free hit counter code On a Barbarous Coast - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

On a Barbarous Coast

Availability: Ready to download

On a Barbarous Coast is an alternative retelling of Captain James Cook's story co-written by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick in the tradition of imagined histories. We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time. On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook's Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Austral On a Barbarous Coast is an alternative retelling of Captain James Cook's story co-written by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick in the tradition of imagined histories. We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time. On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook's Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land - their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here. Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed - or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are. Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been. 'Australia's "origin" story brilliantly re-imagined, in which Indigenous Australians rightfully assume their central place.' Susan Johnson, author of The Broken Book


Compare
Ads Banner

On a Barbarous Coast is an alternative retelling of Captain James Cook's story co-written by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick in the tradition of imagined histories. We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time. On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook's Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Austral On a Barbarous Coast is an alternative retelling of Captain James Cook's story co-written by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick in the tradition of imagined histories. We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time. On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook's Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land - their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here. Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed - or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are. Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been. 'Australia's "origin" story brilliantly re-imagined, in which Indigenous Australians rightfully assume their central place.' Susan Johnson, author of The Broken Book

47 review for On a Barbarous Coast

  1. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    *heavy sigh* Honestly, I hate writing reviews like this for books given to me by publishers, but WOW was this a piece of work. My biggest problem with it - aside from being incredibly boring - is that it basically feels like an old white dude trying to cram anti-racism down your throat. I'm all for supporting anti-racism, but the delivery was all wrong and I found it so patronising. There's also just no story to it. It's so dull! I blame Jock Serong's Preservation for giving me unrealistic expectat *heavy sigh* Honestly, I hate writing reviews like this for books given to me by publishers, but WOW was this a piece of work. My biggest problem with it - aside from being incredibly boring - is that it basically feels like an old white dude trying to cram anti-racism down your throat. I'm all for supporting anti-racism, but the delivery was all wrong and I found it so patronising. There's also just no story to it. It's so dull! I blame Jock Serong's Preservation for giving me unrealistic expectations for this book. I was expecting a fascinating survival story set in the early days of Australia. I was expecting unprepared white fellas confronted by harsh climate, unforgiving scrubland, and the perplexing conundrum of interacting with the local Indigenous population when they're (the white dudes) all racist bastards. I was expecting insight into the fascinating practices, customs and general way of living of older Aboriginal cultures. I was expecting a thoughtful exploration of this early racism in the midst of a great story. What did I get? White dudes fighting with white dudes. White dudes complaining about everything. White dudes talking about murdering the locals coz they're black. One white dude reflecting on FRIGGING EVERYTHING instead of ACTUALLY TELLING THE STORY. Not gonna lie, I skimmed the last 200-odd pages HARD. This was supposed to be a 'fierce, intriguing and thoughtful retelling' and none of those things are true. The basic history is that the English invaded Australia, murdered a bunch of the locals then spent their lives trying to convert the rest of them to the 'white people' way of living. This book doesn't even come close to turning that on its head. This book is essentially just white people complaining and I had no time for it. Then you've got random chapters here and there finally told from the point of view of a local, and he just wants to throw random words at you and tell you random Aboriginal legends. This book STILL doesn't care about telling his story. I just found the whole mess so frustrating. When there are man-eating crocodiles around and I'm still bored, it's a bad sign. There is definitely a lot of interesting information about the practices of Aboriginal people, but if I was interested in the facts of things delivered as bluntly as this I'd pick up a non-fiction book (I am, in fact, slowly working my way around to Dark Emu, which has been highly recommended for this kind of information). This book purports to be an intriguing re-telling, which automatically suggests everything about the story is false, and then it doesn't even give a story worthy of all the 'what if?'s. It was utterly disappointing. There were some moments that were interesting, but they were so scarce it felt like too little, too late. For a book that implies a necessary appreciation for the importance of Indigenous culture, it was told an awful lot from a white guy's point of view, and is predominantly about the discomfort of these white dudes. I HAD NO TIME FOR IT. I'm just incredibly frustrated by how much this missed the mark. Maybe others more detail-oriented will appreciate it but for me it was too much about the author trying to make his own points rather than any kind of decent story. If you are interested in a great story from the early days of Australian settlement, I'd highly recommend Preservation, my review of which can be found HERE I also want to link to a friend's review of Dark Emu because it provides some great insight into the book, as well as other resources to check out. You can read Patty's review HERE With thanks and apologies to A&U who sent me an ARC to read and review

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    This is an alternate history where the Endeavour is wrecked on the reef of far North Queensland in 1770 . ( In reality the ship was damaged but after spending 7 weeks ashore it was repaired and the voyage continued.) I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The beginning is a gripping telling of the shipwreck and how Magra, a midshipman, our narrator, manages to survive. What follows is the story of the survivors and how they try to live in this new land. The history of the voyage and the various interac This is an alternate history where the Endeavour is wrecked on the reef of far North Queensland in 1770 . ( In reality the ship was damaged but after spending 7 weeks ashore it was repaired and the voyage continued.) I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The beginning is a gripping telling of the shipwreck and how Magra, a midshipman, our narrator, manages to survive. What follows is the story of the survivors and how they try to live in this new land. The history of the voyage and the various interactions with other indigenous people of Tahiti and New Zealand are given. Magra is haunted by dreams where Gandhaar, the crocodile taunts him. Interspaced with this story is commentary from Garrgiil, an indigenous boy. We learn language and customs and the connection with the land. I loved the structure of the novel. It flows easily between the two narratives and while I would’ve liked even more of the Aboriginal point of view, there’s enough that it makes you wonder what Australia would be like if it was never colonised. “I knew the way explorers looked at a new land - as I had once looked at such lands myself - wondering what resources there might be to exploit, what riches to be squeezed from the land and taken back to Europe.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kahlia

