When your parents name you Paige and your last name is Turner they’ve either got an incredible sense of humour or have preordained their little ‘un to be a reader. Up there with my love of books is my love of a long bath. Immersed in a bath’s womb like warmth, buried in whatever book I’m reading is my idea of heaven. My longest bath book read so far is a tad over four hours, between two and three hours is more usual and if I haven’t got a minimum of an hour to indulge my habit then I don’t bother. I only read books in the bath or in bed.
My favourite bath is one where I can replenish the warm water by working the taps with my toes and releasing the cool water by the bath plug being within an arm’s reach. Have you noticed that the best baths are not usually the most attractive? Those fancy egg shaped baths that look so magnificent are bloody awful to read in.
I suppose I better review a book; a local hero seemed appropriate so it’s Captain G-String by JP Borsini. It’s Borsini’s first book and spans the genres of family saga, action adventure, suspense thriller, new adult and memoir. It took a few baths to get through it. The story is about Gian Pierro Borelli born to Italian parents shortly after they arrived in Australia in 1966. They moved to Manly a few years later and Gian quickly became besotted by the water– in it, on it, thinking about it, this kid loved the ocean. Gian’s other passion was for making money.
It’s more a book of short stories, each portraying Gian doing one or more of standing up to bullies, treating his parents with respect, excelling at most things whether it be fishing, surfing, selling surfboards, being a gym instructor, keeping crooks honest, blitzing the SAS training, mastering Taekkyeon, helping the less fortunate and being ahead of the curve when it came to appreciating every man’s right to be homosexual.
It’s this last attribute that made him decide to wear a G-string while hawking ice creams from his boat at remote beaches where gay men liked to swim and sunbake. Handsome Gian in a g-string was a big attraction. The ladies were just as appreciative of his fine physique in a g-string too.
Gian, who changes his name to the anglicised John along the way, delights in being a maverick who was never accepted by any club I suspect he’d quite like to have joined, such as the Queenscliff Board Riders Club, Taekkyeon sect, becoming a Green Beret and so on.
John claims to thrive on being an outsider but I couldn’t help feeling his bravado was a sham and inside that hunkahunk of suntanned manliness was the little kid with the funny name who deep down craved the kind of acceptance and unconditional love his family gave him.
It’s a boy’s own tale and this boy truly loves the water. The book is at its best, and so is the writing, when Borsini is writing about place. Those coves and inlets Borsini knows so well and some wild weather are described with such love and respect that you know the ocean is his one true and everlasting love.
Head to jpborsini.com.au/captain-g-string to get your copy of Captain G-String. You can also buy copies at Boat Books in St Leonards, boatbooks-aust.com.au or from JP direct in his ice cream boat, and get a discount that way too!