Review Blog

Aug 27 2019

The pillars by Peter Polites

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Hachette, 2019. ISBN: 9780733640186
(Age: Adult) Themes: Identity, LGBTQI+, Consumerism, Racism.
Pano, a Greek Australian gay guy has been commandeered by his housemate/landlord into campaigning against the proposed mosque in their neighbourhood, because of its posited impact on house values; and the schemes that he and Kane become involved in are both funny and horrible at the same time. Pano is an aspiring writer, he is sensitive and thoughtful, but he is always at the beck and call of others, powerless in relationships that verge on callous and abusive.
The author's style of writing is humorous and ironic, the reader is engaged by the wit, but the subjects are dark, dealing with racism, classism, exploitation, predatory sex and 'indifferent relationships'.
When Pano reaches an all-time low, it seems the only way forward is to play the same game as his abusers.
The novel is clever and well written; it exposes elements of Australian life we might not like to confront. Not a story for everyone, but no doubt authentic in its portrayal of marginalisation.
Teachers/librarians are advised the book contains explicit sex scenes.
Helen Eddy

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