Get It Back To Give It Away is the self-published debut novella from South African writer, poet and small press publisher, Marc Brüseke. I have been following Marc's exploits in the small press world for several months now (under the banner Analog Submission), and the man's work ethic is relentless. He seems to publish a new chapbook by a different poet every month, and sometimes more. Having read some of his poetry and enjoyed it, I decided to take a punt on this book and boy am I glad that I did.
It tells the story of Richard Marx, a fictional alter-ego a la Arturo Bandini and Sal Paradise, as he spends a couple of weeks travelling from Budapest, Hungary through to the Istrian Coast in Croatia. It is in many ways a very simple tale - one man, travelling alone and documenting the things, places and people he encounters. There is no high drama, no jeopardy, no mystery, but never the less, this book had me absolutely gripped from the moment I picked it up to the moment I reluctantly finished it.
Marc's simple, straight forward prose is a joy to read - like a cool breeze on a hot summer's day. Easy, refreshing and a thing of beauty. I have never really had the urge to travel myself, but reading this made me want to be there with him, rucksack over my shoulder and an ice cold beer in hand. Another thing that I love about it is that interspersed between chapters are poems about the places, events, and people. They're a lovely touch, which makes the book feel more like a journal, with the poems almost acting like Polaroid pictures, expanding on the journal entries. There are honestly not enough adjectives in the English language to describe how wonderful this book it. My only criticism is that it was just too damn short (only 130 pages). However, the good news is that word on the literary grapevine says that this will not be the last we hear of the adventures of Richard Marx. Do yourself a favour and buy a copy right now from Analog Submission. You won't regret it.