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Fidel  [message #76680] Fri, 27 March 2020 17:31 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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I thnk Fidel is going to be challenging. The first chapter paints a very harsh scene



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Fidel  [message #76685 is a reply to message #76680] Sat, 28 March 2020 06:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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The name of the main character is also the title for the book and no doubt hints at the nature of the story, Fidel (faithful). He loves his younger brother, but is forced to flee his home life, the protagonist is not a handsome boy, but good natured to the core and imbued with a dramatic naive sense of right and wrong. Often such stories are peppered with experiences from the author's life, but certainly reflect the period which they describe. Probably, one needs to understand Australia, its history and culture, the seventies saw the first Labour party led by Gough Whitlam come to power, but riddled by scandal it was dismissed three years later in 1975, by the governor general. 

Australia had profited from a post war economic boom, but as a country and people of essentially working class origins it was extremely racist, dominated by a work ethic and masculine world view, that dictated the culture. Power and brute force, both reflected in the opening chapter, the man of the house as the bread winner, the woman in her place at home, and the kids beaten and whipped into line as they were dragged up. The brutality of Fidel's home life is mirrored by the brutality of the police, just as the institutionalised racism reflects the country at that time.

You can't, I think, understand the story without some notion of the cultural background of Australia, a country which has parallels with America. It is interesting how both countries emerged from British colonies and reflected their violence even on the sports field. America has its armoured football, Australia, its equally brutal version of the game. Working class games for the deprived classes, developed to their extremes.

Interesting first chapter by a talented and well known author.

Re: Fidel  [message #76700 is a reply to message #76685] Tue, 31 March 2020 01:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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You can't help but be pulled in by Fidel, the main protagonist, and follow him turn by turn, incident by incident, tight spot through breath gasping tight spot, and on to the great ending that by now we all know will be there with this author. 



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Fidel  [message #76724 is a reply to message #76700] Mon, 13 April 2020 06:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
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Fidel has reached a corner with chapter 8. I wonder what you will think as it moves forwards.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Fidel  [message #76725 is a reply to message #76724] Mon, 13 April 2020 11:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Much as I admire Rigby Taylor as an author I didn't get past chapter two where the narrative goes into a somewhat self-indulgent, on the part of the author, diatribe lamenting the state of the Australian economy. "What is a proper job?" He poses the question for which he goes on to give us the answer, from his point of view. I understand having some background, I said so much in my previous comment, but for me this was rather excessive and I'm not sure that it had a place in the novel. I may be wrong, perhaps it fixes and roots the whole story, but that would be for someone else to comment, because that's where I left it.
Re: Fidel  [message #76788 is a reply to message #76724] Mon, 27 April 2020 16:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Things have taken a truly ominous turn. Fidel has moved from satire to something quite different



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Fidel  [message #76794 is a reply to message #76725] Tue, 28 April 2020 02:35 Go to previous message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"Talo Segura wrote on Mon, 13 April 2020 04:40"
...the narrative goes into a somewhat self-indulgent, on the part of the author, diatribe lamenting the state of the Australian economy....

--
Having previously read everything I could find from Rigby Taylor about a year ago, I can say there's a method to Rigby's seeming madness in this regard. It seems quite evident to me having readd all of his work that, with the exceptionof one story that seems more autobiographical, the "diatribe" you refer to is part of, and important to the larger narrative of the overall story he is telling, as the individual books are interconnected with the characters and succeeding timelines. 

The overall plot of all the books combined is somewhat remaniscent of Tom Clancy's "Jack Ryan" novels in that they're loosely connected storys that build on a theme. It's all good stuff. 



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
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