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.
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