Drivers caught in the act when they believe they are unobserved at the traffic lights, collectible toys from the cereal packets of yore, awkward dinner party conversations and the messy universe of the young are all in safe hands here. The snapshots of every day life provide glorious material for FULL BORE, another celebration by author William McInnes of what richness can be found in the small moments.
The author, in both writing and speaking mode, is a master at going off on a tangent and then circling back to his original rumination. McInnes can be a bit Douglas Adams ala THE HITCH HIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY in this regard. You get the impression that nothing is wasted in this author’s day; all his small observations of the lives of others are retained and plopped into a basket of thoughts after which any may be usefully extracted as required. Having heard him speak several times at writers’ festivals, I can happily say that he can reproduce this whip smart narration on the spot at a moment’s notice – he is frighteningly sharp and probably quite terrifying to interview.
The scattered memoir books of McInnes are all similar in style and successful in drawing back Australian readers into what it was like growing up and maturing in the Australian suburbs. Sport features a fair bit. Random encounters with strangers provide a lot of whimsical material. So do the numerous snapshots featuring family, friends and colleagues. The latter category is quite vast as McInnes crammed a lot into his professional life whilst raising his kids and sometimes working alongside his late wife, Sarah Watt. Regardless of where McInnes sources his material from, it all manages to be relatable content.
McInnes always gives the impression that he takes nothing for granted and that all of life’s experiences are worthwhile. They might end up in a bestselling book one day. It is true – William McInnes is a born storyteller, spinner of yarns and writer of a solid collection of very entertaining books about Australian life. Funny to read and full of laconic warmth, these works will resonate, regardless from whatever piece of Australian it is that you hail from.
FULL BORE, as is with the other works by this author, does leave you feeling a little bit melancholic about our shared Australian past but reassures us that life goes on and that there will always be much more to experience. The best parts of it are still there in the every day and the bells and whistles were never what it was all about.