The Long Trek. "Burke's Soldier" by Alan Attwood. [review]
Alan Attwood's fictional account of the Victorian Exploration Expedition, long known as the Burke and Wills Expedition, is told through the eyes of a man who has often been overlooked. John King - a soldier, not a gentleman - was the sole survivor of the mission.There is an inventive twist in "Burke's Soldier". It is a pity that it takes so long to get to it. The last quarter of the book meanders past every person and event of the 1860s. Marcus Clarke, Captain Moonlite, the first Test cricket team, the first Melbourne Cup and the US Civil War all turn up to dissipate the focus of the novel in its closing stages. Attwood takes the long way home, but at least, unlike Burke and Wills, he makes it. The real survivor is the one who controls the story.