Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 20, 2011

Sensational Snippets: When Colts Ran (2010), by Roger McDonald

When Colts Ran

 I like it when I’m wrong about a book, and I am delighted to be wrong about this one: it’s NOT about horses!

When Colts Ran, by Roger McDonald, is shortlisted for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award and I borrowed it from the library today. I’ve put everything aside to read it, and while you wait for my review, here’s a Sensational Snippet that gives a sense of McDonald’s style. 

Sixteen-year-old Kinglsey Colts has done a bunk and has just jumped the train:

Wrong place, wrong siding, he’d made a mistake in the half dark and stepped from the train a stop early.  Limestone Hills siding was the next along.
Sensations poured in, not of Colts’s own bothered self so much, now that he started walking and hoping, but of a time that was always there without him – a country place that was the truest part of him: the smell of dry grass and morning dust in his nostrils, the clamour of mocking galahs and the bells of topknot pigeons, with always the light lengthening, fingering through bushes and rocks, seeking, he sometimes imagined, the quartzite at the old cemetery where his mother was buried.
Roger McDonald, When Colts Ran, Vintage (Random House, 2010, ISBN 9781864710410 (pbk) p15

Ok, I’m off to read the rest of it…


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