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Book Review

By Jill Smith © Oct 2009

Title: The True Story of Butterfish

Author: Nick Earls

Publisher: Vintage Books (Random House)

(picture of Nick from his website)

Curtis Holland is an overweight former rock star, trying to find out who he really is, after many manic years. His father died while he was on the down swing from the circus ride, and his brother Patrick was left at home to deal with the details. Curtis carries with him guilt and many unanswered questions about his fathers’ life.

His return to his hometown Brisbane and the obscurity of suburban life, exploring a new career as a producer of a musical treat for a Norwegian band, Curtis is confronted by neighbors.  Meeting sixteen year old schoolgirl Annaliese, is a revelation, because she knows a great deal about him courtesy of Google, (much more than he is comfortable with her knowing). She has a great singing voice and leaves him feeling awkward and embarrassed with her blatant sexual advances.  Her brother Mark is also a challenge, with his secret tropical fish breeding program and porn writing money making schemes, Curtis becomes a kind of male role model for him. Their mother Kate intrigues Curtis in many ways, enough to buy her a sharp cooking knife and show her simple cooking techniques, as she struggles with being a single mum after a disaster of a marriage.

Add to this mix Derek, the star of the Butterfish band and founding co-band member, song writer, ex-friend and totally fame crazed junkie living in LA, who drops in for a short time visit, and there is a volatile situation.

Nick Earls presents a ‘what if’ very credibly in this book and leaves the reader questioning parts their own life experiences.  What would it be like to live the roller coaster, publicity machine life of world famous rock star then crash back down to reality to live in suburban Brisbane?

I enjoyed this book that was simultaneously written as a script and is now being produced on stage. Having listened to the ABC interview that Nick Earls did with lead band member Rob Reiner from ‘ANVIL’, I believe this was the catalyst for this creation. When Rob answered Nick saying the band was doing well but his relationship with fellow founding band member was another story. I could nearly hear Nick’s brain screaming ‘What if?’ For you to share the answer he imagined: buy a copy from Dymocks $32.95 on line, or Angus & Robertson on line $31.95.


About jillswrites

I am a writer of SciFi Books 'Dual Visions' and it's follow up 'Vashla's world'. I also write book reviews, articles and short stories. Several of my short stories appear in a collaborative book for children called Fan-tas-tic-al Tales written in conjunction with my fellow members of The Ten Penners, this was a follow-up book to 'Shock, Horror, Gasp'. Fan-tas-tic-al Tales was released in 2009, now available in hard copy and on Amazon. We are currently in the completing our next adventure based anthology called 'Mystery, Mayhem & Magic' scheduled for release later in 2017. As a member of BookCoasters the Gold Coast Library blog, complementing my own blog, I enjoy blog being able to showcase my work. My book reviews appear in PIO (Pass It On) and e-Writeabout. I'm a happy Grandmother to two beautiful girls, wife of the ever tolerant Clive, mother of our son Simon. I work part time and lead a busy life.
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