Remixed Relics by Greg Snook978-1-925219-96-8
Remixed Relics, a novel masquerading as a collection of ‘slippery tales’, is the story of a man under the influence of music, books and ideas struggling to keep his head above water while reaching for the stars.
When manic music-collector Gus Adams (known as Grasshopper, Grungy and Gee Gee among other things) runs into a distracted story-collector in a Sydney shopping mall in 2010 he realises it’s the opportunity he’s been waiting for. Gus launches into a series of semi-detached stories about his life as a baby boomer, mixing the sublime with the ridiculous as he races through the decades like a runaway train.
Beginning with a surreal account of the events leading up to his conception as a wooden ‘hero with a thousand faces’, the first tales describe Gus’s discovery of myths, girls, the arts and alcohol. The narrative then picks up speed, jumping from one theme to another as the bibulous bibliophile bonds with his ‘blue-collar’ father, goes bush on a rescue mission, and then rejects suburbia for an inner-city Bohemia with cosmic vibes and zero gravity.
On the rocky road from Rockdale to rock star and rock bottom, Gus and his avatars often lose the plot. We rely on other people (Gus’s mate, Higgsie, his mother, Eva) to pick up the tangled thread of the on-road and off-the-rails adventures. The protean protagonist is so preoccupied with devils, dragons, nymphs and Minotaurs he barely sees what’s in front of his over-sensitive nose. Craving, yet afraid of, change, Gus slips and slides into pools, pits and panic attacks, slowly realising that a long dry season would be infinitely preferable to being stuck on an ark full of party animals or wandering the streets, wet and wasted, like some ‘lost boy’.
The later tales focus on loss, resurrection and renewal. Once the re-born ‘hero’ swears off beer, wine and strong coffee he becomes a superman of sorts, doing his best to stay in touch with his daughter Chloe – not to mention reality. Transforming from superman to family man is easier said than done, however. Gus needs to grow up and become less self-centred if he’s to be more than a character in a bad dream. Never one to admit defeat, he keeps searching for Arcadia until he finds a moon goddess capable of turning the tide.
But the dog days aren’t over and not everyone’s out of the woods. While Gus practises moderation and meditation, reinventing himself (again) as he re-imagines the future, Eva starts slipping back in time. The new millennium will bring daunting challenges, exciting opportunities, reunions and revelations.
Spiced with literary allusions, lyrics, poetry, parodies and Australiana, Remixed Relics is a god’s breakfast of an arty-sporty myth-mash about the search for meaning, love and identity in a world where fact and fiction twist around each other like snakes.
Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Page count: 414
Internal pages: B&W
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