It is a beautiful moment indeed when, browsing along the bookshelves, I come across an unfamiliar novel, when an intriguing cover draws me in and I find within a story that matches it perfectly. Though we are all aware of the proverb ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it is an inevitably unconscious act for many people and often as good a basis as any for selecting which book, out of millions, is going to be the next world that we enter.
Gotham is the brief but compelling story of Jeff Foster, an Australian freelance Rolling Stone music reporter, and his all-nighter gambit with up-and-coming rap icon Na$ti Boi in the streets of New York. Beginning with the meet-cute at an after-hours Bloomingdales, Jeff witnesses the many layers of the rapper, whose outward self-confidence, displayed in his profound lyrical profanity, belies his fear and insecurity, glimpsed as he rifles through four pairs of Alexander Wang cargo pants. Standing stoically alongside Na$ty Boi is Smokey, his golden-grilled manager whose wife is in labour with their second child. Between controlled and placating exchanges with his charge Na$ti Boi, Smokey and Jeff bond over their experiences of the joys and trials of parenthood — a sharp contrast to the crack-sniffing Na$ti Boi who demands a visit to his semi-regular lady, an Ivy League pornstar, followed by a beef Wellington for dinner.