A man walks into a Sydney bookshop and buys some books on the Pacific Islands, his area of interest. On subsequent visits he gets to know the owner and is encouraged to start up a relationship with the owner’s wife. This takes place in the back of another shop run by the wife. Sex is unrestrained but depersonalised, which seems to suit both of them. The wife wants no ties. ‘You can choke on the past or you can let it open out into the future.’ But after a while the man, our author, wants to know more about her. She resists and their liaison collapses. This reads like a true story, and may well have been. The author, Martin Edmond, keeps us guessing, and this links in with the nature of much of this book.
Edmond is a searcher, an investigator of people and events that are open to interpretation. He defines himself as a quest junkie. ‘Without quest I become dangerous both to myself and others; without quest I am prey to ennui, self-loathing and worse.’ He takes us on a variety of quests