THE HERO OF TEE TOWN by David Martin


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This small-town Australian novel begins folksily as Our Town but eventually drifts off into Peyton Place played for parody. A young teacher-folklorist comes to the shire of Tooramit to investigate the famous villainies of the old-time bandit Dick Grogan. Grogan has been apotheosized and sainted by the adoring townspeople. It was Shire President Jack Bollman's grandfather who captured Grogan by wounding him with an ignominious bullet in the left buttock. Two of Dick Grogan's secret sidekicks are still alive and nonagenarians. As the folklorist digs for the truth in the Dick Grogan legend, he becomes involved with the Bollmans and other villagers. Meanwhile, we follow the pursuit by young George Bellman of two girls, Lacy, darkhaired and earthy, and Clare, blonde and spiritual. As the yarn gets tangled, the author introduces flashback scenes showing the real life of Dick Grogan, who was effeminate, a bungler, and wore an iron jockstrap out of mortal fear. The story flirts with incest and reveals everyone's family skeleton. The tone gets sticky but the parody of Dick Grogan is funny as hallelujah.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1965
Publisher: Morrow