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At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the slap. Its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.
Murray Whelan thinks the everyday life of a political advisor is complicated enough: but now there are intimations of intrigue among the party powerful and his ex-wife is mounting a custody battle over his beloved son. So when you throw in a Turk snap-frozen in a local meat plant, drugs planted under the bed, fascist funeral rites, a killer car and blood-sucking parasites, things are suddenly spinning wildly out of control.
Shadow Boxing is a collection of ten linked stories in the life of a boy growing up in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in the 1960s. A beautifully rendered time capsule, it captures a period of decay,turmoil and change through innocent unblinking eyes.
One summer morning in 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of a television and wireless shop, pronounces his Melbourne suburb one hundred years old. That same morning, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband, yet it is years since Vic moved north. Their son, Michael, has left for the city, and is entering the awkward terrain of first love. As the suburb prepares to celebrate progress, Michael's friend Mulligan is commissioned to paint a mural of the area's history. But wh
Melbourne, 1959. An 11-year-old boy witnesses a murder as he spies through the window of a strange house. God, whom he no longer counts as a friend, obviously has a pretty screwed-up sense of humour: just one year before, the boy had looked on helplessly as his twin brother, Tom, suffered a violent death. Now, having been seen by the angry murderer, he is a kid on the run.
It's 1958 and Australia is becoming a different place. The Melbourne working-class suburb of Carlton is now home to many immigrant families trying to begin new lives and make sense of the old. Romek and Zofia, liberated from the camps in Poland, work hard at the local market, but their love is in ruins. Their skinny twelve-year-old son Josh takes up boxing and becomes bewitched by the Swedish Girl. But Zofia is tormented, and as she falls further into madness, Josh wonders if she can ever be made whole again.
The story follows the downfall of the young teacher John Grant who's bonded to the education department in New South Wales and placed in an outback town called Tiboonda. He hates it. The summer holidays have arrived. All he wants is to return to the comforts of Sydney and have another chance with his fantasy woman Robyn. But on his journey out of hell he gets stuck in the town Bundanyabba -- the Yabba -- for a horror 48 hours of relentless drinking, roo hunting and despair.