I defy anyone to read the first chapter of The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong and not be completely sucked in:
I’m wedged towards the rear corner, driver’s side, so close I can smell the hot plastics of the tail light… The cable ties are drawn tight around both wrists, cutting into the flesh… The feet, from whom I’ve heard nothing lately, must be in a similar predicament; more cable ties drawn around the ankles… My breath is hissing in and out of my nose, my mouth tightly taped.’
And there we find Darren, in the boot of a car, on the Geelong to Melbourne road, with a bullet in his right knee, and without any real sense of why he’s there. We traverse through his childhood, growing up in the working-class western suburbs of Melbourne with his brother and his mum, through his rise and fall as a career cricketer, then back to where we started: a middle-aged man trapped in the boot of a car, with time running out.
I’m going to get straight to the point. I LOVED THIS BOOK.