Saturday, November 12, 2005
Bachelor Kisses by Nick Earls
Mr. Earls is a Brisbane-based author, the town/city where I went to university. I received three of his novels from my friend and Bachelor Kisses is the first of those three that I've read. The protagonist is one Dr. J Marshall, a hospital intern at an otherwise uninteresting hospital in Bris Vegas. Like most students/young singles in Brissy he lives in a share house. In this case a post-grad English lit gal and Rick who is unlucky in love and coincidently owns a porky pig doona (ie: comforter).
There didn't appear to be any real plot to this story. We join John Marshall one morning on his way to work and take it from there. However, despite the lack of plot things seem to move smoothly along as we simply become observers to the day to day life of a stereotypical aussie lad in a boring town with a boring job. Hapless and shallow he somehow manages to have an active sex life and points out (accurately I think) that it is because the other options are usually worse that he has sees so much action. This is in lieu of having any quality of his own that is attractive to the opposite sex. He is immature, he dumps a girl who wants to plan a holiday in two months because he isn't sure if he will be dating her in two months. He is lazy, when funding is short on his research plan he doesn't argue and is relieved that he avoids the possibility of looking stupid if the research didn't work out. He is gutless, it takes him weeks to break with a girl he doesn't like and then lies about being gay to do it.
But despite being someone I would never like to meet in my life he does manage to be a character of wit and humour and someone that you don't mind spending time with as you proceed through the book. And I think that is a tribute to the humourous writing style of Nick Earls himself. The jam fucking incident is a great case in point as it is both gross and horribly funny at the same time. I laughed heartily over that, especially as the main character contemplated that among the members of the Ethics Committee he was probably the only condiment fucker.
I went for my first golf lesson last Friday. I have played golf before and gotten tips and lessons from my ever-patient father but this was the first time to seek professional help. It went smashingly and one of the other instructors threw out the phrase "natural talent" though maybe he was just trying to be encouraging. We are playing a round tomorrow and have another lesson on Monday.
In field hockey I had my best game of the season with three goals. I have found time to get in some practice in the last couple of weeks and I think this has made a big difference. Especially the whole hitting the ball to go inside a not-so-large box while running at top speed which is not an easy thing to do. I've been playing tennis as well but nothing to boast of in this game.