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Wake In Fright

Wake In Fright: Text Classics

Text Classics

Kenneth Cook

Introduction by Peter Temple

The controller stood back.
‘Right,’ he said. ‘Spin ‘em!’
The man flipped the piece of wood and the coins spun up into the air above his head and dropped down on to the carpet.
There was silence.

Wake in Fright tells the tale of John Grant’s journey into an alcoholic, sexual and spiritual nightmare. It is the original and the greatest outback horror story. Bundanyabba and its citizens will forever haunt its readers.

This edition also includes an Afterword by film critic, David Stratton.

Wake in Fright was made into a film in 1971, arguably the greatest film ever made in Australia. It starred Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty, and Jack Thompson in his first screen role. Lost for many years, the restored film was re-released to acclaim in 2009.


Listen to Raffaele Caputo interview Ted Kotcheff for Senses of Cinema here.
David Wenham talks about Channel 10’s miniseries version


Watch clips from the 1971 film production of Wake In Fright on AustralianScreen.
2ser Final Draft Book Club
Watch the trailer for the 2017 TV version



Kenneth Cook
About the Author

Kenneth Cook was born in Sydney. Wake in Fright, which drew on his time as a journalist in Broken Hill, was first published in 1961 when Cook was thirty-two. It was published in England and America, translated into several languages, and a prescribed text in schools. Cook wrote twenty-one books in a variety of genres, and was well known in film...

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Peter Temple
About the Introducer

Peter Temple is the author of nine novels, including four books in the Jack Irish series. He has won the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction five times, and his widely acclaimed novels have been published in over twenty countries.

The Broken Shore won the UK’s prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger for the best crime novel of 2007 and Truth won the...

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Text publication date:
26 April 2012
First published:
AU Price:
NZ Price:
gambling, alcoholism, isolation
Reading age:
15 +
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Other editions ofWake In Fright
  • Wake In Fright
    ISBN: 9781921921780
    26 April 2012
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byKenneth Cook