Adventure and Revenge: Read an Extract from The Burning Island by Jock Serong

Adventure and Revenge: Read an Extract from The Burning Island by Jock Serong

I had been aware of the man in the corner of my vision for an hour or more.

Dark, but not a native.

He wore no hat and I could see that his hair was deep in retreat above his temples. A thin man, slightly stooped, with a delicate formality to his walk. I’d passed the rows of vendors and bought what I needed. Short conversations, greetings. Bargaining here or there—surely that’s the price for a dozen?—slowing, shifting, turning. But always I could feel the presence out beyond my shoulder. The man never came close enough to hear or to speak: he merely kept in step as I moved.

And I am not someone accustomed to being followed. Lord, you’d die of the tedium.

In the sheds I bought myself a hock of mutton and a pound of potatoes. No, Mr Ross, I am cooking for myself, same as last week. Mr Ross shrank back into his shell, tortoise-man. While he wrapped the meat in long muslin, further out the dark man let the sides of his eyes inform him.

I forced a conversation with the woman who had broad beans. Veda, Vera, Thea. I didn’t want the beans: I wanted to convince myself I was imagining things.

Still there…

Continue reading the extract here…

Reviews

The Burning Island Author Jock Serong on the Challenges of Writing

Review | Author Related

16 September 2020

The Burning Island Author Jock Serong on the Challenges of Writing

    Revenge, Family and Reflection: Read our Review of The Burning Island by Jock Serong

    Review | Our Review

    14 September 2020

    Revenge, Family and Reflection: Read our Review of The Burning Island by Jock Serong

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              Synopsis

              Eliza Grayling, born in Sydney when the colony itself was still an infant, has lived there all her thirty-two years. Too tall, too stern-too old, now-for marriage, she lives by herself, looking in on her reclusive father in case he has injured himself while drunk. There is a shadow in his past, she knows. Something obsessive. Something to do with a man who bested him thirty-three years ago. Then Srinivas, another figure from that dark past, offers Joshua Grayling the chance for a reckoning with his nemesis.Eliza is horrified. The plan entails a sea voyage far to the south and an uncertain, possibly violent, outcome. Out of the question for an elderly man-insanity for a helpless drunkard who also happens to be blind. Unable to dissuade her father from his mad quest, Eliza begins to understand she may be forced to go with him. Then she sees the ship they will be sailing on. And in that instant, the voyage of the Moonbird becomes Eliza's mission too.
              Jock Serong
              About the author

              Jock Serong

              Jock Serong lives and works on the far southwest coast of Victoria. He was a practising lawyer when he wrote Quota and is currently a features writer, and the editor of Great Ocean Quarterly. He is married with four children, who in turn are raising a black dog, a rabbit and an unknown number of guinea pigs. Quota is his first novel.

              Books by Jock Serong

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