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The Speechwriter

The Speechwriter

by Martin McKenzie-Murray
Publication Date: 02/02/2021
RRP  $29.99 $27.95
In his fiction debut, erstwhile speechwriter and Saturday Paper journalist Martin McKenzie-Murray takes us on a frantic, funny, and surreal journey through the corridors of power.

Toby, former speechwriter to the PM, has reached a new low- locked behind bars in a high-security prison, with sentient PlayStations storming the city outside, and the worst of Australia's criminals forcing him to ghost-write letters to their loved ones or have his spine repurposed as a coat-rack. How did he get here? From the vantage point of his prison cell, Toby pens his memoir, trying to piece together how he fell so far, all the while fielding the uninvited literary opinions of his murderous cellmate, Gary.

What Toby unspools is a tale of twisted bureaucracy, public servants gone rogue, and the ever-present pervasive stench of rotting prawns (don't ask). Realising that his political career is far from the noble endeavour he'd once imagined it would be, Toby makes a bid for freedom ... before the terrible realisation dawns- it's impossible to get fired from the public service. Refusing to give up (or have to pay for his relocation fee), Toby's attempts to get fired grow more and more extreme, and he finds himself being propelled higher and higher through the ranks of bureaucracy.

Praise for A Murder Without Motive-

'Honest, sympathetic, reflective - this is true crime at its best. A striking debut from McKenzie-Murray, which pursues uncomfortable truths with candour and care.'
-Damon Young, author of Philosophy in the Garden and Distraction

'McKenzie-Murray's adolescence is closely entwined with the crime, and his deep, thoughtful examination of the suburban male psyche is one of the many strengths of this remarkable book ... Insightful and eloquent ... His immaculate prose cuts cleanly through the social murk, and his clarity of vision renders the complicated ideas of male aggression and the ugly side effects of suburban malaise at once shocking and shockingly readable.'
-Michaela McGuire, The Saturday Age

' T akes an unorthodox but illuminating approach to his subject, beginning with introspection and, perhaps, atonement ... McKenzie-Murray firmly rejects the proposition that the murder was an aberration in a life otherwise considered "normal", something Duggan's defence counsel submitted in the absence of a criminal history. Indeed the notion of "normality", particularly in the light of Duggan's heinous crime, meets with the author's disdain.'
-Martin Leonard, Weekend Australian
Contemporary fiction
Publication Date:
Scribe Publications
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