The central character, Rick Daly is a composite from many people I have known, along with some fictional elements. Portions of his makeup I have taken from myself but I would certainly disown some of the actions he undertakes during his journey of self-discovery. Some of his attributes are considerably more extreme and apparently somewhat callous, than any that my younger self, possessed.
Some of the apparently heartless actions undertaken by Rick, such as the way he treats a drunk female passenger who can’t pay the fare in his cab, were taken from real life but not mine. His happy-go-lucky attitude during the beginning of the story and his predatory behaviour relates to many young Australian males of the seventies and eighties and in all likelihood stems from some deep sense of sexual frustration, along with a failure to fully understand women as people on many levels.
Cromer High School c. 1979 – 1982
is in evidence in “The Teacher’s Pet” podcast and its allegations of
teacher-schoolgirl sex rings at three high schools on Sydney’s northern
beaches. Youngish males who were obsessed with their sexual gratification and
used any available means to achieve it, were referred to repeatedly in this
podcast, along with the allegations of murder against Chris Dawson who was
arrested and is currently on bail.
Typical targets of the sexual hunter
Rick, the product of his time, operates his life against a background of constantly wanting to “get his end in” in the most enjoyable way possible. He certainly possesses some hedonistic values at the beginning of the novel.
Fortunately, over time he learns some of the subtleties and more important values, albeit, in many cases, the hard way. He also learns about love and its pitfalls, corruption and the inescapable fact that life is not fair. By the conclusion of the story he realises just how rotten the world and its powers can be. He manages this without surrendering his interest in sex and love but, by putting everything into perspective, achieves a level of inner peace.