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Publisher's Summary

Khaki Town, Judy Nunn's stunning new novel, is inspired by a wartime true story which the government kept secret for over 70 years.

'It seems to have happened overnight,' Val thought as she pulled the beers. 'We've become a khaki town.'

It's March 1942. Singapore has fallen. Darwin has been bombed. Australia is on the brink of being invaded by the Imperial Japanese Forces. And Val Callahan, publican of The Brown's Hotel in Townsville, could not be happier as she contemplates the fortune she's making from lonely, thirsty soldiers. 

Overnight the small Queensland city is transformed into the transport hub for 70,000 American and Australian soldiers destined for combat in the South Pacific. Barbed wire and gun emplacements cover the beaches. Historic buildings have been commandeered. And the dance halls are in full swing with jitterbug and jive.

The Australian troops, short on rations and equipment, begrudge the confident, well-fed 'Yanks' who have taken over their town (and women). And there's growing conflict, too, within the American ranks. Because black GIs are enjoying the absence of segregation and the white GIs do not like it.

Then one night a massive street fight leaves a black soldier lying dead in the street, and the situation explodes into violent confrontation.

©2019 Judy Nunn (P)2019 Penguin Random House Australia

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What listeners say about Khaki Town

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Good story, poor narration.

Horrible narration. If you can't do accents, dont try. Really spoilt the enjoyment of book.

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another brilliant piece from judy nunn

loved it, thx judy for writing about things Aussies should know. keep up good work.

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another history lesson

I love it when an author can combine fiction with history - and Judy Nunn does this so well. War stories always have a sad and depressing effect on me but so often mixed with those feelings of pride and appreciation for those whom were involved, at all levels. More of Judy Nunn for me.

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Another well researched gripping tale.

I absolutely love Judy Nunn. This story is of course so well written, but I found it a bit depressing. I guess Australia's history is. Why cant everybody just get the along....

2 people found this helpful

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A Fascinating Story

I loved this book. The story line, which I had not known before, was beautifully told and narrated. A glimpse back to a different time.

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Definitely worth reading!

As an x-army wife with an association with Townsville, I found this a fascinating presentation. I particularly found interesting the part at the end making known what was true and what was fiction.
Judy Nunn does a great job letting us know about the history we never knew.

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  • Jon
  • 02-10-2021

The story is interesting, swearing not

I won’t bother with Judy Nun again, because of the cursing and swearing. There’s no need for it, and it demonstrates s strong careless attitude to those who hate it.
John Derum should just read and NOT try accents. He turn Indigenous into Italians etc.

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What's with the pretend accent???

Couldn't listen to the horribly offensive "aboriginal" accent which sounded more South African than anything

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Khaki Town by Judy Nunn

what a great book thank you so much Judy Nunn for writing it💜 .And thank you John Derum for reading to me.💜

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Enjoyable historical tale.

This was my first encounter with Australian wartime history in North Queensland. I live in the region and am ignorant of those times here. The story had me looking forward to listening to the next chapter. I will be looking to purchase more by Judi Nunn.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.