The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory - a Memoir By Corey White
Reviewed By Ian Williams
On initial consideration, Corey White does not seem old enough to me to call his first book a memoir.
But it quickly becomes apparent Corey had lived through some life experiences that many people would not face in an entire lifetime.
Growing up in what can only be described as a dysfunctional family in a housing commission house in Caboolture just past the northern outskirts of suburban Brisbane, he was treated by his father as the golden child from a very young age. His mum, his sister and his half-sister were not so lucky.
“He hits my mother, he hits my sisters, but he doesn’t hit me. I am special, his favourite.”
Corey bonded with his father by cruelly despatching cane toads with the sharp end of a cricket stump and a brick. And he endured sexual abuse from an uncle at a very early age,
Returning from pre-school one afternoon his father was not around and asked his bong-smoking mum where his Dad was, only to learn he was in jail.
His life spiralled even further downwards, and when his mum went to jail, a long journey through the Queensland foster care system began.
Some of his many foster care placements were just as dysfunctional as his original family home. And the bureaucrats administering foster care were short of staff and finances to do much better. But a brief but amazingly effective relationship with a case manager saw Corey given the opportunity to receive a scholarship to board at Brisbane’s prestigious Nudgee College. He matriculated with the third highest possible score and was able to begin university and study IT majoring in Computer Science and move into St Leo’s residential college.
Turning eighteen combined with a freer university life saw Corey begin to be exposed to the world of alcohol and drugs of all kinds. All of the demons that this mixture conjures up became part of his life.
Sustaining himself with work in a call centre, Corey made a start on what was to become a new career in stand up comedy. Brisbane’s comedy scene was pretty narrow and while dealing with depression, he decided to start writing a show for the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He did a warm up gig at the Sydney Fringe Festival that proved successful.
A career born out of having a really hard start in life, fighting off the effects of drugs, alcohol and mental illness seems to have gained real traction in his chosen art form as well as his personal life.
It became obvious to me Corey White had lived more than enough of life to warrant his first book being called a memoir. Early in the book there was an overuse of the personal pronoun “I”, but that righted itself as the book progressed.
I finished this book wanting his life to continue to enjoy some of the better things he most certainly missed out early in life.
About The Author:
Corey White is a comedian who after surviving a tough start in life has followed a career in comedy. He won the Best Newcomer Award at the 2014 Sydney Fringe Festival and Best Newcomer Award at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. White took his show to the Edinburgh Fringe and created an ABC series – Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise. The Prettiest Horse In The Glue Factory - a Memoir is his first book.
Publication Date: 16 July 2019
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia