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Drowning in the Shallows Paperback – 16 April 2020
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His girlfriend dumped him, he writes about bars for a dying newspaper that's abandoned news reporting for lifestyle articles, and he's desperately searching for meaning amongst the backdrop of Sydney's shallow social and dating scene.
Then he meets a young woman at a party who just might be the answer to his life's meaninglessness. However, she's only 19 - and one of his student's friends.
This is a novel about a man who tries to curb his sleazier tendencies as he learns they're not only pathetic but also the cause of - and not the solution to - his problems.
About the Author
He launched, ran and wrote the very popular BarZine blog before starting his own media training, writing and editing consultancy business.
- Publisher : Melbourne Books (16 April 2020)
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1925556794
- ISBN-13 : 978-1925556797
- Dimensions : 14 x 2.1 x 20.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 323,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- 15,392 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Dan was always one of the funniest writers at the Sydney Morning Herald and his talent and wit shines through in Drowning in the Shallows. Dan has a unique writing style that is not only immensely funny, but also has you cheering on his self-deprecating journalist-slash-teacher-slash bar reviewer (yes, humiliation does make for great copy). The characters are recognisable and well-realised and the story flows nicely. It can feel in Sydney that if you’re not six feet tall and wearing a expensive three-piece suit tailored to fit your gym honed biceps that you are invisible – and those opening night events and parties can make you feel like you’re in Logan’s Run, where the age cut-off is 30 – which is why David is an underdog hero you can cheer on and love.
Perhaps, as he says, journos really are less popular than used car salesman. But time spent with Dan’s hero David is time well-spent indeed … and a great antidote for our dark times.
A funny insight into a man's mind as he navigates the tough world of Sydney Journalism. Work is drying up, teaching is unfulfilling and researching stories leads him into some of the more seedy underbellies in Sydney events and venues.
David struggles with finding connection in the shallow Sydney Bar scene, which judges people solely on looks, money and job status. Yes, he thinks a few sleazy things here and there, but when he tries to follow through and act the way other men do he finds a soft inner-core and values seem to get in the way. Ultimately David is just looking for love. He finds more love from his vicious cat than from any of his friends or accquaintances.
I laughed out loud and my heart broke as I read. I enjoyed revisiting bars and clubs in Sydney virtually through this novel and empathised with David's search for meaning.
Top reviews from other countries
Meet David, who is falling out of journalism as the media industry hits freefall. He still reviews bars and events for his old newspaper but now earns his money from teaching journalism rather than doing it. He's looking for love and free drinks in all the wrong b-list places, screwing up, getting beat up and losing his mind.
Along the way there are a lot of laughs, mostly at David's expense, as he pursues his obsession with the beautiful Amy, who is not quite, not technically at least, one of his students.
The novel could be called loser fiction (think Bukowski or Henry Miller) and while there is little or no redemption, there is a lot of humour. David, picked on by his cat, disdained and bullied by his students and prey to existential angst, manages to put himself into one ridiculous situation after another.