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About the book
  • Published: 2 August 2010
  • ISBN: 9781741666342
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99
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The True Story Of Butterfish




Filled with acute observation, humour and tenderness, Butterfish is Nick Earls at his very best.

Filled with acute observation, humour and tenderness, Butterfish is Nick Earls at his very best.

'I'm not about to attack,' she said. She smirked with one side of her mouth and looked up at me through the black spray of her fringe. Her eyes were dark and already she was playing some kind of game with me, or that's how it seemed. Her voice was a little deeper and huskier than I might have expected, so her last line had come out with a hint of something that might have been menace or even seductiveness or just a pitch at adult banter. Whatever it was, it stuck with me and it punctuated the moment and it didn't feel quite right for a conversation with a schoolgirl on my doorstep.

When Annaliese Winter walks down Curtis Holland's front path and into his life, he's ill-prepared for a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl who's a confounding and seductive mixture of adult and child. After years travelling the world with his successful band, Butterfish, he's not used to having a neighbour at all, let alone one who appears unimpressed by the slightly chubby ex-rock star next door. So when Curtis receives an invitation to dinner from Annaliese's mother, Kate, no one is more surprised than he is when he not only accepts but finds himself being drawn to this remarkably unremarkable family. Even to Mark, a sebaceous fifteen-year-old at war with his own surging adolescence.

As Curtis gets to know the Winters, he soon realises that with Kate divorced, Annaliese and Mark need a male role model in their lives, but it's hard for him to help when he's just starting to grow up himself and struggling to deal with the death of his father, and harder still when Annaliese begins to show an interest in him that is less than filial.

  • Pub date: 2 August 2010
  • ISBN: 9781741666342
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Nick Earls

Nick Earls is the author of twenty books, including the bestselling novels Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, Perfect Skin and World of Chickens. His work has been published internationally in English and in translation, and has won awards in the UK and Australia. Five of his novels have been adapted into plays and two into feature films. He was the founding chair of the Australian arm of the international aid agency War Child and is now a War Child ambassador.

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Praise for The True Story Of Butterfish

“Just like all the best songs, Butterfish takes you on an emotional ride, and then makes you want to start it all over again.”

Shane Nicholson

“... a potent, multi-track mix, beautifully woven and elaborately balanced between the bitter and sweet tones in life ... The True Story of Butterfish is a chart-topper for the public and this critic alike.”

Nigel Krauth, The Australian

“With The True Story of Butterfish , Earls has moved to a deeper, more compassionate pool. Brisbane is a backdrop, not a character. And the searching of Curtis Holland is poignant and at times emotionally wrenching (there are several laugh out loud scenes, too). There is a real heart to this novel, and and its likely to appeal to his legions of fans but also secure him a new readership.”

Matthew Condon, Qmagazine

“It is a tender, funny tale of a man finally coming to terms with adulthood that is touching without ever being saccharine.”

Chris Hook, The Daily Telegraph

“The True Story of Butterfish is consistent with Earls' established interest in lovelorn men, but it is different in tone from earlier books. If you've read and loved them you might want to alter your expectations a little. There is less acerbic wit and an altogether gentler, more mellow approach to the plight of a hopeless man who might be everyman.”

Emma Young, The Age

“Earls' characters are superb, and the conversations in which they make furtive, toe-stubbing attempts to connect with each other are hilariously rich in the unsaid and the unintended.”

The Sunday Age


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