Review of ‘Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure’
By Rama Gaind
‘Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure.’
By Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen, Hybrid Publishers, $26.95
Professor Dr Grafton Everest is said to be a ‘wonderful creation’. Depends on how you assimilate his tedious long-winded repartee.
This is not fact, but fiction: an incoherent academic accidently finds himself elected to the Australian Senate. What’s more, he has somehow ended up holding the balance of power. On top of it all, Australia is facing natural disaster from Tectonic Change.
It sounds like a familiar scenario, but Everest’s personal life does not run smoothly. He has to grudgingly travel to Canberra from time-to-time, and that he regards as a terrible annoyance.
His life appears to be unkempt and complex. He finds his wife’s motives suspicious and with the help of an outlaw motorcycle gang his daughter is staging a theatrical event.
As usual, Grafton is absorbed with his own personal cravings. The ramifications from him having a prostatectomy lead to some interesting scenarios. In a strange way, it was the weight gain that saved his life. It was his urologist, Dr End, who wanted him to “treat it like an adventure”.
Grafton then puts an interesting spin on how best to approach his impending operation: “What, buy a backpack and a GPS and sell the rights to the Discovery Channel? How is it an adventure? Can I get travel insurance for it?”
There is no other way to say it, but upfront: some might say that Everest is a scallywag. Expansive comedy is insolently laced and appealing to anyone who is partial to rough humour.
Along with the genuine send-up moments, there is a dazzling side to the book with several plucky female characters.
Fifth of historian Fitzgerald’s Grafton Everest books, this is co-written with writer/actor McFadyen.
psnews.com.au December 28, 2016