Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat review @ Aust Crime Fiction

Something very strange happened to me recently. I loved a book, thoroughly enjoyed reading it, couldn’t put it down at points, and still have absolutely no idea what the hell was going on. None whatsoever.

Post-apocalyptic Melbourne again. Not my favourite place at all, although in TOBACCO-STAINED MOUNTAIN GOAT we don’t seem to be too far in the future, and we don’t seem to be that far from current day Melbourne, particularly in the way the city is divided into the have’s and the have nots. The division is by way of the Dome – uptown paradise where rampant consumerism and mindless bullshit rules (doesn’t sound all that far-fetched does it?). Outside the Dome we’re talking dangerous, run down, mean streets, bars, fast food, and nasty goings on (another tick in the not that difficult to believe column).

Populate the place with Deviants and Seekers who keep them in line, add a central hero that’s a chain-smoking, loud mouthed smart arse with a drinking habit and a surprisingly touching reason for doing the job, and frankly, I was in lunacy heaven.

What really works in TOBACCO-STAINED MOUNTAIN GOAT is the characterisations, as well as some very funny and mad storytelling. I suspect you’re going to get even more than I did from this book if you’re in any way a follower of popular culture on TV and in films.

Ask me before reading this book and I’d have told you I’m really not into post-apocalyptic scenarios. I’m also not a follower of popular culture and certainly not science fiction, yet somehow even I managed to notice the Blade Runner references in this book…

But honestly, didn’t care I had no idea what was going on. Didn’t care it’s not the sort of book I’d normally read. Don’t even care that I’m not even sure if it was crime fiction. It’s definitely a thriller, and it’s somewhere in the Science Fiction realm… probably. I’d guess. Honestly – no idea. Did I mention I loved it, did I mention I’ve got no idea what the hell was going on…

KAREN CHISHOLM

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