Nick Earls In Conversation with Phil Brown
Brisbane Powerhouse, Visy Theatre
By his own admission, Nick Earls is an analogue man, regularly outsmarted by his smartphone. So is The Courier Mail’s Phil Brown; he wrote a column about it once, unbeknownst that this was the title of Nick Earls’ then upcoming novel. The novel is out now and it is appropriate therefore that Earl’s In Conversation Show at the Brisbane Powerhouse be facilitated by Brown.
On the Visy Theatre’s “Sex with Strangers” set, the analogue men meet to chat about the themes and inspiration of “Analogue Men”, including bodily functions, tattoo tableaus, family life and how its radio industry setting is ripe for delving into the dilemmas of technological change. The novel sees its 40ish protagonist fumbling through a return to Brisbane for work and also in with hope of connecting with his 15-year-old twins, however, it is a Brisbane that has changed. And the evening is, therefore, also an enjoyable reminiscence of retro times.
“Analogue Men” is a very funny read as Earls returns to his familiar writing roots. Although it is a universal story, it is another one set to be special to Brisbanites, due to the geographical and other references insinuated in the story. Earls’ previous novels also feature in the In Conversation event, as he discusses his “48 Shades of Brown” film cameo, the possibility of a “Perfect Skin” follow-up and the legacy of “Zig Zag Street”.
Earls is a natural storyteller and to hear the tales behind this new novel’s characters, locations and dilemmas is a joy. During the conversation, he also reflects on his Northern Irish heritage, celebrity crush and decision to turn from medicine to writing. He readily responds to audience questions; each anecdote is interesting and entertaining due to his natural humour and engaging manner. Plus there is the opportunity for post-show book signing and conversation with a storyteller so ironically Brisbane that he was the early 2000s face of Brisbane market campaign.