Author(s): Roger McDonald
In this sweeping epic of friendship, toil, hope and failed promise, multi-award-winning author Roger McDonald follows the story of Kingsley Colts as he chases the ghost of himself through the decades, and in and out of the lives and affections of the citizens of 'The Isabel', a slice of Australia scattered with prospectors, artists, no-hopers and visionaries. Against this spacious backdrop of sheep stations, timeless landscapes and the Five Alls pub, men play out their fates, conduct their rivalries and hope for the best. Major Dunc Buckler, 'misplaced genius and authentic ratbag', scours the country for machinery in a World War that will never find him. Wayne Hovell, slave to 'moral duty', carries the physical and emotional scars of Colts's early rebellion, but also finds himself the keeper of his redemption. Normie Powell, son of a rugby-playing minister, finds his own mysticism as a naturalist, while warm-hearted stock dealer Alan Hooke longs for understanding in a house full of women. They are men shaped by the obligations and expectations of a previous generation, all striving to define themselves in their own language, on their own terms. 'When Colts Ran', written in Roger McDonald's rich and piercingly observant style, in turns humorous and hard-bitten, charts the ebb and flow of human fortune, and our fraught desire to leave an indelible mark on society and those closest to us. It shows how loyalties shape us in the most unexpected ways. It is the story of how men 'strike at beauty' as they fall to the earth.
ROGER MCDONALD is the author of six novels: 1915, SLIPSTREAM, ROUGH WALLABY, WATER MAN, THE SLAP, and MR DARWIN'S SHOOTER. His account of travels with New Zealand shearers in the Australian outback, SHEARER'S MOTEL won the 1993 National Book Council Banjo award for non-fiction. The internationally acclaimed besteller MR DARWIN'S SHOOTER was awarded the New South Wales, Victorian, and South Australian Premiers' Literary Awards, and won the National Fiction Award at the 2000 Adelaide Writers' Week. THE BALLAD OF DESMOND KALE won the 2006 Miles Franklin Award and South Australian Festival Prize for Fiction.