Peter Cochrane - The Making of Martin Sparrow - Friday 15th June

In conversation with ABC RN's Kate Evans

Martin Sparrow is already struggling when the Hawkesbury’s great flood of March 1806 lays waste to him and his farm.

Luckless, lovelorn and deep in debt, the ex-convict is confronted with a choice. He can buckle down and set about his agricultural recovery, or he can heed the whispers of an earthly paradise on the far side of the mountains – a place where men are truly free – and strike out for a new life. But what chance of renewal is there for a man like Sparrow in either the brutal colony or the forbidding wilderness?

The decision he makes triggers a harrowing chain of events and draws in a cast of extraordinary characters, including Alister Mackie, the chief constable on the river; his deputy, Thaddeus Cuff; the vicious hunter, Griffin Pinney; the Romany girl, Bea Faa; and the young Aboriginal men, Caleb and Moowut’tin, caught between war and peace.  BUY THE BOOK

‘Historian Peter Cochrane’s first major work of fiction… portrays a Hobbesian nightmare world, where life is nasty, brutish and short. Full of hair-raising violence and murder, it’s the sort of world that Shakespeare’s nihilistic Iago would have felt right at home in. Cochrane peoples his novel with a broad cast of extraordinary characters, from the chillingly evil hunter Griffin Pinney to 17-year-old Bea Faa, wanted for a bloody murder. Written in wonderfully evocative, muscular prose and rich in Biblical cadences, Martin Sparrow just might be Australia’s answer to the novels of Cormac McCarthy.’  Bookseller+Publisher

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Date and time: Friday 15th June, 6pm for 6.30pm

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