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Preservation, based on the true story of the wreck of the Sydney Cove, sees master storyteller Jock Serong turn his talents to historical narrative.

Read a sample chapter from Preservation here.

On a beach not far from the isolated settlement of Sydney in 1797, a fishing boat picks up three shipwreck survivors, distressed and terribly injured. They have walked hundreds of miles across a landscape whose features—and inhabitants—they have no way of comprehending. They have lost fourteen companions along the way. Their accounts of the ordeal are evasive.

It is Lieutenant Joshua Grayling’s task to investigate the story. He comes to realise that those fourteen deaths were contrived by one calculating mind and, as the full horror of the men’s journey emerges, he begins to wonder whether the ruthless killer poses a danger to his own family.


3CR interview
3RRR: Backstory (09:10)
ABC Hobart: Your Afternoon (4:30)
ABC Melbourne: The Friday Review (39:45)
ABC Radio National: Blueprint for Living
ANZ Litlovers
Australian ($) ‘Preservation is an impressive novel, one that revels in the power of narrative to enlighten, horrify and enthral’
Australian Book Review
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Final Draft: Great Conversations 
Readings: ‘Full of tension and menace.’
Saturday Paper

Jock Serong
About the Author

Jock Serong’s most recent novel, On the Java Ridge, a fast-paced political thriller, was published in 2017. His debut novel Quota won the 2015 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel. The Rules of Backyard Cricket is nominated for a 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Jock teaches...

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Text publication date:
29 October 2018
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Praise for Jock Serong

‘Serong’s prose is evocative, his dialogue convincing.’

‘Full of tension and menace.’

‘A riveting and brutal tale.’

‘Serong is a talented storyteller.’

‘One of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious crime writers.’


‘Draws a tense bow’

‘Serong’s description of the landscape, the encounters with indigenous groups and his finely drawn descriptions of the players in the story makes this a gripping and compelling novel that will justly draw comparisons with Kate Grenville’s acclaimed The Secret River.’

‘Jock Serong delivers a story of survival and treachery that examines the principles on which the colony of New South Wales was founded and the impact invading attitudes had on the land’s indigenous population.’

‘Gripping and extremely accomplished.’

‘Compelling and attractive.’


Preservation is an impressive novel, one that revels in the power of narrative to enlighten, horrify and enthral.’

Other editions ofPreservation
  • Preservation
    ISBN: 9781925774030
    29 October 2018
    Buy ebook