Whistler's Bones by Greg Barron
$19.90 plus 5.90 postage.
306 Pages, Trade (large) Paperback.
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At the age of fifteen, Charlie left his home in Bendigo and signed on as a drover with Nat Buchanan. Two years later he was a key man on one of Australia’s greatest cattle drives – the Durack family’s epic journey from Cooper’s Creek, Queensland – to the Kimberley.
Stumbling on Charlie’s largely unknown story, and filling in the gaps with fiction, the author has created a novel unique in Australian literature. An unprecedented adventure, and a passionate love story, Whistler's Bones is both a celebration of the good things in the settlement of Northern Australia, and a damning indictment of the bad.
Review in Country Update Magazine:
This is a work that takes the true diarised story of Charlie Gaunt, the Durack family and an epic droving trip of more than two years of unrelenting deprivation – from western Qld to the Kimberley, nearly 5000 ks, in the 1880’s – and upholsters it with fiction, recreating a genesis of Australia’s pastoral history.
Confronting and uncomfortable, and raising more questions than it answers, it seems unbelievable to contemplate this was a real way of life when the west was the last frontier – yet it was. Chapters are preceded by true diary entries and notes that chill and fill the reader with dread yet instil empathy for the hero, the vanquished or the victim, forged to a ruthlessness none so young should ever know.
"An absolute epic story. Loved reading every word and had a lot of trouble putting it down. A fabulous read." M Watson
"Got it, reading it, great book. Can't wait to get to the next chapter. Really enjoying it." S Flanagan
"Just finished reading. Awesome book - they were tough back then." G Davies
"Nearly finished it now and what a great, well researched story. Pretty close to a 10 out of 10 read." S Lucas
"Great read, just finished, couldn't put it down ... highly recommend." P Hynd
"This is a FANTASTIC book. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone. Well done Greg." M Finlay-Franken
"A great story, listened to the interview on Conversations on ABC radio months ago." D Drinkall
"I really enjoyed this book on my Kindle." D Walker
"Well worth reading. A fantastic story." P Firth
"Just read this book ... loved it!" M Balderson
"Reading the book now and it's great." D Pownall
"A great book tells it like it was no sugar coating." L Dunne
"I have just finished reading this book, it is amazing, confronting, and also interesting." G Baker
Read the first three chapters for free here.