Hut’s absolute predictability, his overflowing life, warmed Nayce, as it always had. He annoyed the shit out of you, but – it was like your children – when you were with him you stopped thinking about death. Hut stood, in some indefinable way, for the opposite of mortality, the opposite of death.
When he nearly drowns during an early morning swim, Hut isn’t scared. No, he actually finds himself annoyed that he hasn’t drowned. See, in the real world, Hut is in danger of drowning – financially and personally – and facing that reality is almost more frightening than death.
When Hut and his five friends travel to Jamaica to compete in a big swimming race, all of them have demons and crises to face, but it is Hut who must confront his various weaknesses. His five team mates all move in a world of money, and Hut moves with them, yet never quite one of them. If they knew the secret he was guarding they would be even less tolerant of his presence.
Jamaica is a riveting tale of friendship and betrayal, of self discovery and self delusion. The characters are without exception quite unlikeable, but when their real sides show equally quite believable. As the novel picks up pace the reader starts to care what happens, especially to Hut, the flawed main character and it becomes increasingly difficult to put the book down.
A compelling read.
Jamaica, by Malcolm Knox
Allen & Unwin, 2007
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