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If you want to witness culture shock in action, attend Richard Flanagan's April 2 reading at The Regulator Bookshop. Flanagan (pictured), a former day laborer and river guide who lives in Tasmania with his wife and three children, will be reading from his novel Death of a River Guide. It's the story of a river guide who, in an attempt to save a tourist who falls into Tasmania's wild Franklin River, becomes trapped under the rapids. While he awaits rescue, the guide's life flashes before his eyes. In a narrative reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the guide's mind is flooded with visions taking him back into his ancestral past and demonstrating his metaphysical connection to all things. He sees a train up in the trees in a rain forest, a tear-stained bedspread, gum trees flowering, and surreal, topographical views of the Franklin gorges. This novel has been praised by The Times Literary Supplement as "one of the most auspicious debuts in Australian writing." Call 286-2700 for details.

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