Book review: Saurian by Rod Harrison

SAURIAN is a mix of history, fact and fiction. The Saurian title is in reference to a large saltwater alpha male crocodile who regularly makes a presence throughout the novel in some interesting ways. Saurian is made up of many short stories, including those from the Aboriginal dreamtime.

As an avid reader I often devour books in one sitting. Most of these are by authors such as Arthur Upfield, Ion Idriess, Frank Clune and Tom Cole. Others can take a few sittings. Saurian was one of those books that I devoured in two sittings.

The book kicks off with fact and fiction, of people real and fictitious, of places that exist, and those that exist only in the imagination.

The book races along with the story of Beauregarde T. Glendon, a Confederate soldier making a break from South Carolina and arriving in Australia running from a charge of murder.

Landing in Melbourne, Beauregarde soon finds himself responsible for the winning horse in the fabulously rich Melbourne Cup.

With money in his pocket Beauregarde hits the road and meets up Australian bushranger, Frank Gardiner, camped on the site of the Eureka Stockade before running into Ned Kelly.

The gold trail begins with a trek through the Victorian gold fields through the NSW gold fields and eventually into Queensland with Beau eventually founding The Sphincter Mine.

All throughout the book there is a reminder of quick death waiting at the jaws of Saurian as many are crushed by this huge beast.

There are more twists in this book than the Bell’s Line of Road which zig zags across the Blue Mountains. The book is full of “Harroisms”, which adds a stamp of unique authenticity to his first novel.

I found many surprises of places and people named. Malcolm Douglas and Steve Irwin, two great Australians, naturally get a mention in a book based around a crocodile.

For me I found it an indelible yarn.

The first limited edition copy sold out within days of its official release. I’m sure there will be many editions to be printed in the near future.

For those keen to order a copy of the next edition, visit the Saurian page on Facebook where details on how to order are readily available.

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