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, Garry.
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.
'A savage, laugh-out-loud satire that hits the ground running and never lets up.' -Tony Martin
'Whether it's a farce or a forecast, The Speechwriter is a romp. Only a flint-eyed journo could write a fiction so absurdly believable. And believably absurd. Could not put it down even after I coughed up regular cocktails from laughing. Bravo, and damn you Martin.' -Tim Rogers
'The Black Mirror Australian politics has been waiting for ... A strange, joyful, absurd, and cutting take on politics, spin, and modern-day media.' -Zan Rowe