Car Crash by Lech Blaine | Black Inc.

Car Crash

Awards for Car Crash

  • Shortlisted, 2021 Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance
  • Shortlisted, 2021 University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award
  • Shortlisted, National Biography Award

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About the author

Lech Blaine

Lech Blaine is the author of the memoir Car Crash and the Quarterly Essay Top Blokes. His writing has appeared in The Monthly, Guardian Australia, The Best Australian Essays, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and Meanjin. …

More about Lech Blaine

Praise for Car Crash

‘Scarifying and unforgettable, Car Crash is a story of carnage and life-long consequences – not just from a single, sudden catastrophe but from the long, slow cataclysm of masculine confusion. A brave and unsettling account.’ —Tim Winton

‘A poetic, unflinching meditation on the exuberance of youth and the trauma of survival. It shines with a fierce intelligence.’ —Kristina Olsson

‘I began this book with my guts in my mouth. Then, as I read on, I winced with recognition, I laughed a lot and my heart gradually broke open. It’s odd to talk about “talent” when a book covers such sensitive, sad subject matter, but the truth is that Blaine has it. There are strong sentences, clarity of intent and tone, wicked one-liners and a mastery of metaphor. This book is for everyone – it truly captures something of “modern Australia” in a tenderly told story of one young man's tumultuous coming-of-age.’ —Bri Lee

Car Crash is a clear-eyed, bruising and tender account of how the moments that thrust you into adulthood can take place in seconds. Blaine’s journalism has long made me suspect he’s one of the best writers of his generation. Car Crash confirms it, without a doubt.’ —Benjamin Law 

‘A heart-soaring act of literary bravery where the ongoing cost of experience is exposed in every note-perfect sentence. This is a profound reflection on the deafening soul noise heard by a beautiful group of young friends fated to live the rest of their lives with the silence of the dead. Some books just have to be written. And some books just have to be read.’ —Trent Dalton

Car Crash is brutal and gutting, but it’s also moving, lyrical, warmly told and very funny, with the kind of wisdom and hope that’s made possible by the understanding of pain. Blaine is a fearless writer of great agility and heart, and this book is an astonishing insight into the wild work of grief, in all its dark corners, in all its bright illuminations.’ —Brooke Davis, author of Lost & Found

Car Crash is an accomplished debut that dissects ideas of grief, mateship, survivor’s guilt, stifling masculinity and class in regional Australia, and will be appreciated by fans of Don Watson, Corey White and Chloe Hooper.’ —Books+Publishing

‘Immediately compelling, energetic and intense – I tore through the opening pages with my heart racing. But the story soon expands into something much deeper and, ultimately, more moving ... I look forward to reading more from this talented young writer.’ —Readings

‘Blaine’s buoyant voice keeps you engaged: its mordant, ocker-tinged humour counterweighs the book’s bleakness.’ —The Saturday Paper

‘Lech Blaine is a preternaturally gifted young writer, still in his twenties. His prose shows an easy sophistication and surreal wit, constantly throwing out pleasant surprises ... grief leavened with a smart sense of humour and a true writer’s gift for subtle observation.’ —Chris Saliba, North Melbourne Books

‘A big-hearted coming-of-age tale that makes you ache to read it, and an honest reckoning with our culture’s blind celebration of the “larrikin”’ —Roaring Stories

Car Crash is a phenomenal book. Beautiful and dark and compelling.’ —Rick Morton

‘A bruisingly insightful memoir of two wreckages’ —The Guardian

Car Crash delivers from the first arresting page ... Blaine adeptly delivers a family saga, a social history and a bildungsroman set at the turn of the twenty-first century in southern Queensland.’ —Inside Story

‘An engrossing read that is hard to put down. 4.5 stars’ —Good Reading

‘In fittingly hard-boiled, visceral prose, Blaine not only excavates the surreal horror of the crash and the aftermath, but also the utter inadequacy of the flimsy rituals and conventions that our society employs to keep the chaos death unleashes at bay.’ —The Age / Sydney Morning Herald

‘Blaine’s native tongue, an ocker irreverence, gives his writing an amiable charm and reflects the styles of artists such as Tim Winton, Miles Franklin, and Helen Garner.’ —Australian Book Review

‘On the back of such a book, Lech Blaine has developed a voice that suggests he may well be one of the best writers of his generation.’ —New Daily

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