Books & Literature

Book Review: Dry Crossing, by Russell Guy

After a life with the partying “in” crowd of Sydney, Dizzy Roundabout breaks free and spends the next decade travelling across Australia with his guitar and band.

Dizzy Roundabout travelled across Australia with his guitar and band almost continuously for a decade. Prior to that, he’d been living with the “in” crowd in Sydney – full of booze, drugs and people that had the “right” look until he finally had a gut full of it all and escaped to the Outback.

What follows is a tale of how he had come to terms with escaping the city life (is it fear keeping him where he is or a turn towards a better life?), how he was discovered by an Aboriginal band while busking in Alice Springs (they asked him to join the band) and how his life progresses from there.

drycrossing200As Dizzy gets older, he starts to question what he really wants – does he want the fame and fortune the band is now being offered, does he want a place on his own under the stars, or does he want the woman who may or may not be bothered to wait for him on the station not far from Alice Springs?

As per all good redemption tales, there is a person he meets towards the end that unofficially becomes his guide – a missionary. He doesn’t push Dizzy in any direction but is there to help and when asked, advises, but is it what Dizzy needs to hear and can he do what he needs to do?

Russell Guy is an Australian author and, like his main character, Dizzy, he has been in the music industry. He was in bands, produced records and was a breakfast radio DJ before turning to writing. He knows exactly what he is talking about, not just within the music industry but in his depiction of the Outback and of the characters – those with itchy feet and the need to travel, the need to spend time under the stars to get their head right.

The descriptions of a travelling lifestyle are fascinating and certainly outside of the sphere of your everyday suburban lifestyle. In some ways, this can make it slightly harder for a reader who isn’t as familiar with some of the terminology and some depictions, as there are assumptions made that the reader will know about Outback life. Grammatically, there are also some paragraphs where too many pronouns are used. This means you may need to read these sections a few times to work out which character did what to who and where.

All in all, Guy has certainly written an original story that will definitely be a read for those interested in life in Outback Australia.

Reviewed by Michelle Baylis

Rating out of 10:  6

Publisher:  Boolarong Press
Release Date:  March 2015
RRP: $24.99 paperback, $9.99 eBook

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