I've seen The Future and and it's ... Noir. Tobacco- stained noir at that.
Andrez Bergen's brilliant Tobacco-StainedMountain Goat is set in a Dystopian version of Melbourne, in a not too
distant future, after some sort of catastrophe has wiped out the rest of the world.
The city itself is split into different parts. The uptown area is known as The Dome, a squeaky clean and shining consumerist paradise where the plastic surgery enhanced and empty headed rich live.
Outside the Dome, though, it's a little different. These are dangerous and mean streets, riddled with run down bars, fast food joints.
Now, most Deviants are 'relocated' elsewhere, keeping the city straight, but some go on the run and it's the job of
the Seekers to track them down.
Floyd Maquina is such a Seeker, enrolled so he can afford to
pay for his wife's hospital bills. Maquina is a great creation - a boozy, chain-smoking,smart mouthed amalgam of every Private Eye you've ever seen n the silver screen.
Since the late part of the twentieth century, so many of us have seen the real world filtered through the television or film cameraman's lens.
And Floyd Maquina is just one of those people.
As is Bergen, of course. T obbacco-StainedMountain Goat is littered, almost cluttered, with cultural references from
Sam Spade to Kurosowa to Cabaret Voltaire to, more obviously, Blade Runner. And is in danger at times of drowning in the stuff but it doesn't, due mainly to the great characters and Andrez Bergen's witty, snappy and immensely
With Tobacco-StainedMountain Goat , Bergen has created one of the most vibrant, inventive, exciting, funny
and purely enjoyable novels I've read since I don't know when. There's no other way to say it: I loved this book and I want more!