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Winner of the Miles Franklin in 1985 and certainly an interesting choice The writing is excellent and the story is fine but the presentation just feels too forced It now has a certain feel that it may have been of its time Richard Miller a polio ridden child of WW2 takes his enquiring mind and his actors needs to the bright lights of Melbourne and then Sydney and drags himself into the culturally changing world of the 1960 s The reader is constantly engaged in the Doubleman thoughts of a cou Winner of the Miles Franklin in 1985 and certainly an interesting choice The writing is excellent and the story is fine but the presentation just feels too forced It now has a certain feel that it may have been of its time Richard Miller a polio ridden child of WW2 takes his enquiring mind and his actors needs to the bright lights of Melbourne and then Sydney and drags himself into the culturally changing world of the 1960 s The reader is constantly engaged in the Doubleman thoughts of a couple of characters with Richard, for me at least, being the most important His thinking seems to lead from one direction to the other with a final burst of religious idealism that makes for a thoughtful ending though one that leaves the reader to decide what is happening The author is seemingly aware, or been a fan, of the acoustic and electric folk upheavals of the 60 s and also aware of the influence of occultist Aleister Crowley For me this lay heavily on the story late and as much as I enjoyed the book it just seemed a slightly ham fisted attempt to make the underground scene in Sydney something it was not One historical error is that the band that is central to the story is an electric folk band and their time is 1964 65 with their big influence Pentangle Pentangle did not form until 1967 I doubt that the author cared for pedants like me though I had never heard of magic mushroom cookies either Maybe someone can tell me different on that In the end an enjoyable read, very good writer and look forward to readingby him, but not a book worthy of the Miles Franklin Award in my view Koch starts his story out in Hobart, Tasmania, a part of the world I know nothing about, but hope to visit someday Three young Tasmanians come of age in this story with lives woven together like leaves on Palm Sunday starting out from St Augustine s boy s school Women of all ages figure big in the plot. Reminds me of There is no question that Christopher Koch is a great Australian writer and that his words flow across the page s with great eloquence and the surety of a master of his craft.The Doubleman, which was awarded the Miles Franklin prize in 1985, is surely a fine example the author s talent, and yet I found it, ultimately, to be not quite satisfying.It didn t quite measure up to his later 1995 Miles Franklin award winner, Highways To a War, set in the killing fields of Vietnam and Cambodia, which had There is no question that Christopher Koch is a great Australian writer and that his words flow across the page s with great eloquence and the surety of a master of his craft.The Doubleman, which was awarded the Miles Franklin prize in 1985, is surely a fine example the author s talent, and yet I found it, ultimately, to be not quite satisfying.It didn t quite measure up to his later 1995 Miles Franklin award winner, Highways To a War, set in the killing fields of Vietnam and Cambodia, which had me riveted from first to last.The Doubleman contains elements of Koch s own life his upbringing in the post war streets of Hobart, Tasmania and his career as a radio producer with Australia s national broadcaster.The novel begins with great promise, introducing the narrator, Richard Miller, then a young boy overcoming the effects of a bout of polio, which left him with a limp We soon meet, on the cold and gloomy streets, the enigmatic and mysterious Clive Broderick, whose pivotal role in the novel is, dealt with all to briefly We also quickly get to know Brian Brady, Richard s cousin, and the manipulative, occasionally manic, Darcy Burr.Broderick teaches Brady and Burr to play guitar, inculcating in them a desire to make their living from playing music.As a young man Richard Miller leaves Tasmania, first seeking work first in Melbourne, and then in Sydney, where the opportunities are greater He gains employment as a producer of radio and television programs, meets his future wife, Katrin, a post war refugee from Estonia, and becomes re acquainted with Brady and Burr from his youth, who are now part of a reasonably successful band.And so is created Thomas and the Rymers, featuring Brady, Burr and Katrin, produced by Richard, and playing a new brand of electric folk and fairy music.Swift success is inevitably followed by disintegration, as ambition, the influence of drugs and the other baggage that comes with success and commercial realities take a harmful toll on all concerned.Koch has managed to incorporate a number of themes into this intelligent novel, including the music of the 1960s, elements of the occult, post war European migration to Australia, and the coming of age tale of a young man guided by a beautiful but lonely older woman Deidre , the trophy wife of a rich man.Despite the coherence and intelligence and the inclusion of many brilliant passages of writing, the plot just didn t fully engage my attention all the way through.After a very promising start, the middle section drifted a little and the ending lacked coherence and satisfaction.I had expected Broderick to play a much larger role in the narrative, but he was relegated to a background influence he could have been such an interesting character.Notwithstanding my criticisms, this is still a really good novel and definitely worth taking the time to read En Espa a se public con el t tulo de El doble Me dio a conocer la lejana Tasmania, su capital Hobart y despu s Australia El tema de la m sica folk me entusiasm. This is the first novel I have read of this writer and I was truly impressed I found his descriptions of the folk music scene of the time really good It took me back to that time and took me back to that era I hung out in that scene at that time so the setting resonated. .E-PUB ☨ The Doubleman ☪ In the sleazy coffee bars of bohemian Sydney the Rymers were born For a generation they offered access to a world of illusion and enthralment Marrying the ancestral energies of immigrant ballads to the faeryworld of the European occult, this electric folk group seemed to embody the questing religious spirit of a decade They had the enigmatic voice of an East European refugee, the instrumental skills of a vagrant country singer, the inspired arrangements of a self educated Tasmanian mystic The universe was double They couldn t fail But as the group stood on the threshold of international stardom, the darker side of enchantment started to assert its presence In a miasma of sexual jealousy, magic mushrooms and apocalyptic mysticism, the fragile collaboration that had shaped their music began to fall apart An interesting Australian novel.