A Novel

Ron Elliott,

Spinner: A Novel

About the eBook

Twelve year old David Donald is a simple boy with an amazing gift. He lives with his grandfather on a farm outside the West Australian country town of Dungarin. David’s parents are dead. His grandfather, George Baker, was a talented off-spin bowler and one-time coach of the state cricket team. He trains his grandson in the art of spin bowling. One day David’s Uncle Michael arrives to take David away. The two cross the central Australian desert by train and, through a series of twists and turns, David Donald comes to play with the Australian Cricket Team in a magical test series against England. Spinner is a fable where the reader is drawn into believing the impossible. The boy David has a pure, undiluted view of the world, but his uncle Michael is a complex wounded figure, full of self-loathing and inclined to drink. He is a different kind of ‘spinner’: he tells tall stories and people believe him. He is a shyster and a showman. The boy David is heart-wrenchingly vulnerable in his uncle’s care. The novel is set between the wars, at the beginning of the Great Depression. It recalls the Bodyline series, and Australia’s real-life hero Don Bradman – but even as it evokes nostalgia, it is much more than a story about cricket. Spinner uses the game as a way of exploring violence and conflict and honour and the deep bonds and fissures created by the war and by sport, in men. Spinner is a novel about identity and masculinity at a point in Australia’s history where the Australian psyche was being challenged and redefined. Above all, Spinner is a novel about the way the First World War changed lives.
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