"Look at the Ringer, all his grace with animals reduced to a single challenge, 'them or me' in the rodeo arena...When the horse was done it was taken out the back and shot. 'Rough wallaby', the Ringer called it: what people got at the end, when they were forced down to living out their dreams.
"Chink Lloyd, animal-trainer, dreams of the Ringer, the rodeo legend, and going on the road again. Terry Punch, city talk-back radio star, dreams of spending time in the country with his best mate, Chink.
"Rough Wallaby is an exhilarating ride through the world of battling stud farmers and horse racers, high life and low life, country and city, where losers go for broke and dreams are for living...."
"exuberantly, extravagantly, refreshingly good..." - Canberra Times
"McDonald's evocation of broken-down Australian landscape and broken-up Australian people has all the vigour, panache and cunning which...others have long sought in vain." - Canberra Times
"Rarely has Sydney's fast lane been portrayed so raucously as in Roger McDonald's Rough Wallaby, a gorgeous romp with some extraordinarily complex, dynamic and thoroughly Australian characters...The pace, humour and backchat in this novel leave you quite breathless..." - Sydney Morning Herald
"a quirky, almost surreal satire of Australian society [which] involves a racehorse ring-in of the Fine Cotton kind...Rough Wallaby, in some ways a dark look at the materialism and faded dreams of contemporary Australia, also celebrates the ptoential generosity of 'ordinary' people" - The Herald
The place where he worked was a small smoke-filled room walled in by glass. He called it "the industry", what he did there. "We're taking calls on the Knucklebone Line. Over to you, whingers. Who's waitin'?"
"That you, Terry?" she asked.
"Who else, bright eyes."
"I'm spinning the crystal ball, old mate," she said.
"Spin away, Madame Ez."
He killed the mike and said: "Great load of old shopping bags, leathery old lizard, dragon to meet in the flesh, nine hundred years old and she disgusts me. You don't spin a crystral ball, God help me, where was she schooled? The old strap of licorice."
From the Picador paperback edition, 1995.
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Last modified: July 22, 2001.