Chemical Palace

Overview

This novel journeys into the heart of the Sydney, Australia queer dance-party culture. It follows a group of friends through their lives of raves, relationships, and creative endeavors as they struggle against the adversity of harsh city life to create bacchanalian fantasies. Their interwoven paths of creativity, hedonism, tragedy, and love lead to celebrations and rituals whose echoes sound throughout their lives long after sunrise. Depicted through prose that captures the rhythms of the dance clubs are the ...
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Overview

This novel journeys into the heart of the Sydney, Australia queer dance-party culture. It follows a group of friends through their lives of raves, relationships, and creative endeavors as they struggle against the adversity of harsh city life to create bacchanalian fantasies. Their interwoven paths of creativity, hedonism, tragedy, and love lead to celebrations and rituals whose echoes sound throughout their lives long after sunrise. Depicted through prose that captures the rhythms of the dance clubs are the heat, the sweat, the excess, the work behind the play, and the fallow periods of stillness and foment.


About the Author:
Fiona McGregor is the author of the novel Au Pair and the short story collection Suck My Toes.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
McGregor's ambitious second novel (after Au Pair) attempts a panoramic portrayal of a group of queer renegades in Sydney whose intertwining lives from the 1970s to the 1990s revolve around gay bars, parties, music, dancing, drugs, alcohol, and sex. McGregor's themes are the alienation, dissipation, ennui, and disease of a subculture steeped in hedonism, narcissism, and aimlessness. The novel's seemingly endless cast of characters includes James Holmes, a DJ also known as Mr. Hyde; traffic and Billy, a dysfunctional lesbian couple; Sailor, a junkie who has an affair with traffic; and the Professor, another drug addict and an aficionado of anonymous sex. Lacking an overall plot, the novel relies on the varied sexual couplings of the characters and the openings and closings of party venues to denote the passing years. Furthermore, McGregor's writing style, with its sentence fragments, undifferentiated dialog, and frequently uncapitalized personal names, confuses an already sketchy narrative. The story is occasionally interrupted by the author's penchant for poems and lists, including a lengthy list of sexual "Hanky Codes" and a one-page list of "Useful Activities for the Restless Speed Freak." Given its stylistic peculiarities and its excessive length, this novel could be an exasperating experience for readers, who may want to add it to their own list: "Ten Worst Gay Novels of the Year."-Joseph M. Eagan, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781865087641
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.15 (d)

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