Clive Broderick, guitar-teacher and occultist – the Doubleman of the title of this acclaimed novel – is speaking of power, and of a realm beyond reality. This is a fable of the sixties, when shared belief-systems crumbled, and the spiritual bazaars of today opened up. Christopher Koch’s theme is illusion; and all his characters are bound by it. The Rymers are an electric folk group enjoying mounting success in Sydney. Their producer, Richard Miller, came under Broderick’s spell during his youth in Tasmania; so did the guitarists Brady and Burr. Now, years after his death, Broderick’s presence remains with all three. Through his disciple, Burr, it will lead to nightmare.
The Doubleman was winner of the 1985 Miles Franklin Award.
‘Why have I not heard of Koch before, I wonder? He has an extraordinary power of evoking place, and I feel now that Tasmania is part of my memory.’ – Graham Greene
‘As universal in its impact as the myth and music of Orpheus … a tour-de-force’ – David Rowbotham, Brisbane Courier Mail
‘A classy writer, deploying a kind of dangerous power with a delicate perception’ – Norman Shrapnel, Guardian