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The Glass Kingdom

The Glass Kingdom

Chris Flynn

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In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Ben and his sidekick, Mikey, work the Target Ball stand in a ramshackle carnival travelling up the east coast. Ben is trying to put his time in the army behind him and make some money. Mikey—AKA Mekong Delta, Fremantle’s answer to Fifty Cent—wants to work on his flow and impress girls.

Their marks are the boozed-up blokes wandering sideshow alley in the hope of winning fluffy toys for their girlfriends. Easy pickings—so long as Mikey keeps his big mouth shut. Especially since his tendency to start fights jeopardises Ben’s lucrative meth-dealing operation…

Inventive, profane and hilarious, The Glass Kingdom is a breakneck tour of rural Australia’s underbelly from the acclaimed author of A Tiger in Eden.


Tony Birch, Australian Book Review


891 ABC Adelaide for Adelaide Writers Week 2015

Chris Flynn
About the Author

Chris Flynn’s first novel was A Tiger in Eden, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. He edited ‘Terra Australis: Four Stories from Aboriginal Australian Writers’ in McSweeney’s 41, and his writing has appeared in Griffith Review, Meanjin, Paris Review Daily, Monster Children, Smith Journal, Silent History, Age, Australian, Big...

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Text publication date:
28 May 2014
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Praise for Chris Flynn
andThe Glass Kingdom

‘A funny, sick book you’ll want to wash off your skin like outback dust, blood and spit.’

‘Takes aim at many aspects of modern life, from the military to reality television to society’s growing dependence on pharmacology…Fans of Irvine Welsh will delight in Flynn’s wordplay.’

‘Flynn’s fine ear for voice, rhythm, and pace, on full display here, are a major strength of the novel. His characters are sharply drawn. We come to know and inhabit these men not only through what they say, but how they say it…The characters inhabit a three-dimensional landscape where movement, be it subtle or dramatic, creates its own tension and poetry.’

‘A catastrophic, unexpected and strikingly imagined climax. His command of extravagant action and idiom never flags.’

‘Flynn’s men, like country towns, want to be known. Flynn’s close attention to voice means he’s always testing the frailties of self-perception and the performance of masculinity. Flynn is already one of our most playfully thoughtful novelists. On the basis of the gathering strengths of his two novels to date, he’s also on track to become one of our most interesting.’

‘The funniest tale I’ve read in many a year…The Glass Kingdom is best described, I think, as Alex Garland’s The Beach meets the bush, and will have you marvelling at Flynn’s extraordinary ear for the vernacular and wicked eye for small-town country Australia.’

‘An unflinching page-turner that’s funny, ugly, shocking and true to life all at once.’

‘Chris Flynn’s The Glass Kingdom has a whiff of Irvine Welsh’s drug-stream of consciousness and mindless violence, both brilliantly captured…a wild and satisfying ride.’

‘A fantastic romp through the dark crevasses of Australia…a good read, a wanna-get-back-to-it read, and there isn’t much better than that.’

The Glass Kingdom gives readers an insight into a very dysfunctional community and a network of drug dealers scattered across bleak and violent small towns in rural Australia. The blurb states that fans of Irvine Welsh will enjoy the book, and I entirely agree.’

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