The year is 1977, and Adrian is nine. He lives with his gran and his uncle Rory; his best friend is Clinton Tull. He loves to draw and he wants a dog; he's afraid of quicksand and self-combustion. Adrian watches his suburban world, but there is much he cannot understand. He does not for instance, know why three neighbourhood children might set out to buy ice-cream and never come back home . . .
'Far away the best new Australian piece of fiction I have read, rivalling the achievements of Thursday's child.' Peter Craven, The Age
'The writing is spare, the images crystalline . . .remarkable.' The Guardian (UK)
'Hartnett's work is a gem, the climax as taut as a triller and . . . heart wrenching.' Weekend Australian
'Effortlessly moving form matter-of-fact to mystical, at times exquisitely painful to read, Of a Boy is an almost suffocatingly powerful evocation of the emotional life of the very young . . . [for] anyone who recalls being a child. And everyone who doesn't.' Sydney Morning Herald
'Sonya Hartnett's Hauntingly beautiful part-family drama, part-mystery, captures the vulnerability of childhood and has a high-voltage ending you'll find hard to forget.' Australian Women's Weekly