Seventeen-year-old footballer, Johnny Carbone is a flawed genius. One day kicking goals from the boundary, forty metres out and the next, kicking into the man on the mark when he has the chance to win the game for his team, The Ballantyne Tigers. He has dreams of playing at the top level but can’t ‘get it all together’.
Johnny is dogged by a constant nightmare where he follows, and then is hunted himself, by a dark animal he doesn’t recognise. He develops a friendship with an old man, Charlie, who unwittingly provides Johnny with one of the keys to his dream; the nemesis of his sleeping story.
Michael Hyde has toiled diligently to tell an Australian story in a compelling and insightful way. Download full review.
Warwick Hadfield, Islane Magazine
There is a warmth about the writing which is beguiling. Download full review.
Helen Purdie, Magpie Review
Books aimed at teenage boys that involve football are not in scarce supply. So anyone venturing onto that wee-worn paddock had better have something new to say. Fortunately, Hyde does, and for the most part says it with style. Download full review.
Mike Shuttleworth, Herald Sun
I wrote a biography on Richard Osborne (with Richard), a 303 game AFL Player who played for four teams under nine different coaches. He was also a student of mine at Victoria University and wanted to tell stories about his career that went deeper into areas not often covered by Footy Books. One of the aspects of the game was how hard it was to be consistent and to maintain your concentration. He was also fond of saying that 90% of the game was played between your ears (ie in your head). So we often discussed how this might work if a young guy was brilliant one week and hopeless the next and how he might overcome this mental problem.
The next bit of this story came to me when I was chatting to some friends over dinner about dreams, about recurring dreams, and what they might mean. We also discussed how symbolic dreams could be. The next morning I told my wife, Gabrielle that I was pretty sure I had another novel.