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The Degenerates

Following the interwoven lives of four characters across India, Australia and the United States, the novel takes root in Melbourne and brings its streets, shopping centres and laneways to life with astounding originality—the city may never be the same again.

The Degenerates radiates with Titch’s fanaticism and Ginny’s obsessions. Somnath’s devastating history reflects every life divided around the globe. And Maha, the heart of the novel, is an extraordinary creation, an abiding figure of modern salvation. Brimming with vitality, humour, intelligence and brilliant writing, The Degenerates engages with the realities of modern loneliness and every form of departure—from our homes, from our families and even from life itself.

In propulsive prose, The Degenerates summons the power of storytelling, disrupts conventional narratives and pays tribute to those lives often lost in the margins.

Raeden Richardson
About the Author

Raeden Richardson grew up in Melbourne and graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, La Napoule Foundation and Yaddo. His writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and New Australian Fiction.

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Text publication date:
3 September 2024
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Praise for Raeden Richardson
andThe Degenerates

The Degenerates is vivid, wild and even prophetic. It left me in awe. Raeden Richardson is the real deal.’

‘Richardson creates a world much like ours but filled with dark magic and coincidences of the wildest kinds… a brilliant and transporting debut.’ 

‘A buoyant, macabre, subversive love song to the art of storytelling.’

‘Radiates with vitality…one feels as if its pages are somehow emitting the material of real life.’

‘Inventive and daring…There’s something ravenous about Raeden Richardson's voice. It consumes everything in its path to forge an entirely fresh language.’

‘Richardson writes like a composer scoring a symphony, with such grace, fluidity, and musical control you almost feel you can see the notes rising off the page.’ 

‘To call The Degenerates ambitious would be a gross understatement. Raeden Richardson contends with nothing less than Buddhist samsara and the nature of existence itself, emulating the distinct surrealism of David Lynch. He pulls out all the stops of language and storytelling, achieving a debut that is as much a sage meditation as a novel.’

‘Outstanding—an epic tale full of vivid characters and told in a unique voice. The Degenerates is sad and funny and beautiful and strange.’

The Degenerates is going for broke. It’s that rare thing: a wholly original novel told in a fantastically propulsive prose, rollicking, robust, swerving between the comically weird and the direly tragic, taking risks, talking dirty, and ending in a vision that will reduce its dazzled readers to tears. Melbourne has never been so lurid and hallucinogenic, seen through the grimy lens of a hidden garage in Degraves Street: more goon than any Goon Squad, more hoon than celebrations of the AFL Grand Final of 2017, more goon bag realist in its bold and wildly confident hyperrealism.’

Other editions ofThe Degenerates
  • The Degenerates
    ISBN: 9781923059047
    3 September 2024
    Buy ebook