''Never before have you felt so close to history. Yet so irrelevant to it.'' *** Thirty-something Nick is walking down Parramatta Road's six lanes of thundering traffic to see his former girlfriend Penny for the first time since they agreed to be 'just friends.' By this novel's end, he is racing back up that same road so he doesn't lose her. Nick and Penny's awkward romance is played out against the backdrop of high capitalism and the rise of the digital age. Bombarded by advertisements, slogans, news, wars, politics, and consumerism, just a little silence is hard to find. Even in the bedroom with the woman he wants so much to love, Nick's mind spirals off to other times and places. Through Nick, we revisit the Gulf War watched on a rented TV in a London flat; we meet the girl who broke his heart; and veteran political journalist Kerry O'Brien interviews Margaret Thatcher in a pastiche of Molly Bloom's soliloquy. In the hyperbolic, media-driven world they inhabit, can Nick and Penny somehow find ways of being, and maybe even being together? In a world of casualized employment, media saturation, and a constant push for market innovation, what happens to the fundamental human need for belonging? What happens to the most fundamental relationships between people when they are asked to build their lives on quicksand? What is it like to live and love in the time of contemporary capitalism? Written by Anthony Macris, Great Western Highway: A Love Story is the sequel to the award-winning Capital, Volume One (Allen & Unwin), which won Macris a listing as a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist 2008.