Strengths: It’s very funny in places.
Weaknesses: Is this bloke lit? Or chick lit from a male point of view?
Why I read it: I love The Chaser.
Setting: Sydney, Australia
Rating: 8 out of 10
If you liked this, try: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
I love The Chaser (if you’re not Australian, you might be more familiar with them as ‘the guys that crashed APEC doing a motorcade dressed as Osama Bin Laden’). And so, I love Dominic Knight, one of the Chaser boys more likely to be found writing or behind the camera these days (he also writes some very funny tweets – worth following). However, it did take me some time to get round to reading his first piece of fiction, Disco Boy, which comes complete with quote from fellow Chaser, Chas Licciardello (that’s the guy who played Osama in the above stunt). In case you can’t see it on the cover, Chas writes, ‘If Nick Hornby and the Buddha wrote a book together, it’d be much better than this one’. Funny, but with a grain of truth because Knight’s writing reminds me of an Australian Hornsby.
Disco Boy is unashamedly Australian (nothing wrong with that, except the novel is set in Sydney – blergh). It makes the most of picturesque settings such as Sydney Harbour, ferries as a form of transport and the great weather. Sydney/Melbourne arguments aside, this book delightfully captures the musings of Paul, who has a degree in law but is trying to refuse the conveyor belt to hell of CBD law firms and the working day that never stops. So, he’s living with his parents, doing DJ gigs to make some money while he works on his music and lazes about. Unfortunately for Paul, his DJ savvy turns to nothing after a poor choice of song on a harbour cruise and he quits. He is then enticed back to his law firm (short term, part time –really!) where he lusts after lawyer Felicity, while fighting off the younger Emily then pouring it all out to friend Zoe. Surely every man would like three lovely ladies in his life?
In between hilariously satirical mishaps (and I do mean hilarious – Knight has a talent for this), Disco Boy counts down great party songs from 40 to 1 culminating in a somewhat predictable ending, but pleasing all the same. I finished this book with a smile on my face – it’s light and entertaining Aussie fiction, something we don’t have enough of. It also pokes fun at the need to be one better all the time – we all should just cut it out and stop pretending like Paul.