Beaten by a Blow
A Shearer's Story
'The genuine article: gritty and honest and harsh as a crow's cry.'
Growing up, Dennis McIntosh was determined not to get stuck in a factory like his father. And when he takes a job as a roustabout he discovers what he really wants to be: a shearer, the king of the sheds.
But it soon turns out this legendary occupation isn't everything it seems. Dennis discovers what it feels like when your eyelids are the only bit of you that doesn't hurt. When the heat in the sheds kills the sheep before you're done shearing them. When the road isn't taking you towards adventure, it's taking you away from your family, and you drink to forget.
Beaten by a Blow tells the story of a boy full of hope crashing headlong into life – into work, into drink, into responsibilities he isn't ready for, which come closer to breaking his back than shearing ever did.
'Holds the reader in the grip of its merciless narrative from beginning to end . . . A work of art.'
Roger McDonald, THE AUSTRALIAN
'Fascinating. The story could have been told by Henry Lawson in the 1890s. A remarkably good writer.'
Bruce Elder, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD