Coal Creek (Paperback)Alex Miller (author)
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When his father dies, Bobby Blue decides to leave the Mount Hay cattle station where they worked side by side and take a job in town as the new constable's offsider. Daniel, the constable, his wife Esme and their two girls, Irie and Miriam, are new to the western country and, struggling to understand its inhabitants, invite Bobby to stay in a hut on their property where he is educated alongside their daughters.
But there's a simmering tension, building quietly and strongly, beneath the overt goodwill. And when first Irie then Miriam become involved in a dispute that threatens violence, there's an abrupt and ruthless change in attitude from Daniel and Esme towards Bobby.
When tragedy strikes at Coal Creek the true nature of the perceived friendship is laid bare with consequences that will haunt Bobby for decades.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 402 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm
Coal Creek may well be [Miller's] finest work. It is an astonishing story of love caught up in a savage injustice. * Irish Times *
Alex Miller's Coal Creek is a triumph. If ever there were an example of a novelist simultaneously commanding yet somehow at the mercy of a character's voice, this is it. -- Tim Winton * The Australian *
Miller has been a master of visceral description from as long ago as the first novel he published...What might also be considered are the likenesses, more than ever apparent, between his career and that of Patrick White. Each draws deeply on his youthful experience working in the outback. Each writes of the making of art. They are alike adept at acrid comedies of manners. * Weekend Australian *
It's difficult to shake off the sense that in Coal Creek Miller has struck a kind of grace note in a literary career already lauded for a certain touch of resonant genius. For Coal Creek is that rare, mystifyingly powerful novel that lodges itself, unbidden, deep in the human marrow... Miller brings a rare empathy and melodic power to this tale which is, at one level, a timeless tale of friendship and love, betrayal and injustice. At another it is like a ballad to country - timeless, evocative, and unforgettable. * West Australian *
Miller's novel is in many respects his best yet, a compelling tale of important ideas and influential relationships, an examination of a period in art and of characters who command empathy even when acting badly. * The Times Literary Supplement on Autumn Laing *
Miller is a treasure from the land Down Under... Why we haven't been reading him for years, I honestly can't imagine. * The Irish Times *
Miller's eleventh novel deserves a place in the national psyche * Herald Sun *