Scoundrel Days: A memoir
University of Queensland Press $29.95 pb, 304 pp, 9780702259562
Brentley Frazer, one of many scoundrels in his memoir Scoundrel Days, documents coming of age on the boundary of civilisation. His father’s vocation as the only policeman in a small northern Queensland mining town subjects Frazer to a chaotic side of life: a lockup only a stone’s throw from his bedroom; housing criminals and murderous poachers; bloodied victims of domestic violence showing up in the early hours; and the aftermath of car crashes. His parents’ involvement with the new-age cult ‘The Family’ introduces perverts into the home. But Frazer embraces his circumstances with a kind of brash vigour, starting The Wreckers gang, drinking, smoking, taking drugs, and committing acts of vandalism.