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By Alex Miller

The recent novel from Australia's hugely acclaimed literary treasure is an awfully strong exploration of tragedy, betrayal, the genuine nature of friendship and the great thing about lasting love.

'Me and Ben were buddies considering that we used to be boys and if it come to it I knew i might must be on his side.'

Bobby Blue is stuck among loyalty to his basically pal, Ben Tobin, and his boss, Daniel Collins, the recent Constable at Mount Hay. 'Ben was once no longer a huge guy yet he used to be robust and fast as a snake. He had his personal breed of pony that used to be similar to him, stocky and trustworthy on their feet.' Bobby knows the folks and the methods of Mount Hay; Collins experiences the rustic as an archaeologist may perhaps, bringing his coastal values to the hinterland. Bobby says, 'I don't imagine Daniel could have understood Ben in 1000000 years.' more and more bewildered and goaded to motion through his spouse, Constable Collins takes up his shotgun and his Webley pistol to accommodate Ben. Bobby's love for Collins' wilful younger daughter Irie is uncovered, resulting in tragic effects for them all.

Miller's beautiful depictions of the rustic of the Queensland highlands shape the history of this easily instructed yet deeply major novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic results of confusion and distrust. Coal Creek is a superbly enjoyable novel with a pleasurable solution. It incorporates the entire knowledge and emotional intensity we have now come to anticipate from Miller's richly evocative novels.

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Additional info for Coal Creek

Sample text

3 It was an ardent and exclusive statement of affection that used the language of revered male friendship. These conventions—manifestations of the early modern ‘culture of epistolarity’ and the freighted notion of Renaissance friendship—are well understood. In Faunt’s correspondence with Anthony, we see how the conventions operated in practice. Throughout the early 1580s, the two men exchanged letters of a personal and professional nature: both were intimately involved in intelligence matters, and Faunt was in addition an invaluable mediator for Anthony in his family and financial affairs.

46 Renaissance correspondents would also have recognised them as subtle echoes of the style of the master of the ars epistolaria, deployed to situate a letter (and its author) within a cultured and Latinate milieu. 47 In Paris with ‘no matter worthy the setting downe’, he opted instead to include a ‘pretie iest’, a bawdy anecdote about a pilgrimage undertaken by the childless king and queen: giving alms to a local poor woman, the queen informed her that she was going to Chartres ‘for a Sonne or a child’.

D. d. May (carried by ‘one King seruaunt to Master Gifford,’ acknowledged in letter of 31 May). 55 Haynes, Elizabethan Secret Services, 14; Robyn Adams, ‘“Both diligent and secret”: the intelligence letters of William Herle’, unpublished PhD dissertation, Queen Mary, University of London, 2004. 120r. 54 W. 57 From the start their relationship had involved the exchange of news and intelligence, and now Faunt was established in England, with a role at Court and in the Principal Secretary’s office, his access to political intelligence widened considerably.

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