Published 11 October 2016 Paperback • ISBN 9781922198266 • 150 pages • RRP $22.95 Ebook • ISBN 9781922198273 • RRP $9.99
“a raucous, dramatic, very funny book … compulsively readable” — Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald
“Abel’s story fits into the genre of a man recounting the follies and angst of his youth … the experimental storytelling and the unconventional style mixes it up enough that it remains interesting and somehow fresh.” — Good Reading magazine
Pull the pin, hear the ping, silver ball bounce and ding… Abel Jackson Marvin is in a coma reliving the pinball game of his life – the bumps and ricochets of bushfire, family breakup, heroic rescues, disabling and fatal accidents, marriage, fatherhood – while a clock counts away the seconds of his life and a female voice urges him to give a full account of himself.
Throughout Abel’s time-travels in his foggy stream-of consciousness are two constants: his granny’s tray of sweeties ‘to balance out life’s nasties’ and the other members of the ‘Pinnie Basement Gang’, his best friends George and Roma. Roma’s pinball mantra keeps interrupting that other female voice as she sends him spinning into another memory: the night she slipped in through the basement window dragging a bottle of vodka, and hypnotised him with her magical hands.
As the 3D visions flash before his eyes, Abel must decide whether to keep the silver ball on the playfield, or let the ball drain away: game over.
“Abel ponders the strangely cyclical nature of life: bushfires, love affairs, broken families, and superheroes all recur throughout his story. The non-linear narrative style helps to reinforce how surreal the process of living can be. The stream of consciousness style won’t suit every reader. There are relatively few line breaks and there is no standard punctuation to indicate speech; sentences often run into each other or curl away at strange angles into new anecdotes or afterthoughts. This leads to hypnotic walls of text that seem daunting, but they are ultimately poetic once you grab onto them. Abel’s story fits into the genre of a man recounting the follies and angst of his youth, accompanied by side tales about sultry older women and quirky girls who all wanted to sleep with him. But the strangeness of the experimental storytelling and the unconventional style mixes it up enough that it remains interesting and somehow fresh.” — Alex Henderson, Good Reading magazine, November 2016
“Leon Silver has written an entertaining tale that carries the reader through a man’s life in one long, engaging verse. Sweeties is a reminder of the pinball-game nature of life, with its random bumps and bonus scores. And that a man can be a hero and not a saint.” — Robert Fairhead, NSW Writers' Centre