Why have burning dogs come from the past to haunt Ned Sheridan? What is their connection to the man who delivered him to St Andrew’s Hostel on the day “all memory began”? Do the answers lie in the alien world of a Queensland sapphire mining field 2,000 miles away, peopled by pub bombers, poddy dodgers, and fading bush boxers
In the tragi-comic spirit of Lawson, Paterson and the early bush balladeers of outback Australia, the story of Ned’s search for identity unfolds against a backdrop of natural beauty and elemental catastrophe. Through its richly evoked sense of place, its finely drawn characters and unfailing humanity, The Gaze of Dogs’ depiction of the small miners’ struggle against the greed of the machinery men paints a rare picture of a forgotten part of Australia’s history in the 1970s.
A quest and a mystery that takes us deep into the Anakie sapphire mines of Central Queensland, and the gritty lives of ex boxers, immigrants, and the resilient Kairi people. Here, with its kindness and treachery, naked loyalty and cold malice, is one writer’s hard-earned truth. I devoured it. Peter Carey
Original artwork by Jim Anderson.