I love Fredy Neptune.
This verse novel is probably the most startling reading experience I have had in some time. It is a literary achievement on a scale with Homer: imagining Homer was a contemporary Australian that is, and, if someone had told me that it had taken the author most of their life to write, I could have believed them. You may have to put all you’ve heard about Les Murray – from him or others – to the most furthest pocket of your mind to grasp this: hard, but try.
It’s worth it.
There is a marvelous ebb and flow to the often lyric verse that allows the story to really sneak up on you. It is, perhaps, not something to read in one sitting, or even two or three. You need to let it settle. Murray has managed to weld together a kind of modern Australian uber-narrative with a great yarn, a pure, poetry-breathing experience, and an uncompromising authenticity with how it depicts and engages with the modern human experience. It is both touching and brash.
It is the poet made a poem.