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That Deadman Dance

By: Kim Scott
Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bobby Wabalanginy never learned fear, not until he was pretty well a grown man. Sure, he grew up doing the Dead Man Dance - those stiff movements, those jerking limbs – as if he’d learned it from their very own selves; but with him it was a dance of life, a lively dance for people to do together…

Told through the eyes of black and white, young and old, That Deadman Dance is a story about a fledgling Western Australian community in the early 1800s known as the ‘friendly frontier’. Poetic, warm-hearted and bold, it is a story which shows that first contact did not have to lead to war. It is a story for our times.

©2010 Kim Scott (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about That Deadman Dance

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A beautiful story.

I took a while too get into this story, but it improved. It was a heart breaking and informative and had a great reverence for the Indigenous Australian people.

2 people found this helpful

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Hard to say how important this book is for me

Like Scott I'm a descendant of both the South Coast Nyungar and the white settlers who wound up there. I don't have much language, or kaartdijin, and know little about life during those early times of interaction. This book did something very important for me. It helped me make sense of my parts, and their tensions. It helped me to understand that its okay for the Wadjela and the Nyungar in me to be friends, and more than that - for them to meld. That dance of Bobby Wabalanginy - a very Nyungar thing, not in spite of wearing a Wadjela's coat but because of it.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved every minute

Absolutely loved every minute. History I did not know in an adventurous novel, well told.

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One for every Australian

This is a must read for every Australian!
So seldom do we get to hear the story of the Australian colonization experience told from the perspective of its original inhabitants that it’s would be a terrible shame not to grab the opportunity when it finally presents self.
Wonderfully written and fabulously read, the story is surprising in that not all experiences were particularly negative and not all Characters in the story were victims - some mastered the situation thrust upon them and emerged hero’s!

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A great reflection on Australian history

A great book. Full credits for any awards given. Beautiful prose. Week read! Australians will benefit by reading.

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Great to listen to!

I don’t know if I’d enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed listening to this. Great insight into colonisation and the aboriginal culture at the time. Loved the narration by Humphrey Bower.

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Love this book so much.

If you live in Australia, you should read this book. It is so beautifully written, the audio was fantastic. I laughed and cried at different times in this book. I will keep coming back to read it over and over again and I will be telling everyone I know to read it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-05-2012

Even H. Bower couldn't make this one interesting

What disappointed you about That Deadman Dance?

The story was hard work. Hard to follow and retain even a small amount of interest.

Would you ever listen to anything by Kim Scott again?

Unlikely, unless I was convinced from a thousand reviews that it was worthwhile.

What three words best describe Humphrey Bower’s voice?

Great for narration

What character would you cut from That Deadman Dance?

All of them

Any additional comments?

Disappointing. I bought this book because it had won an Australian literary award. I should have known awards don't necessarily mean the book suits my taste.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Will Scates Frances
  • 18-08-2017

fantastic

The sense of time, place and loss in this novel made me shivver.

Very well done.