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2017 - Shortlisted
Going Out Backwards is the fifth volume detailing the farcical adventures of a Queensland academic who finds himself holding the balance of power in the Australian Senate. How this eventuated is as much a mystery to Senator Everest as it is to everyone else. He is still obsessed with his penis, as his life and career continue to drag him through a series of preposterous adventures.
For this latest outing, political commentator Ross Fitzgerald has enlisted the aid of comedy writer Ian McFadyen, and together they concoct a well-crafted political farce, replete with a cavalcade of ludicrous characters. The writers take aim at many targets and bullseye most of them as they pass by: minor political parties, the corporatisation of tertiary education, arts funding, medical science, natural remedies, anti-bikie legislation, obesity, sexual politics, and, inevitably, impotence (in various manifestations). The language is playful, cynical, and epigrammatic, as the novel moves with pace and an accelerating rhythm to its bizarre and satisfying conclusion.