It's the middle of February and all over Auckland the lights are going out. Samuel Usher is a data-retrieval specialist: a broken man working on broken machines. Sam's drinking too much, taking too many drugs - trying to get by. Until he meets Candy and Jules, two drifting mathematicians, each after a Holy Grail - the one perfect theory that will make their worlds complete. After five years together, neither is getting any closer to their goal. As for Sam - he just wants Candy. And for a while, it looks as if he may have her. Then Jules is found in a coma, and Candy disappears. All Sam's left with is a strange list of numbers and three words: ANYWAY FREEDOM GOODBYE. Sam's pursuit of the truth will lead him into an underworld of chaos and turbulence, where numbers rule and love and friendship collide.
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(197mm x 130mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
After losing his long-term girlfriend and as a consequence of doing too much booze and drugs, computer-whiz Sam Usher falls in with an oddly glamorous couple in downtown Auckland. The man, Jules, is something of a mystery himself, involved in abstruse mathematics but with diplomatic connections. His lover Candy is a rather more hard-boiled egghead, an expert on chaos theory and the dynamics of water. And it's not long before the three of them start to hang out together, doing drugs the way they do teabags in Coronation Street. Then when Jules is found battered almost to death and in a coma, and Candy does a disappearing act, our gallant cokehead hero sets out to find answers to a few questions that have been bothering him, and that's when the Big Trouble starts. Packed into the last 80 pages of this snappy yarn are enough near-death experiences to last most people a lifetime, if that's not a tautology. While the book may be a bit short on fleshing out its characters, the plot is beautifully paced. Apart from Sam, the sardonic Philip Marlowe of the Antipodes, Jules and Candy remain little more than problems to be solved in this puzzling but satisfying story. Yet satisfying it most definitely is: mystery piles upon mystery with intriguing consistency, though never so as to confuse the reader - merely to baffle him! Electric may be shocking at times (just like the real thing), but it is never less than gripping: it almost makes you want to go to Auckland, and there's no higher praise than that! (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Chad Taylor
Chad Taylor was born in 1964. He is the author of six novels and two collections of short stories. His second novel, Heaven, was made into a Miramax feature film, for which he wrote the screenplay. Shirker, his first book to be published outside New Zealand, has been translated into five languages. He lives and works in New Zealand, where he was awarded the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship for literature in 2001.