Eight Nights in Four Corners
Turnkey, 2003 (2003)
Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai
his book takes us on a tortured ride, literally, as Luke tries to rid himself of the demons that have lived with him since the death of his older brother, Alex less than a year previously. Alex was the '
', the strapping football player and pride of his father, who was picked up by a pro football team. However, all Alex's dreams of fame and fortune were dashed when he blew out his knee soon after the call-up, sending him into a deep depression.
e finally saw some light at the end of the dark tunnel when he was asked to begin coaching. As Alex was beginning to put his life together, he was killed in a freak accident, spiraling Luke's family into hopelessness. We watch as they each try to deal with their miseries: Luke's father refuses to talk of Alex. His mother suffers in tears and silence, tiptoeing around her husband, while Luke goes back to college, spending the year either tanked or drugged, failing most of his courses. Once term is over, Luke has to face his parents' double disappointment, firstly that Alex is no longer alive, and secondly that he has failed in his own life so miserably. He feels as though he is heaping pain on pain and takes off on his father's motorbike to
himself, or the reason for his existence.
uke's journey is a painful process as he searches for some panacea to alleviate his torment; drugs and sex feature prominently but do not provide answers. It is only his own brush with death that finally gives Luke the key to finding inner peace, and the ability to move on with his own life.
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