Great Reading: Wake In Fright by Kenneth Cook

“The best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence” – Nick Cave

So that’s one of my fave singers talking about the film made in the early 70’s which seems to be more well known that the book. I’m going to try something I don’t do normally, write about a novel I just finished last week because this is a music blog I’ve got to link it somehow? But the main character name is John Grant too, who’s yet another one of my fave singer from the last few years too. While reading it I did pictured a younger singer-songwriter John Grant being John Grant the school teacher, it worked pretty well I think. Unlike the last book which I pictured my old staffy dog Winston doing the main character from Orwell’s 1984 novel. John the singer had to do the method acting thing too, off course he had to do it all in an Aussie accent as well.

Anyway, picking it up for $13.00 the other week from my local bookshop, Diabolik and published by Text Classic and I did read it pretty quick really. You totally see why it was turned into to a movie, written so visually. I’ve not seen the movie for a longtime now but I might have to again now. Well known Aussie movie critic David Stratton writes an afterword about how this movie kick-started the Aussie film industry too.  It’s been on my to-read list forever or a very longtime too. It was Kenneth Cook  debut novel from 1961 based on his own outback desert experience and the town he lived in was Broken Hill because the place Bundanyabba don’t exist but it could be any small country town really.

I’m an Aussie who grew-up in a small country town but on the coast so you could go swimming easy, 99% of people were surfers because they was nothing else to do. Kind-of spoiler alert now but things like drinking yourself silly, gabbling all your money away, Kangaroo shooting and shooting yourself are all things people get up to when your are totally bored out of your skull. I did notice alot films reviews from overseas call this a horror movie but I’ve not seen that for a while but could it be a doco really and/or maybe, book could easily be non-fiction. Written in the early sixties but it be just be done just yesterday because all these things are or can seen as big problems but still the government has no idea how to deal with these things especially suicide today.

I’m getting off point a bit, Wake In Fright book is funny as fuck too. I recommend it to anyone or everyone, five full glasses of beer out of five or should I say a hundred?  Brilliant Aussie cult classic novel which I should have read sooner but you know?


Right, I’m pretty much doing this post because a friend really wants me to join GoodReads website but I can’t stuff to start something else so blog readers do want more posts about books I’m reading or what? I’ve done two before here, Nick Cave’s Sick Bag Song and Holly Throsby’s Goodwood which both are off course singer-songwriters writing books. So what do you think? More books here?

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