The Amateur Science Of Love

Craig Sherborne

The Amateur Science Of Love
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The Amateur Science Of Love

Craig Sherborne

They say we fall in love. But really we fall in sickness. I lost appetite for food in those two nights with Tilda. My stomach was sunken in its wishbone cavity. Me, I was never sick, but I was sick now, the strangest sickness that made my eyes gleam green with excellent health. They had shiny white edges. My cheeks were glossed in a fresh oil of pink. Colin dreams of escaping his parents' New Zealand farm for a grand stage career. He makes it to London and a disastrous audition before meeting Tilda - beautiful Tilda, older, an artist - who brings his future with her. A heady romance leads to a new home in a decaying former bank in a small town hours from Melbourne. They are building a life together - but there are cracks in the foundation. This is a love story, told from passionate beginning to spectacular end. It is intimate and honest, blackly funny and emotionally devastating.

Review

Writing is where you go to tell the truth, but it’s also a place of art. To reproduce what’s real simply isn’t good enough. From Hoi Polloi to Muck, this great memoirist has given us reason to embrace the blurred distinction between biography and fiction. It is unsurprising then that Sherborne has granted us a novel where its protagonist is writing his ‘testimony’ in secret from his wife for reasons he can only describe as a deep unhappiness. Yet this is no grievous account, but a trapeze act swinging between tragedy and farce.

Colin, a young Kiwi lad with ambition and swagger, escapes the Antipodes only to fall in love with an older Australian woman in London – Tilda. And so their European tryst sees them return home so giddy and drunk on themselves that they head to the Wimmera Plains with no other plan than to paint Van Gogh’s and have sex. Alas, the bite of bliss has sting in its tail and soon both are faced with the complexities of obligation and commitment. Simmering beneath are fizzled dreams and the sweet poison of desire.

What follows is an acute portrait of the collected wounds and humility in a relationship tested by age, illness and even deformity. Ideas about vanity and selfishness remain central to the book, and we are left wondering who of the two is more narcissistic. But this isn’t a question Colin seeks to answer. His story is more flawed as he decides who and what gains admission to this testimony. It’s apparent he is searching for a reason, an excuse, a meaning for love. Thus it’s an introspective novel, one that dives deep into the fissures of the soul, yet able to stop and laugh at the comedies of life.

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 Read reviewThe Amateur Science Of Love

The Amateur Science Of Love

Craig Sherborne

Colin dreams of escaping his parents' New Zealand farm for a grand stage career. He makes it to London and a disastrous audition before meeting Tilda; beautiful Tilda, older, an artist; who brings his future with her. A heady...

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Muck

Muck

Craig Sherborne

With their only son on the brink of adolescence, the nouveaux-riches Sherbornes move away from the city to start a new, gentrified existence on a 300-acre farm - or estate - in Taonga, New Zealand. But life on the farm is anything...

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Hoi Polloi

Hoi Polloi

Craig Sherborne

Recounts a childhood spent on racetracks and in bars, as the author's parents struggle to climb the social ladder in New Zealand. Living above the bar of his family's hotel, Craig is exposed to violence, drinking and murky racial...

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Muck

Muck

Craig Sherborne

Opens in NZ in late 1970s on a big dairy farm the narrator's parents have brought to be their estate and his legacy.

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Hoi Polloi

Hoi Polloi

Craig Sherborne

A gritty memoir by an outstanding journalist. Describes the world of seedy pubs, horseracing, sex, crime and new money.

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Necessary Evil

Necessary Evil

Craig Sherborne

In this volume of poems Craig Sherborne takes up some of the themes explored in his riveting memoir 'Hoi Poloi'. Magnificent and realistic poems of family, racing and journalism.

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