🔴 Condition - Good 🔴
Drawing it's characters from the upper echelons of Melbourne University, it is also a sharply satirical portrayal of academic life and social mores. While Sir Hiram Pomfret, a world renowned neurophysiologist, and the Reverend Neville Cardigan struggle with the moral question of science and religion at the turn of the millennium, Pomfret's daughter-in-law Delia finds herself, as a geneticist, in a profession reviled by feminists and New Age spiritualists alike. It is Delia's journey through alienation and self-discovery that really shape the novel. Her husband - who has forever been under the shadow of his famous father, even though he is now a successful academic neurosurgeon in his own right - is a kleptomaniac and a womaniser. Delia too has had a long struggle with self-worth and how to define her place in the world, although her family background is far down the scale from her husband's: she and her twin brother were deserted by their parents and raised by an aunt, until Delia's brother also leaves. When she discovers, many years later, her brother to be the leader of a kooky new Age cult, with their mother in tow as a kind of spiritual aide, her theories of genetic inheritance versus environment are brought into even sharper relief. The title of 'Against Gravity' is a play on the idea of levity as opposed to gravity, and is also a reference to the Newtonian force that pulls everyone down eventually, in one way or another. In this novel people fall from high places, they fall from grace, they fall under the limitations of age and gender, they fall down the stairs. 'Against Gravity' is not simply funny, it is a profoundly witty investigation of morals, the debate between science and religion, and life as a kind of divine joke.