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By: Dougie Macfarlane


Pages: 218 Ratings:
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The year is 1967 and Martinup, situated in rural Western Australia, is largely unaffected by the sixties revolution that is sweeping the rest of the world. High school is the focus of attention for Brian MacArthur and his friend, Trevor Stewart.

It is so different from primary school. They make their own entertainment in the bush.

Their science teacher, Paul Newton, is on his first teaching post, straight from Perth, missing his girlfriend and sharing a dreadful flat with an outrageous person who works as a primary school teacher. Life is unbearable and conflict inevitable.

Brian has reluctantly accepted the position of altar boy in the local Catholic church. The priest hides a dark secret involving church funds.

The Vietnam War rages on, threatening Brian’s older brother, Roger, with conscription should he fail in his exams at university.

Brian and Trevor launch a hot air balloon which starts a bush fire and causes the deaths of hundreds.

Well, no. But it could have.

The author, Dougie Macfarlane, was born in rural Western Australia in 1954 and grew up in the bush. He attended the University of Western Australia from 1972 to 1976. He graduated BSc math in 1975 and DipEd in 1976. He has been a teacher in primary and secondary schools in two countries, a bartender, a private math tutor, a wine sales manager and a bagpipe maker. For thirty years, he lived in Scotland, but now he lives as a writer in the Netherlands.

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