"It's a decade since the infamous Inquiry into corruption tore the state of Queensland apart. But for George Verney, disgraced journalist and bit-player in the great scandals of his day, the Inquiry has never quite finished. After ten years of self-imposed exile, drawn by the terrible death of a man who was his friend, he reluctantly returns to Brisbane, the city of his downfall. In a town he no longer recognises and through an underworld that has forgotten him, George must seek out the other hidden survivors of his times, to confront the truth about their common past, and to find a way to let the dead rest in peace.
"Tough, honest, uncompromising, exciting. From Andrew McGahan, the author of the bestselling Praise and 1988, Last Drinks lives up to the reputation."
"What impresses most is McGahan's grasp of structure, his fluid, almost rhythmic, storytelling and the ineffable sadness at the core ..." - Mark Butler, The Australian
It was a cataclysm.
That was the only word for it. Like the fall of Rome, the fall of Troy. Like we'd flown too high and challenged the gods. It started out so small, just a whisper, but someone lost their nerve, someone let it slip, and suddenly it was out.
People were scattering to the winds. Old friends wouldn't return my calls. And you know what I did on my last night as a government minister? I gathered up my papers and set them alight, right there in my office, let the fire blaze until the sprinklers came on and doused the whole mess. Later, the police arrived, warrants in hand, and found me there amongst the ashes.
'Take me in boys,' I said.
And just watch while this whole fucking town goes up.Extract from untitled manuscript by Marvin McNulty
From the Allen and Unwin paperback edition, 2000.
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Last modified: June 26, 2005.