“ Written in a wonderfully evocative, muscular prose and rich in Biblical cadences, Martin Sparrow just might be Australia's answer to the novels of Cormac McCarthy. ”
Chris Saliba, Books & Publishing
“ The Making of Martin Sparrow is at once harrowing and entertaining, unsettling our expectations as it constructs yet another version of those convict times that seem always to stand up to another imaginative return. ”
Peter Pierce, The Australian
“ Unsurprisingly, given Cochrane's position as a historian, the novel is well researched and brings vividly to life the danger, dirt, and darkness of the period. The smell of death and decay hangs over the events of the novel which paints the Australian frontier as uncompromising and unwelcoming. ”
Simon Clark, The AU Review
April 30, 2018
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April 30, 2018
Sparrow woke on wet sand somewhere downriver with a terrible stink in his nostrils, the smell of death and decay, rot and ruin all about. At first he did not stir, there in the pre-dawn, pale light to the east beyond the river, the tide on the turn, ebbing now, the flow yet a faint murmur in his ears.
Confusion held him still, as did the formidable lassitude in his bones and the damp cold on his skin. The sound of his breathing confirmed the likelihood that he was alive. He raised his head and looked about, sucked up a wad of gritty phlegm and spat onto the sand. He wondered if perhaps his deliverance was the work of a kindly fate, a chance to make good his miserable existence. Hard to know.
The sand was strewn with muck and wreckage. The hen coop was there, his hens dead, in company with tangles of lumber and thatch, fence posts and scoured saplings, a big, raggedy cut of wagon canvas and a lidless coffin, the muddied panelling infested with yellow mould that glowed bright in the soft dawn light.Continue Reading