a taste of ‘How to Catch Flathead’

from the novel How to Catch Flathead by Peter Michal, published May / June 2020

ISBN (paperback)  978-1-925536-94-2

ISBN (eBook)  978-1-925536-95-9

to purchase How to Catch Flathead click here for  paperback  /  ePub  /  Amazon Kindle  Barnes and Noble Nookbook  /  Kobobooks  /  iBookstore




To listen to author Peter Michal read from How to Catch Flathead, click here.


I was excited about my trip, enough so to brave the cold and pop out to the shops to buy a pack of underpants. from Prologue

On the second floor balcony of this house stood the rowdy neighbours from last night, leaning against the glass railing. They were still, from the sound of it across the water, trying to ascertain just who among them was a ‘fuckwit’ and who was a ‘drongo’. from Sunday

I took out my camera and snapped a photo. It came out over-exposed, the shimmering light too bright, too vivid. It took some getting used to. from Saturday

‘And this was on top of Sue Connors,’ I said, making a pistol out of my right hand and firing it at my temple. ‘Having dinner with a complete stranger is never more exciting than when that person turns out to be a non-violent psychopath. from Tuesday

So, trains are better, even when they don’t turn up on time. And, unlike on a plane, it’s perfectly fine to go without trousers or even underwear, provided you have a cabin. from Saturday

‘Another episode in the long history of Chinese workers being prosecuted in this country, this,’ I said. It was the whisky talking now. She looked at me. ‘Yeah, well, the tanned prick did nothing to help.’ from Sunday

‘But as one former Prime Minister famously said, “Sometimes it’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.” Mind you, shortly after he said that he got knifed in the back by one of his own ministers.’ She breathed in the air and then exhaled. ‘Ah, good times.’ from Monday

She shook her head at the sight of the banged-up, spread-out animal lying at her feet. She then looked up to scowl at the two coffee-sipping, sunglasses-wearing agents in the white Commodore across the street, before turning and starting back to the house. from Wednesday

‘What I mean is, don’t accept the orthodoxy that says you can’t win,’ I told Cindy. ‘Don’t assume you can’t split that retirement home voting bloc.’ from Monday

‘I am classically trained,’ Svetlana said with a fresh-off-the-plane accent. This piece of information didn’t come as a shock. from Wednesday

We took Cindy’s hot hatchback. It wasn’t really — the small Japanese car had the engine capacity of a ride-on lawnmower — but Cindy drove it like one, careening down the empty streets of paradise, squealing tyres warning the resting kangaroos of our approach. from Monday

‘And the mayor? He gets his own suite in the resort when it’s built and the company of a better class of visitor to town?’ Cindy shook her head. ‘Better still, he gets someone’s gratitude. And that’s worth a whole lot more than any hotel suite.’ from Tuesday

Flathead. They live in estuaries as well as in the ocean, but no two flathead look the same, because they change body colour to match their background. They’re no bottom feeders though. from Tuesday

‘Shut your hole and watch the road, will you,’ Cindy barked at her husband. She was feeling much better now, it was clear. She was almost back to normal, you could say. from Wednesday

The ferry doesn’t go under the Harbour Bridge, but it does chug its way past Taronga Zoo, where the animals live, and Kirribilli House, where perhaps the most threatened species of all, the Australian Prime Minister, lives. from Saturday

Parliament House, the newish one, is a marble and mahogany-lined rabbit warren of a building. When I visited you could still go up on the roof but you couldn’t roll down the grassed sides of the building yelling wee-wee-wee. It had something to do with terrorism prevention. from Monday

‘Well, you won’t be short of things to write about this place! Just got to stick around for a bit longer.’ from Sunday

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