I was watching The Road Warrior the other day. (I know, right? I hadn't either.) It was at the part where Max's car, the last of the V8 Interceptors, is ruined, and he gets flown back to the oil rig and kind of has to make a decision about what he does next. And I thought: Wow, this reminds me so much of The Bee-Loud Glade.
Which is not to say that The Bee-Loud Glade perfectly encapsulates a dystopian/post-apocalyptic Australian sub-continent punk esthetic. It doesn't! At all. But it is to say that this book, written by my friend Steve: not only did I love it, but it genuinely affected me, seeping into my brain & being, and becoming part of the cultural (pop- and otherwise) lens through which I experience the world.
I think this book hit me at the right time. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the manuscript last year, and all I really knew about it was that it was about someone living off the grid. So I waited to read it until I was on vacation at the beach for a week. No internet and no TV, you know? OK yes I read it on my Kindle but still. That's actually fitting. This isn't an anti-technology book. It's not an us vs them book, or a turning-back-the-clock book. It's something else, something much bigger, more honest and meaningful and universal, and more fun, too.
I am hesitant to talk too much about what it was about, for me. But I have lived in the country and I have lived in the city. I have not known my neighbors, and I have hated my neighbors for letting me know far too much about them. I have struggled, my whole life, with wanting to be left alone, and wanting to be part of something bigger. So when I read this book, it just sang to me. No reservations or complaints or hesitations whatsoever. I am really glad that it exists.