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Scrublands

Narrated by: Dorje Swallow
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,325 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Riversend, an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest steps out of his church and calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself. 

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don't fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can't ignore his doubts nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest's deadly rampage. 

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend, and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal. 

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.

©2018 Chris Hammer (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

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What listeners say about Scrublands

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Persisting with it but....

It sounds like it is read in dot points. Absolutely doing my head in. It's literally one short statement followed by a pause and another short statement. Im upto chapter 6 and trying to persist with it but its a struggle
". But first there are more pressing concerns.
. coffee.
. its 10:30.
. it'd be nice to have a decent cup.
. but when he gets to the oasis.
. theres a sign on the door.
. gone out.
. back soon.
. with a picture of poo bear and piglet.
. wimsy.
. Martin decides.
. Will be more appealing post coffee then pre coffee.
. maybe the petrol station offers something more approximate.
. or maybe the services club is open.
. or he could return to the Black Dog and brew up another cup of bottled water.
. nescafe and long life milk.
. he opts for abstinence.."

88 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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slow start, brilliant ending

The beginning of the story seemed a little slow. it didn't give any hint of the amazingly complex nature of the story to come. The narrator was extremely skilled and the story line was intriguingly compelling. I'm sad to leave Riversend, such a close knit and caring community, but not without its demons.

36 people found this helpful

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A POWERFUL BOOK

Drawn to it like a magnet gripping ,powerful. If u are Australian grown up in the bush during the drought, this book transports u right back there in the heat people smells feelings and hard ship. Combine it with a sophisticated crime or 2 and you are caught. Un able to stay away from it like a must have long drink of water.
Narrator was perfect for this Australian book a great combination.
promotional material on internet is a wow factor and gives foundations to the town .looking forward to another.

37 people found this helpful

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Sooooo good

An intriguing story, delivered beautifully, a must listen. I changed my theory many times during this book. I hope the author has written more.

17 people found this helpful

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best book I have ever listened to

I have been with audible for 2 years and most enjoy this genre. this book was the best I have listened to. well layered story, constantly unfolding intrigue that is not too far fetched, great imagery of rural australia (I grew up rurally), insight into reporting and characters that were multidimensional. I cant wait for his next book. also expertly narrated and perfect voice for the book. 10/10

25 people found this helpful

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  • Mae
  • 11-04-2019

Long and Complicated - But Worth It

I really enjoyed this story. The plot was complicated and the characters were complex. A fascinating setting that gives the listener a taste of what it would be like to live in a small town suffering from the effects of drought and with limited resources. Loved it!

7 people found this helpful

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Good

I enjoyed this book. I seem to prefer Australian books with Australian narrators. The scene is well set and gives you a good idea what Marin looks at when he arrives in town and throughout the story. I had many questions, and they were all answered at the end. I recommend this book.

22 people found this helpful

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Went on forever

Only finished it as it felt like I'd invested too much time in it not to hear the ending. Not worth it! Felt like every little detail was gone over 20 times, like he assumed the reader was too stupid to follow story without the full explanation at the end.

5 people found this helpful

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Scublands a 5 star listen

Absolutely loved this book. An Australian classic. Lots of twists and turns. Cant wait to hear more from this author.

11 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration

Excellent narration - great story! We listened to this over 2 very long days of driving. It was appreciated that the author could convey violence and sex without graphic details.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Earnest
  • 01-02-2020

Potential overstocked and then blown over.

Sorry but this does not hold up against books in other, much better“The Dry” series by other authors who have tackled Australian,small country town stories.
There’s a huge lack of “ heart” behind the many, many storylines. Too many. It’s not that they are hard to follow but they are too rigidly locked into a dull pattern. In fact- just like an extended “ the long read” by a competent but not accomplished journalist.
And the repeated occurrence of a précis of events as if the author was reassuring himself rather than anyone else, making sure the reader had “got it.” I.e. like a stolid newspaper report. I rather wish that the novel had been written by the character called Darcy- it might have been a more lyrical read.
The names of the characters, the uninspired, reductive and repetitive way Australian heat is described.. a shame.
Perhaps the best segment was the rendition of what it feels like to experience the visceral onslaught of a fire engulfing a home.

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  • Mark devine
  • 19-09-2019

Gripping tale

In the top 10 audio books for sure ( I have done more than 500) enjoy

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  • Mark
  • 04-02-2019

Author Chris Hammer and narrator Dorje Swallow

Author Chris Hammer and narrator Dorje Swallow both did a great job with this book. Hammer's descriptions of characters and locations made me feel like I'd just walked into the same places and people. Swallow's tempo and intonations were exactly as you'd expect from these kind of characters and perfect for this book. A top tier book in my collection and I'd like to see another one fom these two.