Synopses & Reviews
From an inaugural winner of the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers comes a funny, energetic coming-of-age story that isn't quite like any other book you'll read this year. Oliver is a writer who's just moved cities. He doesn't have any friends yet, he can't get his surly roommate, Mark, to crack a smile, and the only people who talk to him are the odd assortment of characters at the KeepCup warehouse where he works, plugging lids into cups in an endless cycle. His hours consist of daydreams: sweet, touching reveries of driving down the freeway with the girl of his dreams, and outlandish fantasies of bursting through the roof at bedroom store Snooze. At nights, he begins to write memories of growing up in pre-9/11 America, as he finds himself thinking of his childhood in Texas. But when he meets up with Lisa, the girl he's been writing to on Facebook, things begin to change. Lion Attack! is a startlingly original, ambitious work about a young man trying to navigate contemporary Australia and his own life.
"Funny, achingly sharp, and stylistically sure . . . Written in skilfully pared-back prose, Lion Attack! is a bold status update on Australian grunge lit, logging in where Eric Dando's Snail and Andrew McGahan's 1988 left off." —Maxine Beneba Clarke , author, Foreign Soil
"Mol's writing style is aptly economical, with his hilarious, astute observations uniquely structured as an unfiltered live stream of mundanity, self-doubt and romance. Amidst all this introspective gazing, Mol also subtly explores wider social issues, including feminism, homophobia and masculinity. In his own completely unique way." —Rolling Stone
"Mol writes stylised prose that makes the pages flick by . . . It's a simple but effective double narrative . . . The alternating chapters coil around each other to produce a tension between 'what was,' 'what is,' and 'what might be,' both for the author and for the reader. I was refreshed . . . to hear voices and read characters that made me nod, laugh and cringe with recognition. In the late-empire, pre-9/11 United States, there is a deep current of American imperialism pushing and pulling the childhood exchanges that can produce a fever of alienation even in someone as privileged as the young white boy in the text. Lion Attack! grabs and gropes and reaches, eager and striving to burst into a new kind of maturity." —The Thousands
"I absolutely treasured Lion Attack! A must read for Gen Y. Poignant, raw and powerful. Oliver Mol is the real deal." —Matthew Naqvi, filmmaker and television host, Giant Steps
“Oliver Mol: king of a new jungle.” —Rolling Stone
Lion Attack! is a truly modern book. It is utterly self-aware, every line seeming to happen right now. I found myself believing the book itself had a soul, had fingers that were typing each letter as my eye landed upon it. In that sense, it felt like a journey the book and I were on, a weird and wonderful trip through a psyche we built together.' —Lindsay Hunter, author of 'Ugly Girls'
'Raw, honest, irascible, poignant ... a crackling ball of energy and inventiveness.Lion Attack! is less a memoir than it is an entirely new way of telling a life. A deeply personal work that somehow seems to know you better than you know yourself.' — Luke Ryan, author of 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo'
'Oliver Mol is stripping away conceit in favor of a new, extremely fresh form of narrative. Lion Attack! is as honest as honesty can get: every thought and feeling gutted and splayed for the reader to react and relate to. It's writing like this that breaks boundaries, blurring fact and fiction ... [offering] a candid injection of the present moment we often are too busy analysing to enjoy. Mol lets it all wash over him, masterfully cataloguing what sometimes seems so impossible to perceive. Writing like this is alive and breathing. The question then might be: Are you alive?' —Michael J. Seidlinger, author of 'The Strangest'
‘Oliver Mol’s voice gets inside your head. His book pulses and crackles with energy, at once sexy and suffused with yearning. He shimmies between memory and imagination, from childhood visions of an eternally weird America to days and nights spent young, scattered, and hopeful in Melbourne. At its heart this book is about how we stumble towards a way to live and love.’ —David Carlin, author of 'Our Father Who Wasn't There'
'If every book was filled with as much life and energy and heart as Lion Attack!, then a hell of a lot more people would be reading books. Maybe it’s better, though, because if this were the case, then Mol’s writing wouldn’t be so damn special. This is a magical dream of a book.” —Juliet Escoria, author of 'Black Cloud'
'Oliver Mol travels a fine, deft line between Too Much Information and a disarming, ruthless honesty. Lion Attack! nails some of the longing, hilarity, tremulous hope, and searing embarrassment of passing from boyhood to manhood ... This book will drag you every which way.' —Margo Lanagan, author of 'Sea Hearts' and 'Tender Morsels'
'Our homegrown dude version of Lena Dunham. Oliver Mol’s debut memoir is a free-flowing account of life, love and work as a 20-something in Australia, and it is entirely hypnotising. Mol’s daydreams are contrasted with recollections of his unhappy childhood in Texas, and the stories of him working at a KeepCup warehouse in Melbourne are hilariously frank. It’s a punctuated, poetic and confident voice that doesn’t confuse honesty with self-indulgence.' —Yen magazine
'Oliver Mol is one of the most exciting writers I know. Lion Attack! is one of the most exciting books I've read. It's funny and it has short chapters and it has personality and there's a story about a friend who jerked off with a pizza. I don't think there's anything more to say. Wait! Maybe there is something more. I've never met Oliver in person but I know him through this book. You're getting ready to meet Oliver Mol too. You don't even know it yet, but you're really lucky. We used to call events like these 'miracles'. Welcome to a miracle.' —Scott McClanahan, author of 'Crapalachia'
'While reading Lion Attack!I kept thinking YES! It made me feel pumped. It made me feel good and bad (in a good way) about being human. It is honest, thoughtful, and funny. I implore you to read this book!' —Stacey Teague, author of 'takahe'
'This is what literature feels like when it is alive ... Lion Attack! documents what it means to be alive right now, showing how reality and fantasy co-exist.' —Beach Sloth
About the Author
is a Sydney-based writer and managing editor of the Adventure Handbook
. His work has appeared online and in print, including in the Saturday Paper
, Going Down Swinging
, and the Lifted Brow
. In 2012 he was the recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, and in 2013 he was an inaugural co-winner of the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers.