THE BOOK - Nick Earls 'Zigzag Street'
I love books that I can relate to. Whether it be relating to people or places.
This is just one reason why I love Zigzag Street. It's based in Brisbane and features places familiar to me. Describing Red Hill, Toowong, Milton, UQ, West End and the city brings that smug 'I know that place' smile to my face, as if it makes me special and 'in the know'.
Zigzag Street is where Richard lives in Red Hill. He's living rent free as long as he renovates his late grandparents' house. Instead of renovating he is still dwelling on the break up with his long term girlfriend, Anna. At least he's looking after his grandma's cat, Greg. He even makes Greg a sock puppet to play with.
When Richard's not reminiscing about times with Anna or feeding or playing with Greg or at his hated job or not renovating, he plays tennis with his friends from uni. While Richard enjoys tennis, he's not the best player around.
Then Richard meets a girl. How he meets her is hilarious. Definitely an unlikely scenario. After meeting her everything begins looking up.
What makes this book so brilliant is that Nick Earls captures the relationship Brisbanites have with Brisbane. Or at least the relationship I have with my Brisbane. He also captures the depression and desperation one feels after a relationship breakdown and the feeling of failure that follows. While capturing that, Nick Earls also manages to capture the elation of meeting someone new who gives that extra energy, that spring in your step.
Zigzag Street backtracks without being confusing. It's funny in the way you want to quote it to anyone who will listen. It's based in the 1990's but timeless in it's story. It's Nick Earl's first novel and it's brilliant.
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Disclaimer: This is entirely my own opinion. I have not been paid by anyone for this review and have done it because I like the book. I also do not claim to be a writer, reviewer or anything other than a book lover.