Sydney Morning Herald: Exxxpresso

This review appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald 's SPECTRUM section on January 22, 2000

eXXXAt last, a touch of Carl Hiaasen’s crazy brilliance in Australia, from former ”Suburban Boy” Warner. Reformed crim Rick Boski plans to serve coffee instead of time, but to open a cafe featuring the sublime Milano espresso machine (eight cups at once, plus playing Arrivederci Roma) he needs funds.

He turns to a loan shark, drug lord and general sleaze, Guthrie, but the deal soon turns sour with complications including a former wife, several witless thugs, two mobile phones and a plastic bag of cash. On the road to Kalgoorlie, Rick and a bunch of hapless characters ride out a ridiculously convoluted plot that finally gives new meaning to death by espresso.

Wild, mad, thoroughly improbable, and I couldn’t put it down – hopefully it’ll also become a film, as was originally intended. Musos turned novelists should normally be regarded with caution, but Warner sparks with energy. Maybe it’s the caffeine.

Debra Adelaide

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