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Preservation - Jock Serong

Paperback Published: 29th October 2018
ISBN: 9781925773125
Number Of Pages: 400

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Preservation, based on the true story of the wreck of the Sydney Cove, sees master storyteller Jock Serong turn his talents to historical narrative.

On a beach not far from the isolated settlement of Sydney in 1797, a fishing boat picks up three shipwreck survivors, distressed and terribly injured. They have walked hundreds of miles across a landscape whose features—and inhabitants—they have no way of comprehending. They have lost fourteen companions along the way. Their accounts of the ordeal are evasive.

It is Lieutenant Joshua Grayling’s task to investigate the story. He comes to realise that those fourteen deaths were contrived by one calculating mind and, as the full horror of the men’s journey emerges, he begins to wonder whether the ruthless killer poses a danger to his own family.

About the Author

Jock Serong is the author of Quota, winner of the 2015 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction; The Rules of Backyard Cricket, shortlisted for the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Award for Fiction, finalist of the 2017 MWA Edgar Awards for Best Paperback Original, and finalist of the 2017 INDIES Adult Mystery Book of the Year; and On the Java Ridge, shortlisted for the 2018 Indie Awards.


an utterly brilliant read!


Preservation is the fourth novel by Award-winning Australian author, Jock Serong. From the archive of a newspaper named The Asiatic Mirror, we know that a tri-masted country trader, the Sydney Cove, filled with goods including quite a lot of rum, left Calcutta in November of 1796, headed for New South Wales on a speculative venture, and was wrecked on Preservation Island in Bass Strait in early 1797. One of those on board, William Clark wrote an incomplete diary, extracts of which were quoted in said newspaper. Serong takes the bare bones of these facts and fleshes them out. After the wrecking, seventeen men take the longboat, intending to reach Sydney and initiate a rescue of the remaining crew and salvage of the rum cargo. Mere days later this boat, too, is wrecked, and the men, with what goods they have been able to recover, head on foot for Sydney, some five hundred and fifty miles. Not quite three months later, three survivors are picked up by a fishing boat just south of Sydney. On Governor Hunter's instruction, Lieutenant Joshua Grayling questions two of the survivors: William Clark, who is supercargo for the shipping company; and Mr Figge, who purports to be a representative of a tea merchant. Srinivas, a Bengali lascar, is Clark's manservant and assumed to speak no English. Charlotte Grayling listens to her husband's account of the interrogation of the survivors, asking pertinent questions and offering insightful observations. Each of these five distinct narratives is denoted by its own apt icon both at each start and beside the page count. It soon becomes apparent that each of these survivors is not being entirely forthcoming, and that Clark's journal does not give the full facts, even where the facts recorded are actually true. What they are hiding, and why, becomes the object of Grayling's interviews with the men. Serong's characters are much more than one-dimensional, and he gives some of them perceptive reflections: "…not only do they have the run




5.0 1


`Serong's prose is evocative, his dialogue convincing.' * Sydney Morning Herald *
`Full of tension and menace.'
`Serong is a talented storyteller.' * Booklist *
`One of Australia's most innovative and ambitious crime writers.' * NZ Listener *
`Well-researched.' * Herald Sun *

ISBN: 9781925773125
ISBN-10: 1925773124
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 29th October 2018
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.46

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