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The Adversary


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Product Description

A story about sexuality, the ache of friendship and love, and sticky summers at the pool, this exhilarating debut novel captures the heartbeat of one transformative summer where alliances are made and broken.

‘I was an agent of Dan, a captive of his, really. I went where he wanted me, and did as he wanted, and for a long time, in this way, I was happy.’

It’s been a long winter in a creaky house in Brunswick, where a young man has devoted himself to recreational showers, staring at his phone, and speculating on the activities of his best friend and housemate, Dan. But now summer is coming, and Dan has found a boyfriend and a job, so the young man is being pushed out into the world, in search of friendship and love.

The Adversary is a sticky summer novel about young people exploring their sexuality and their sociability, where everything smells like sunscreen and tastes like beer, but affections and alliances have consequences. It asks what kinds of stories are possible – or desirable – for which kinds of friendships, and what happens when you follow those stories to their natural conclusions.

Author: Ronnie Scott

Trade Paperback  Published 15 April 2020  256 pages

"Ronnie Scott’s debut novel The Adversary is set during what appears to be an uneventful Melbourne summer but actually sees a lot happening to its protagonist. Languishing in emotional and social paralysis, Scott’s unnamed narrator is confronting an eroding friendship with his housemate Dan and the prospect of a long, stifling summer of ennui. A trip down the coast with newfound friends forms a turning point, with a cocktail of drugs and alcohol—and a cut foot—triggering some sobering realisations. Scott skilfully lays bare his protagonist’s many social and­ sexual doubts, highlighting how they contribute to his self-sabotaging as he struggles to make meaningful connections while orbiting a small social world. Sites across Melbourne act as queer touchstones—from the Fitzroy pool to Richmond’s harsh high-rises—furnishing the book with a local and relatable feel, while also showing that every city has spaces where social friction and friendships play out, gay or otherwise. Scott adeptly mines the complexities of queer desire and kinship, revealing how bonds between queer men—whether as friends, lovers or in-between—can be vague and undefined but also anchoring and deeply affecting at the same time. The Adversary is a moving and revelatory book and is sure to join the queer Australian canon." Books + Publishing



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Expected release date is 15th Apr 2020


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