Puncher & Wattmann
by Adam Morris
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Bird follows Carson, a young, cerebral Aboriginal man who traverses his way in and out of the prison system in Western Australia. The story is told through the multiple white characters Carson encounters along his journey. The novel is similar stylistically and thematically to Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting or some of the early writings of John Dos Passos, painting a picture of a world which is simultaneously bleak, comic and harrowing.
This is gruelling book, much of it set in a prison, full of horror, madness and dark humour. You will learn about people who live in the hell that is society’s underbelly, home to folk you have never met and pray you never do. Adam Morris does not spare the reader, and neither should he, because we are all complicit - the rot at our core is a collective responsibility. Bird is a must read.
Australian fiction needs more stories like this; honest and fierce and intensely human.
I found this novel deeply, deeply unsettling, confronting and outrightly difficult to deal with, it is a work of great significance for the Reconciliation process and for Australian literature.
This is confronting, brutal and honest storytelling. The tension through every page is tightly wound and no word is wasted. Bird is a gripping and thought provoking read for those who like their tales gritty, well researched and true, it is an important work.
DEBORAH CRABTREE, BOOKS AND PUBLISHING