The music hammers at him; he feel it at the back of his throat. Steely Dan, their best album. Full of angular licks and slick changes, lyrics that peck at you. But he doesn't want to hear it. Music unstitches him now; he can do without it.
Irritatingly Steely's best album is never named in the narrative. Not one of the early ones, I'm guessing. Angularity is there, but not a startling feature of Can't Buy A Thrill. I'm thinking Aja, on which the changes are at their slickest in the catalogue. Though it's a bit of a trite choice for Lu Fox, the male protagonist of Tim Winton's Dirt Music, the novel from which I'm quoting here. But people make trite choices and see their preferences as part of the fabric of things. Winton's particularly good at that.
It's been easy to enjoy Winton's narrative, as you might guess from the deployment of hammers, peck and unstitches in the above. He combines the cerebral and visceral to impressive effect. His characters communicate and resonate - even though he's often grappling with extreme states. I've got around 130 pages to go and I really, really want to know what happens. Childish but a good sign.
It looks like I've acquired a new favourite, well, favoured, let's say, writer.