Powerful, honest, gripping . . . Winterwood is a
tragic story whose strength lies in its strong, vivid sense of milieu and
extremity of events. It is about tough but engaging characters who live a hard
life amidst a rugged, fierce land. The novel brings the inner lives of these
characters alive, and tinges the landscape and events with an epic quality. The
reader invests in the main characters, which makes the story engaging and draws
them along. Written in a taut and evocative style, it has occasionally startling
and illuminating diction; but, at its best, it is clear and simple. Overall, it
shows real honesty and power. The novel is gripping and compelling, and sure to
give many people great joy.(First
Editing: Editorial review, abridged)
When the mirror holds your reflection and the glass
shatters, be wary of the tidal wave of reality that can drown you in dreams.
Patrick Andrews is a writer in the masterclass of the dysfunctional. He will
take your deeper than you dare to fall. Lose yourself in Patrick's imagination
and there is always a part of you that will never be found.(Morry’s Book Reviews)
The Drunken Pig
The door of the clubhouse burst open.
His father reeled, almost wobbled, out of the bar,
staggered down the steps, and advanced in awkward patterns towards the car with
a heavy stoop of the shoulders, his head forward, and a fixed stare that made
one think of a wounded bull, panting heavily with groggy eyes, wanting to
charge but finding it difficult to do so. He wore an open bush-shirt with the
white singlet underneath hanging out, so stained with beer it was almost
yellow. He held a glass of beer in one hand, the froth leaping and spilling, and
his voice was loud and deep. “Fuck off, bitch. Ain’t finished drinking yet –
and you want to rule my life.”
She stopped near the car, but wouldn’t step back, her
body rigid like a wall bracing itself for the inevitable impact of a giant
wave. She watched him all the way, her cheeks red, inflated, and she struggled
to breathe. “We’ve been waiting two hours for you!” Her voice was loud,
furious, every word grating against her teeth.
“Told you not to come, didn’t I?”
“I’ve got the kid back there. You think we’re going to
wait all day?”
“That’s your bloody problem. Told you not to disturb
me when I’m with the boys. Told you a hundred times. And I meant it. Don’t ever
do it again.”
“You’ve got a family. What about us?”
“How dare you, how fucking dare you. Piss off and let
me finish my drinking. You don’t ever come here again. Next time I’ll hit you.
Don’t believe me? Fucking swear I will.”
The tears came, and the more tears that flowed the redder her face became.
George threw his beer on the ground and it shattered
into a hundred pieces; he raised his fist, holding his breath, his eyes dark
and glowing. The woman in front of him stood still, but it seemed as if there
was a whirlwind around her. With his other hand, George took out the car keys and
dangled them in front of Lorraine, taunting her to step forward and grab them.
“Get the fuck out of here now,” he growled. “Go on – walk home, cow, or sleep
in the car, but I ain’t finished drinking yet.”
He watched the ball, wanted
desperately to take his eyes off it, falling like a burning meteor tumbling
from the sky, his foot planted inside the touchline like a good left-winger.
Although it was a cold, miserable day, he felt he was in the midst of flames.
They were all hugging the touchline, inches from his face: the overgrown, hairy
bully from the school yard; the jock who smelled the best and probably wore
perfume, who always picked Martin last in his teams; the tall, bearded English
teacher, a leftover from the sixties, who drove his Harley to school and had
given Martin a D for his last essay; and Michael, his older brother – all
expecting the worst, all watching him with intent eyes, unblinking. And the
ball plunged down. He put his hands out like a cushion, expecting it, but saw
from the corner of his eye the opposition bearing down on him like rampaging
bulls loose in a stampede, and the ball went clean through his fingers.
what I expected.”
The man moved fast and was upon Terry in a flash.
Terry dodged the first blow, but the man threw a
second and it hit him on the head. Terry shuddered under the impact, felt
dizzy, his heart thumping. He touched his head, and when he pulled his finger
away it was sticky with blood. Then the man lashed out with his fists again and
Terry went down. He felt the air rush out of him, a burning sensation filling
his lungs. He crouched, one knee in the gutter, and took a deep breath. Tears
filled his eyes; it was impossible to see anything, and he heard the cheering
and hollering, the voices around him ringing in his head.
your mummy going to buy you out of this one?”
your God, dooley boy? You’re prayers aren’t going to save you now.”
they shouldn’t have sent this one out.”
He knew he had to get up quickly or the fight would be
over, and there wouldn’t be much left of him, but there was a terrible pain in
his head. He felt swept away by the chanting of the gang, the stamping of their
feet, felt submerged in the ground he was kneeling on.
up, get up. Give yourself a chance.
And in that deep dark place, under the black sky,
surrounded by those terrible sounds, he got up, his breath restored.
the captain, the goddamn bloody captain.
take a step back.
Trapped in the
Frozen Chamber of Hell
He heard the keys rattle as the orderly unlocked the
door and stepped in. The orderly stuck out his potbelly like a peacock, wanting
to look twice his normal size, and he clutched his long-arm truncheon like it
was an extended piece of his arm.
“Have a shower. You stink.”
Paul wanted to ask where he was, but he felt some
weight around his throat that kept his voice muffled. The orderly told Paul to
put his hands behind his back, and then handcuffed him. He nudged Paul with his
baton, led him out of the cell and along the corridor where everything was
white, blinding white. He struggled to keep to a straight line because the
whiteness seemed to swallow him, and his head was dizzy, as if he were in a
washing machine, the baton nudging him again and again, harder and harder, the
cuffs digging into his wrists, and he heard the orderly giggle each time he dug
the baton into his spine.
Paul had a shower while the orderly stood outside the
cubicle, grinning at him and rubbing his hand up and down the baton in a
grotesque, masturbatory motion, whispering: “I’ll do it to you tonight, boy,
good and hard, and there’s nothing you can do about it, nothing you can do,
nothing at all.” Paul felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as if to say ‘What
did I do to deserve this?’ and sensed cold slime all over his body, which the
water did little to wash away.
The Last Man on
“I want to go over to Officer Brown and throw up all
over him and tell him to fuck off because he says he knows who I am, but I feel
I have never seen him before and I don’t know why he exists – why anything exists.
God help me – what’s happening to me? I look around and I can’t understand
anything. Why are all the people here? And you – why are you with me on this
perfect day? And the countryside, and the plains and the hill, and the goddamn
prison itself? Why?”
Paul got to his feet. With blurred vision, he stared
at the verge of the hill where the four pines stood against the blue. A dirt
trail ran alongside the pines, down the hill, turned towards the prison and
connected to the front gate.
“Those trees,” Paul pointed to the pines on the hill,
“you see them? Why are they there?” He knelt in the grass again and saw a
dandelion by the base of the manuka tree. It looked as if it were on fire, so
he picked it up. “What is this flower doing here? What is the meaning of it?
What is the meaning of anything? I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you how I feel.
It’s like I’ve descended on another planet and all I see is darkness because
nothing makes sense. The people, everything is in slow-motion, stop, start. I
feel like the last man on earth. It is the worst day of my life. I’ve been
scared to death before, but I hadn’t known the meaning of fear until what I
feel now. God, I can understand why people would want to kill themselves.” His
face was drained of colour and his fingers gripped the grass. “I think I’m
going to be sick.”
House of the
The grey spread out against
the sky, you prepare to meet your end
Measuring your life with
cigarettes and drinks of beer
Now it’s your last butt-end,
the glimmer fades in the pool of rain
The winter that has no end.
Your home is a bar in George
Street or Princess Street