Alex Cothren reviews 'We Ate The Road Like Vultures' by Lynette Lounsbury

WE ATE THE ROAD LIKE VULTURES

by Lynnette Lounsbury

Inkerman & Blunt $29.99 pb, 232 pp, 9780992498566

Jack Kerouac spent his elderly years sequestered in a crumbling Mexican hacienda that 'smelt like beer and farts'; his amphetamines replaced with antacids, his octogenarian skin 'the colour and texture of beef jerky'. Never mind that Kerouac actually drank himself to an early death in Florida, because somehow this alternate universe, the starting point of Lynnette Lounsbury's second novel, We Ate the Road Like Vultures, has the tragic atmosphere of reality. Just imagine how crushed Lulu – the teenaged Australian protagonist – feels when she tracks down her diminished idol: 'I only ever read about you being young and mad and wanting everything ... here you are all old and wanting nothing.' By page eight, poor Lulu has already witnessed Kerouac's one-time muse, Neal Cassady, coaxing urine droplets from his withered Johnson, her romance for the Beat generation similarly drying up.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in May 2016, no. 381
Alex Cothren

Alex Cothren

Alex Cothren is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Flinders University. A previous winner of the Carmel Bird Award for Short Fiction, he has published in Overland, The Molotov Cocktail, The Conversation and Australian Book Review, and he co-edited Westerly’s South Australia Special Issue in 2018.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.