THE RULES OF BACKYARD CRICKET BY JOCK SERONG
PUBLISHED BY TEXT PUBLISHING COMPANY
REVIEW BY AIDAN WHITEHURST
Jock Serong invites you to remember a time in your life when the backyard beheld the single most important cricketing event on the national calendar, outside the Boxing Day Test, on an almost daily basis. A place where striking the dog with a batted ball was considered an automatic out, and adopting the persona of a famous cricketer was not in the rules but failure to do so was considered “poor form”. Where mum occasionally caught a one hander at mid-on whilst doing the gardening.
The protagonist Darren Keefe relives his childhood spent getting into mischief and playing cricket in the backyard with his older brother and idol Wally, in the Melbourne suburb of Altona during the 1970s. Darren’s talent and passion for the game sees him make a career of it at the top level. Unfortunately though, his mischievous nature follows him into adulthood and his name soon becomes synonymous with sporting villains. A life of dodgy dealings leads him to his present situation, recalling these memories in the boot of a car. He’s trying to reconcile his past with his potential future.
Serong is fast becoming one of Australia’s most precious suspense writers, by once again creating a story to captivate readers and leave them wondering where the protagonist is heading. Drifting between the past and the present begs the question; how will Darren turn things around and come out on top like always (sorry no spoilers here).
Although the tales of childhood years may bring a cheeky smile to your face, the novel will also remind you to make a call to your brother every once in a while. Just in case…
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.