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In the garage at the back of the family home sits Primo's father's pride and joy; a red Fiat 500 Classic. Bambino. It waits amongst the dust motes for Primo's father to recover, to come out of his paranoia and delusions. It waits and teases, like nothing else can - least of all the demands of everyday life, for things to return to normal. And that
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925000344
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Book Review: Dead Dog in the Still of the Night by Archimede Fusillo - Reviewed by TimH (03 Mar 2017)
Dead Dog in the Still of the Night By Archimede Fusillo RRP $18.95
Sometimes the idea and the execution don’t match up. Sometimes there is more to solving the problem than the solution you first thought of. That’s how it is with Primo, the lead protagonist from Dead Dog in the Still of the Night. His father is in a nursing home, his mother is at her wits end, and one of his older brothers, Adrian, has been forced back into the family home after being away for several years.
Primo, which means first in Italian, is neither the first born, nor the first son, in the Nato family. But for years now he has been the male in the household, helping his mother, trying to keep his relationship with the beautiful and clever Maddie on track, and dreaming about finally getting his driver’s licence so he can get behind the wheel of his father’s prized car, the Fiat 500 Bambino – a motoring classic, and the pride of his father’s life.
Year 12 is making demands on Primo’s time, demands he can’t seem to keep pace with, not when there is the real possibility that Adrian will be divorced soon and forced back home for good. Not when Maddie has started putting the pressure on about the two of them jetting off to Europe as Primo had promised her he would once he got through the last of his secondary school years.
And not when the eldest brother Santo decides he will assert his position by reopening the once profitable, but long ago abandoned service station, and use the Fiat as the centrepiece for attracting cashed-up clients. So when Adrian finds himself cornered by the woman who accuses him of sexual harassment, when his wife threatens to take their daughter from him, Primo steps in to take advantage of the situation by offering a quick-fix solution to his brother’s problems-and make much needed cash in the process.
The problem is the dead dog that Primo’s best mate Tone has in the back of the hearse he uses to deliver the pizza’s for his father’s pizzeria. The dog Tone ran over accidentally but never got round to burying. The mangy, rotting dog Primo decides to dump on the doorstep of his brother’s spurned mistress in the misguided belief it will act as a warning for her to back off.
What Primo can’t know yet, what he can’t factor in, are the tendrils of association between the woman, his part time job, and the stench of misplaced bravado that could lead to catastrophic consequences for each member of his family, his father included.
Dead Dog in the Still of the Night is a novel about the price paid for loyalty, duty and obligation within families, between friends, and the shortsightedness of acting out of self-interest and resentment. It is a story about the ability of mateship to offer hope and redemption, and the power of love within family to heal the deepest, most bitter hurts. A must read for anyone from primary to secondary.
Archie's work includes novels, short stories, plays, feature stories, critical essays, reviews and advertising copy. He has been published internationally, is the recipient of the 2012 Premio Globo Tricolore, and most recently was awarded an International Fellowship to take his work to Europe. Archie presents writing workshops and author talks all over Australia.
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