After watching 2 very good movies starring Brendan Cowell (Beneath Hill 60 and I Love You Too) I decided to give his novel a read. I was a worried about reading an actor's book as I had just tried to read Dawn French's novel (A Tiny Bit Marvellous) and could not finish it. But luckily I was in for a treat with Brendan's book "How it feels" - it's a great coming of age novel centered on 4 friends who grew up in Cronulla. I found it a very honest, moving and poetic story and I enjoyed it immensely.

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I had big expectations for this, because I've always liked Brendan Cowell and the films he has chosen, but I must admit to being a little bit disappointed his first novel. I found the central character Neil a bit of a self-absorbed pain who never really grew out of it, and I couldn't quite see why the others persevered in having him around. Neil's path through to the age of thirty seems to closely reflect Cowells, but I'm confused as to why he makes himself out to be so unlikeable! I enjoyed reading it though and I found the descriptions of Southern Sydney very amusing and honest, if at times a bit confronting and graphic.

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