Viking, $32.99 pb, 336 pp, 9780143795698
Halfway through Minotaur, Peter Goldsworthy’s jauntily satisfying novel about a sharp-tongued former motorcycle cop blinded by a bullet to the head, Detective Sergeant Rick Zadow gropes his way to a shed behind his Adelaide cottage. Inside lies a partially dismantled 1962 Green Frame Ducati 750SS. Zadow, who had begun disassembling the crankshaft prior to his injury, fumbles round in the dark as he tries to restore the beloved bike he will never be able to ride again. He uses his ever-present companion and virtual girlfriend, Siri, to order parts from a website called Road and Race.
I checked if this site was real, not out of pedantry but because two days prior I had bought a vintage Ducati motorcycle and needed to find era-appropriate front fork seals. Fortunately for me, Goldsworthy’s research proved exemplary.
Regardless of the author’s unwitting assistance in helping my conveyance pass a roadworthy test, Minotaur convincingly illuminates the darkest recesses of the human sensory experience while also exposing the influence of ‘bikie gangs’ in South Australia – or, as we due-paying, law-abiding members prefer to call them, motorcycle clubs.