FROM ASHES TO ASHES

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - BOOKS - War­ren Brewer

By John Biggs RRP $ 33 In­ter­ac­tive Pub­li­ca­tions, Pty Ltd.

COM­PARED with his pre­vi­ous work, this comes as some­thing of a sur­prise as Tas­ma­nian author John Biggs’ mo­ti­va­tions and sen­ti­ments have sel­dom im­mersed them­selves so deeply into hu­man frail­ties, emo­tions and sex­u­al­ity.

The same elo­quence, mas­tery over dis­course and struc­tural logic are present.

How­ever, there are pe­ri­ods of re­flec­tions and in­tro­spec­tion where the en­ergy within the prose dis­si­pates.

The main char­ac­ter, Peter Mor­ri­son, has a se­ri­ously con­flicted per­son­al­ity.

Reared in a de­vout fam­ily as a young boy, he wants to be­lieve in God but puts his be­lief to the test with dis­as­trous re­sults.

It seems the seeds of his moral un­cer­tainty have been sown ir­recov­er­ably at that point in time.

The com­pelling un­der­ly­ing story, how­ever, is about sub­li­mated love and Peter’s weak­ness or in­abil­ity to re­spond to, or make a com­mit­ment to, the only woman who has cap­tured his sex­ual imag­i­na­tion.

Don’t cat­e­gorise this book. it speaks to a wide au­di­ence. Most life jour­neys are lit­tered with un­ful­filled ex­pec­ta­tions, am­bi­tions and un­re­quited loves.

There is no doubt, how­ever, that teach­ers will more read­ily recog­nise sim­i­lar char­ac­ters and iden­tify the is­sues that peren­ni­ally plague their de­mand­ing pro­fes­sion.

This makes provoca­tive and en­gag­ing read­ing.

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