BLOSSOM LIKE A ROSE by Christopher Bray


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Mating time in the Australian bush, as two construction gang hearties lock horns over a desirable girl. Mr. Bray, whose early effort, The Scarecrow Man (1968), followed the cosmological divinations of two tramps on Christmas Eve, catches the stubby idiom of working class loners and tunes in on the desolate beauty of the bush with sensitivity, although there is just more about concrete mixers and Wheelbarrows than one really wants to know. Wanderer Jake, who has a way of building his bank and blowing it, knows when he meets Sally, a blonde nurse, that his life has taken the abrupt turn he never expected into meaning and certitude. Joining a construction gang in the bush, Jake in no time begins a series of verbal and fistic engagements with the mighty Brody, erstwhile suitor of Sally. An accident in which: Brody nearly dies prompts Jake to make the noble gesture of surrender, unaware that Sally carries his child. Brody and the news catch up; and in a forest fire, Brody finally rescues Jake and bows before the power of true love. At times pontifical-soporifical, but there is some fine scenery and rugged, indigenous talk as the billy boils.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1969
Publisher: Viking