University of Queensland Press, $19.95 pb, 298 pp, 9780702249266
James Roy’s cover blurb suggests that ‘everyone has a story’. The awkward thing is that some are better than others. In his new book, young characters are linked by stories and poems that criss-cross an unnamed city. It acts as a companion piece to Roy’s successful Town (2007), which contained thirteen tales from regional New South Wales. In City, stories are told in first, second, and third person, in diverse settings ranging from sleazy nightclub strips to gleaming office blocks. It’s ambitious, but ends unevenly, with several stories unlikely to appeal to teenage readers.