Asking for a friend.

Novel (possibly novella or novelette)

Publication Notes;
Australian/Melbourne author (likely but not certain. It shows a lot of familiarity with Melbourne).
Australian publication.
May have been published overseas as well.
Published circa 1976 to late 1980s* (*It was read in roughly that time frame AND there's a mention of Melbourne's Valhalla Cinema as still operating, and that was its time period. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valhalla_Cinema,_Melbourne).

Melbourne, Australia.
Present day (late 1970s - 1980s).

Male protagonist.
Marginalized by society.
He is increasingly ignored.
Eventually he actually disappears from our universe and enters an alternate version of Melbourne.
While there he meets a girl, also marginalized, also from our universe.
NOTE - It's possible that the alternate universe appears black and white to him.

Unknown elements;
Unsure if the alternate Melbourne is unpopulated before he meets the girl, but we think so.
Can't remember if romance ensues, but it probably does otherwise what's the point?
Can't remember the ending.

I'm asking for a friend, so there's probably not much more I can tell you.

Thanks for reading.

marked as duplicate by Otis, Blackwood, Rand al'Thor Oct 9 '16 at 18:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Just to check, you still have access to this friend such that you will be able to confirm answers by asking them? – FuzzyBoots May 17 '15 at 15:45
  • Hi Sean. Thanks for your time. Yes, I have access to them and plan on checking all suggestions/answers with them. – Ms.Millions May 18 '15 at 10:30
  • :) Cool. We just have a thing about questions needing a way to verify the answer and FOAF queries are tricky that way as the original writer can often do little more than say "Yeah, that sounds similar, but I don't know." – FuzzyBoots May 18 '15 at 11:56
  • That would be enraging. – Ms.Millions May 19 '15 at 0:37

It's a long shot, but I wonder if this is Displaced Person by Lee Harding.

I don't have a copy of the book, so the suggestion is just based on some Googling. The book seems obscure, so I can't confirm that it's based in Melbourne, but Google books confirms it does mention the Valhalla Cinema. I found a summary of the book that says:

Graeme Dury is an ordinary teenager, that is until the day that people start to ignore him. At first he thinks nothing of it but when the world begins to take a grey tinge and people miss him when he is in the room Graeme realises that the problem is very real. He has slipped into a kind of limbo in between worlds where he can see what's goin on but the world is grey and silent and he is invisible. But he is not completely alone as he discovers Jamie and Marion, two others caught in this land of limbo. Together they try to work out what is going on with their world and what will happen when the darkness comes to take over from the grey.

This does fit with the world appearing black and white (well, grey) and him meeting a girl - assuming Marion is a girl.


Google books confirms the book is set in Melbourne, so it looks as if this is indeed the book your friend remembers.

  • Hi John. Thanks for your time. That sound pretty promising, well done. I'll check and get back to you. – Ms.Millions May 18 '15 at 10:32
  • Displaced Person is it! Obviously my friend misremembered the length (he's excited to know the title and amazed at how quickly it was found). Thanks so much John, great work. Thanks Sean. Thanks everyone who took the time to read the question. – Ms.Millions May 19 '15 at 0:43

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