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A River Town by Thomas Keneally
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A River Town (edition 1995)

by Thomas Keneally

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143283,804 (3.66)8
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This is the tale of a reluctant hero, an endearing, if flawed, man whose stubborn integrity is nearly his undoing. Vividly conveying the spirit of the times, Tom Keneally's vibrant portrait of the river town of Kempsey manifests the inescapability of human malice in a place of natural splendour.

(first paragraph below;)
"On a hot morning in the New Year, a black police wagon went rolling along Kempsey's Belgrave Street from the direction of West Kemspey. All of this in the valley of the Macleay on the lush and humid north coast of New South Wales. The wagon attracted a fair amount of notice from the passers-by and witnesses. Many shopowners and customers in fact came out onto the footpaths to watch this wagon be drawn by, and some of them waved mockingly at the dark, barred window of the thing. Tim Shea of T. Shea - General Store stayed behind his counter but looked out with as much fascination as anyone as the wagon passed, two constables on the driver's seat, and Fry the sergeant of police riding behind."

Some of my colonial ancestors settled in Kempsey, and "A River Town" amply filled in the brutality and beautiful atmosphere of the times. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Quirky, compelling. Makes you want to read more by Keneally. ( )
  CharlesBoyd | Nov 11, 2009 |
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