Life is a series of beginnings and endings no matter what, but sometimes the ending is far from what was anticipated in the beginning. Dominic Carew, in his first book No Neat Endings has captured many of these less than complete moments in life in a series of short stories, some shorter than others that leave behind room for thought and a somewhat bewildering situation, perhaps created to allow the reader to complete the ending as they choose.
Carew does not disseminate with his choice of subject matter as it ranges far and wide; from on-line dating to drug fueled disaster, to a man confronting turning forty, a marriage slowly dissolving and much more. In Nineteen, a young man is terrified of never being able to enjoy or even have sex. He is distraught, reticent and terrified of getting it wrong and of course his journey into sexual freedom does not go well. He is only nineteen.
Each of the stories captures the immense vulnerability faced in the world of today, as men try to conform to what is considered as societies ‘norm’; a norm of which should be lived to almost unreal expectations, all without sometimes falling short of the mark.
Carew has in so many ways tapped deep into the fears and vulnerability of many, bringing them out into the light of day, where they can be examined and even perhaps learnt from, as envy, angst, longing, love and messy endings are really the true emotions that make life exactly what it is: a journey that we all often would rather not be taking, especially when things do not turn out the way we thought.
No Neat Endings could be considered as satirical, but in presenting the stories in such a style, Carew has not used the words with cruelty, as satire can so often do, but more as a tongue-in-cheek look at the modern Australian male, hang-ups and all, as he tries bravely to find his place in the ever changing landscape classed as the modern world of male!
|Distributor||New South Books|