A confronting and powerful novel from an exciting new voice - for lovers of Christos Tsiolkas (LOADED) and Luke Davies (CANDY).
'He touched my face. When his hand went along my bruised top lip and my almost broken nose, I winced from the pain. His fist went into a deep denim pocket. Pulled out a Syrinapx bottle, twisted the cap off and handed me two light blue pills.'
How did Bucky get here? A series of accidents. A tragic love for a violent man. An addiction to painkillers he can't seem to kick. An unlikely friendship with an ageing patient.
Drugs, memories and the objects of his desire are colluding against Bucky. And when it hits him. Bam. A ton of bricks ...
The shadowy places of Western Sydney can be lit up with the hope of love, but no streetlight can illuminate like obsession.
A novel of addiction, secrets and misplaced love, this is an Australian debut not to be missed.
Review by Ilse Scheepers
We follow Bux, a young gay man of Greek descent, who is in a tempestuous relationship with a man he calls Nice Arms Pete. Bux is tightly wound and deeply bruised, with the sense that he doesn't belong in any of the many worlds he moves through - the Greek community, the gay community, or the nursing home where he works. This makes love hard. And loving Nice Arms Pete makes it harder.
Bux smothers this pressure with a combination of stolen prescription medication and increasingly paranoid attempts to find out where Nice Arms Pete goes when he isn't at home. Who is in that shiny car that drops Pete off at home? Why is he so secretive? Bux is full of yearning, and full of thwarted potential, all mixed together in a taut combination of anger and shame.
Polites has written a staccato rat-a-tat novel that throws you into the seared concrete and oppressive heat of Western Sydney, and won't let you go. Down the Hume is a worthy successor to Christos Tsiolkas' Loaded, and a compelling portrait of a part of Sydney that is often disregarded by the well off and well to do, who cluster around the city's glittering harbour.
About the Author
Peter Polites is a writer of Greek descent from Western Sydney. As part of the SWEATSHOP writers collective, Peter has written and performed pieces all over Australia. Alongside SMH Best Young Novelists Luke Carman and Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Polites wrote and performed THREE JERKS - a spoken word piece about the Cronulla riots - to sellout crowds in Sydney and Melbourne. He has recently been commissioned to write a play about the migrant experience in Western Sydney for Sydney Festival, to be performed in 2017. Down The Hume is his first novel.