|In this stunning sequel to Educating Nicolas, Tom Fisher does it again; probing in his inimical, semi-autobiographical way beneath social appearances to explore underlying realities in the lives of Australian boys.
The highly erotic yet at once heart-moving career of Jim Harris, a social historian afflicted with a lone, detached writer’s mind; from his own rough bush childhood and failed marriage, through the loss of virginity of his soul-friend Lauro, the hippy indigo child Bhavah, and the Aboriginal ward Daniel.
Against a background of mothers; of women both supportive and scorned, and of the moralising, entrenched bureaucracy conflicting with Jim’s peripatetic life-trajectory, the reader is again left to wonder who is sane.
Truthfully written in response to policy debate over sexuality and abuse, scenes of intimacy are finely crafted, thought-provoking, illuminating; as one reviewer wrote:
Tom Fisher’s ‘A Somewhat Different Life’ calls onto centre stage the harm done to boys and young men, especially in considering whether a dose of tolerance mediated by broad community understanding works better than guilt, shame, ignorance, and violence.
Proscribed in the US, this is the work of a skilled and mature novelist pursuing contemporary themes; the 67,000 word manuscript completed in less than 30 days. Not a bad effort for such good writing.