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The Second of Three

222 pages3 hours


The Second of Three, book one of a two-part travel memoir titled For One Night Only, deals with the author's formative years growing up in Frankston, a town located just outside the city of Melbourne, Australia. Though Frankston was long ago absorbed in the urban sprawl that is Melbourne, at the time of his birth and for many years thereafter it occupied an 'in between status'. It was neither urban nor rural but rather a curious admixture.
Twenty-five miles separates it from Melbourne's central business district, a distance regarded as fairly considerable in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. Literally and metaphorically speaking Frankston sat at the end of the line. The electrified rail line from the big smoke ended there. Single-carriage, diesel powered trains plied the routes further south to Stony Point and Mornington on the state of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.
Born into a family with one older brother and one younger brother, The Second of Three details the sense of estrangement the author often felt growing up in this milieu. Parts one and two illustrate some of his early memories and experiences, especially as relates to his schooling at the hands of Roman Catholic nuns - at primary school - and brothers - at secondary school. A more suitable learning environment is found closer to home during a year spent studying at a local technical college.
During this year he slowly begins gaining a measure of self-confidence, a quality that has been systematically ground down in previous years. For a short time he plays competitive Australian Rules Football, only to throw in his lot with running, an activity better suited to one of his nature. He has been running on a regular basis for about twelve months when he sets himself the goal of training for and running a marathon.
Another thing that aids his bid to come to terms with the past is writing, an activity he has always liked though he has never written more than school essays. Buoyed by the feedback some creative writing receives at technical college, he decides to brook the challenge of writing a novel.
Part three of The Second of Three examines how he fares in his efforts to realise both dreams, the marathon run and the novel.The epilogue of the memoir looks briefly at the genesis of his writing ambitions and also at some of the pitfalls encountered as he strives to make a go of writing novels and screenplays as a career in his twenties.

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