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164 pages2 hours


Opealeux has three parts, the first is set in 1920's Paris. Two impoverished artists struggle to maintain an existence. The main character is Braq de Leppis who struggles to fulfil his ambition of creating a single masterpiece in his squalid darkly lit room in a compound of huts in the Montmartre precinct. His neighbour Marc is writing a journal of local events which he relates back to historical figures, mostly Greek, and walks his room reading out loud his journal entries.
Braq ventures into the neighbouring fields looking for kindling and vegetation that can be carried home. He stumbles upon wild mushrooms and truffles on his treks. Unknown to either Braq or Marc the mushrooms have an hallucinatory effect while the truffles are dried to use as fire starter. Both are unaware of the culinary value until one day in the Cafe Marc works in a truffle off-cut falls out of his pocket and the Chef wants to know where Marc found the truffle.
The style of the narrative is whimsical with commentaries of life as a struggling artist at a time when Paris was the new cultural epicentre of the Europe.
The second part of Opealeux has a contemporary setting revolving around two bohemians sailing around Indonesia with the lure of making quick money from illegal activities. One of them ends up in Bali searching for spiritual fulfilment . The main theme is the search of wanting a better life while avoiding mainstream work. The main character Jess, flees Darwin with the roguish Roman with money from the sale of Hashish in a Biker's Bar. Jess survives the perils of ocean sailing and lands in Bali and more specifically the remote settlement of Batu Belah where she feels attuned to the locals and their relaxed lifestyle. Jess meets a French tourist named Eugene who embarks on a hiking trek of Mt Agung, a local landmark.
The final part of Opealeux is set in 2162 in an undisclosed setting with two scientists trying to resolve a scientific irregularity in the fabric of the Universe. There is a symposium where various intellectual minds meet to dissect and assert what they think has happened. Politics intervene as money is needed to re-ignite a previously discarded solution that will resolve the issue of space-time continuity.
The three stories are linked with various clues and threads creating an allegorical and surrealistic commentary on the nature of existence and the future of mankind.

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