Translation of Peter Temple's Truth in Greek, discussion - feedback

First of all I have to introduce myself.

I am George, 33, noir aficionado and translator by profession.

I 've done some titles by now, notably Burroughs' Junky, Naked Lunch, Queer and Hippos (in collaboration with Kerouac of course), Klimowski's Horace Dorlan graphic novel. Done a couple others as well.

I am currently working on translating Peter Temple's Truth in Greek, due for publication in the early summer. 

The reason for this thread is simple: as is the case with every book, there are blurry parts that are open for interpretation, while the use of Aussie language can be a sticking point. I am requesting your help and insight as native English speakers and experienced readers concerning lines that have me doubting.

Any feedback would be hugely appreciated, that said I am starting right now with the first installment!

PAGE 2: "Certainly passed on that shit-riding talent".

It the scene where Biskerts has described his grandpa's toilet bowl adventure. I have tried to make sense of what "shit-riding" is supposed to mean there but to no avail. Open for suggestions.

PAGE 13: "On the radio, Alan Machin, 3AR's drive man, said"

I have been trying to figure out what drive man means and I can only make educated guesses. Since 3AR is a radio station he must be something of a presenter. Haven't found what "drive man" is supposed to mean yet though.

PAGE 35: "He drank from the tap. The rainwater tasted ancient, of zinc nails held in the mouth"

Any ideas concerning this TAP would be appreciated. Why would a tap produce rainwater. I suppose it's something else but don't know what.

PAGE 55: "Security bloke shot him through the right cheek. Six years for that, Andrew, came out in 2002"

I am suspecting that ANDREW is some kind of jail but I went through all the Australian correctional institutions list and found no resembling name. Am i missing something?

PAGE 66: Talking about gathering information, Villani and Dance:

"How'd you get this?"

"The ether".

I suppose this ETHER is some kind of information network? Cannot make much of it.

PAGE 80: "This is drugs, it's like spit, no natural end. You 'll never nail anyone who matters"

IT'S LIKE SPIT. I do not know what to make of this simile. Does he mean that there is an ever-flowing supply of drugs? Opinions accepted.

That's it for now. Any feedback would be hugely appreciated since it would make my rendering the original more precise. I know I am mainly addressing people who have already read the book but feel free to contribute anyway.

My regards


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This is probably difficult without the context. It occurs to me that you, as the official translator, should be able to ask these questions of the author. I know I had to field questions from translators in two instances.


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