Saturday, October 28, 2017

Deadly Kerfuffle, by Tony Martin

Staff review by Chris Saliba

Tony Martin's debut novel proves to be the perfect tonic for our anxious times.

All hell has broken loose in unassuming, suburban Dunlop Crescent. A family of radical Muslims have moved in. God knows what they're up to. Rumour has it that the Tamaki family are planning on turning their house on its axis so it faces Mecca. Local gossip Coral Stooles is spreading rumours and misinformation through the suburban streets as fast as her legs will carry her. Suspicions are being further stoked by the campy shock-jock Julian Spence. His inflammatory talk-back show continually refers to Dunlop Crescent as Terror Street.

But there is a problem. A big one. The Tamakis are not Muslims at all. They're rather quiet and unassuming Maoris. No one bothers to find out the facts of the matter and before long hysteria has taken over. The Tamakis' house is burnt to the ground. But who did it? Local resident and grumpy old man Gordon Berenger tries to find out. In the process he finds himself at the centre of a bomb plot involving some completely bonkers neo-Nazis.

Tony Martin's debut novel is a hair raising and hilarious ride through humdrum suburban Australia. It's an Australia that will be familiar to all, reflecting the nation's often misplaced anxieties and obsessions.

One of the great joys of the novel is its broad cast of characters, with all the usual suspects: nut jobs, curtain twitchers, rat bags, serial letter writers and opportunistic shock-jocks. And the occasional normal person.

Deadly Kerfuffle has a laugh on every page, it pokes fun at our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, while also being a celebration of Australian life.

Deadly Kerfuffle, by Tony Martin. Published by Affirm Press. ISBN: 9781925584448 RRP: $29.99

Release date 31st October

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