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  • Published: 30 August 2022
  • ISBN: 9781760899936
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $32.99

The Cutting

A darkly humorous novel about modern Australia and what it means to be a good person.

It’s 2016. Lance Alcocke, sole heir to an iron ore fortune, forty-ish bachelor, has just lost control of his life’s work. His newly opened mine, Madeleine’s Monster, named after his pioneering, iron-fisted grandmother, was supposed to be a workers’ paradise in the Pilbara. But the Monster can’t cover its costs and Lance’s Korean financiers are trying to steal his company out from under him. Lance has appointed administrators to APC Minerals, and his 1200 workers have lost their jobs.

Among those newly unemployed when the Monster goes under is young engineer Will Fulbright. Will’s downhill slide has been gathering pace for some time. His formerly loved-up girlfriend, Justine Jamison, director of the refugee advocacy group Free All Refugee Children! (FARC!) and lefty girl about town, doesn’t seem to like him much anymore. Will has no income, not many prospects, a slightly out of control drug problem, and finds himself back on his mother’s couch in Fairfield. Meanwhile, out on the Bronte Cutting, Will’s old employer, Lance Alcocke, and Will’s girlfriend Justine are on a personal collision course of their own.

This is a novel of our times. It is about money, class, race, privilege, families, friends, lovers, duplicity and corruption . . . and whether it’s possible for anyone to get what they deserve any more.

  • Published: 30 August 2022
  • ISBN: 9781760899936
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Richard McHugh

Richard McHugh lives near the ocean in Sydney with his partner and their children. He argues cases, makes photographs and writes. He published his first novel, Charlie Anderson’s General Theory of Lying, in 2015. The Cutting is his second novel.

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Praise for The Cutting

Forensic, furious and very, very funny, The Cutting slices deep into the machinery of wealth and power that drives Australian society, with exhilarating results.

James Bradley

Richard McHugh's writing is sharp enough to draw blood. Brilliantly funny, with a forensic insight into its characters and their world, The Cutting is that rare thing, a literary page-turner that has you laughing and thinking at the same time. I was sorry it had to end.

Malcolm Knox

The Cutting is an incisive look at money, power, class and the way they deeply affect people’s lives. It’s a clever, entertaining and thought-provoking second novel from McHugh.

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Class is a dirty word in Australia – such an affront to our egalitarian pretensions that we like to pretend it doesn't exist here. The Cutting cuts through the crap in a dark satire on class privilege that stands as a kind of antipodean Bonfire of the Vanities.

Cameron Woodhead, Sydney Morning Herald

Sharp and clever . . . A brilliant treatment of modern Australia.

Frank O'Shea, Canberra Times

Discover more

How one author separates himself from his legal background

Find out how author Richard McHugh wrote his new book The Cutting while working full-time as a barrister.