looking for a way in. Hip hop and graffiti give them a voice. Booze, women and violence pass the time while they wait for their chance. Under the oppressive summer sun, their town has turned tinder-dry. All it'll take is a spark.
As the surrounding hills roar with flames, the change storms in. But it's not what they were waiting for. It never is.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
The energy of this debut novel just leaps off the page. Musa, a charismatic rapper, has successfully translated the idiom and pulse of performance to the page with its syncopated rhythms and hard-edged beats. Inevitably, he is being compared with his mate Christos Tsiolkas for his full-frontal engagement with contemporary Australian society: in this case, multicultural masculinity with its surges of often misdirected testosterone. In small town suburbia during a tinder-dry summer, anything could happen. Booze, drugs, violence and a racing dog all help pass the time.
At the centre of this compelling mash up of poetry and prose are three iconic young men: Solomon, a charming Samoan, who has broken up with his girlfriend and is fascinated by Scarlett, a free spirited tattooist; his half-brother Jimmy, who has got himself into trouble, and their Macedonian childhood friend, Aleks.
Musa manipulates language with raw, bracing vitality, offering up a picture of Australia that is not pretty but feels authentic.
'Omar Musa's writing is tough and tender, harsh and poetic, raw and beautiful, it speaks to how we live and dream now. This novel broke my heart a little but it also made me ecstatic at the possibilities of what the best writing can do. His voice is genuine, new and exciting; his voice roars.'
'This stunning debut novel has such swaggering exuberance that it will make other most other fiction you read this year seem criminally dull. You have been warned.'
About the Author
Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper and poet from Queanbeyan, Australia. He is the former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. He has released three hip hop albums, two poetry books (including Parang), appeared on ABC's Q&A and received a standing ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. He is currently working on a play, 'Bonegatherer', and his first book, Here Come the Dogs, will be published in August 2014.
'Omar Musa's writing is tough and tender, harsh and poetic, raw and beautiful, it speaks to how we live and dream now. This novel broke my heart a little but it also made me ecstatic at the possibilities of what the best writing can do. His voice is genuine, new and exciting; his voice roars.' - Christos Tsiolkas
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 23rd July 2014
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.3 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.53