McDonald’s latest novel, Rough Wallaby, carves out a fascinating position in contemporary literature: an intricately constructed, fast paced yam drawing its narrative from a contemporary Australian myth, the Fine Cotton race horse switch.
The intriguing aspect of Wallaby is that it makes no pretence at anything but a great big yam. The yam in Australia is in a position of disgrace, not among readers, but in the academic-critical club. The story is no longer literature, it seems. There have to be other surreptitious elements recognized and codified by the literary fraternity.
Unfortunately, this encourages the lesser writers to ruin what would have been very good stories by laying a trail of baits for the savour of the fashionable critic.