    This book was very poorly marketed, in my opinion. It wasn't necessarily a bad book (it was competently written, at least) but it wasn't what I expected. I do think it’s disingenuous to pitch A Barbarous Coast as centring indigenous voices when it emphasises the voice of a white man above all others, and it relies on the reader’s knowledge of what actually happened to critique the racism inherent throughout said white man’s thoughts. We know the main character is misguided, because we know how h This book was very poorly marketed, in my opinion. It wasn't necessarily a bad book (it was competently written, at least) but it wasn't what I expected. I do think it’s disingenuous to pitch A Barbarous Coast as centring indigenous voices when it emphasises the voice of a white man above all others, and it relies on the reader’s knowledge of what actually happened to critique the racism inherent throughout said white man’s thoughts. We know the main character is misguided, because we know how history turned out, but some of the ideas he had aren’t that far removed from modern racism, and I think they could have been more explicitly called out. A good 80% of this book is told from the POV of Magra, a British-American naval officer who spends as much of his time pondering European politics, botany, and the social divisions among his fellow shipmates as he does the Aboriginal tribe nearby. The two groups don't even formally attempt to communicate until (view spoiler)[the last quarter of the book (when circumstances finally bring them together), at which point we get a hurried montage of what non-indigenous people engaging with and learning from indigenous people might have looked like. (hide spoiler)] The other 20% of this book is told from the POV of Garrgill, and these sections are have a lot of potential - rich in culture and seamlessly incorporating the local language. But they’re very short. Where Magra is surrounded by a group of fellow castaways with unique personalities, we learn very little about the people Garrgill spends his time with, or about the experiences that shape him growing up. It felt very imbalanced as a result. I can see how other people might like this book, or interpret its aims differently, but it really didn’t land for me. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Allen and Unwin - thank you for the opportunity to read and review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    In the lead-up to #IndigLitWeek 2020 in July, here's a most unusual novel to pique your interest! On a Barbarous Coast is a collaborative work of speculative fiction. It tells an alternative history of Lieutenant James Cook's landing in far north Queensland in 1770. Craig Cormick is an Australian science communicator and author of 30+ books of fiction and non-fiction. His co-writer is Harold Ludwick, a Bulgun Warra man from the Guugu Yimidhirr & Kuku Yalandji nations, and a Fellow of the National In the lead-up to #IndigLitWeek 2020 in July, here's a most unusual novel to pique your interest! On a Barbarous Coast is a collaborative work of speculative fiction. It tells an alternative history of Lieutenant James Cook's landing in far north Queensland in 1770. Craig Cormick is an Australian science communicator and author of 30+ books of fiction and non-fiction. His co-writer is Harold Ludwick, a Bulgun Warra man from the Guugu Yimidhirr & Kuku Yalandji nations, and a Fellow of the National Museum of Australia. Together, they have woven a story that revisits the landing from two perspectives... Magra is a midshipman on the Endeavour, and Garrgiil is a boy from the Guugu Yimidhirr people. The story departs from history when the Endeavour comes to grief on the Great Barrier Reef. The real-life Cook beached the badly damaged ship for repairs for seven weeks and then continued his voyage; in this novel the ship breaks up and Cook is washed up insensible along with other survivors. Magra is a disaffected man of failed ambitions, while Garrgiil is on the cusp of manhood. Both fear the Other, but both are curious as well. In alternating narratives, the reader sees the catastrophe from the observations of the Indigenous people and from the British PoV. Puzzled by the behaviour of people they think are spirits returned from the dead, the Guugu Yimidhirr people keep their distance, but maintain a watch on events, while — deprived of authoritative leadership — the survivors are divided amongst themselves. The marines take off with the only weapons and build themselves a fort, while Magra and the rest of them are focussed on shelter from the elements and finding food and water. The botanists Joseph Banks and Mr Solander are invaluable for identifying edible plants as a food supply, but the marines, led by a ruffian called Judge, kidnap Solander to help them when they fail to catch and kill wildlife. Garrgiil, watching unobserved, notes however that none of the survivors are following laws and customs about where and when to gather food. As the survivors soon find out, their food sources are not sustainable, and malnutrition and sickness are the result. To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2020/06/11/o...

  5. 4 out of 5

    readingwithcake

    Firstly this would have been a four star review except I found it disjointed due to the storyline jumping all over the place and I also didn’t like our main character, Magra. I didn’t connect with his part of the storyline and it was predominantly his POV. My favourite part of the book was the POV of Garrgiil, I enjoyed learning about the Guugu Yimidhirr people. It was fascinating to learn about their traditions and how misinterpreted their actions were by the British. Obviously this is a fictit Firstly this would have been a four star review except I found it disjointed due to the storyline jumping all over the place and I also didn’t like our main character, Magra. I didn’t connect with his part of the storyline and it was predominantly his POV. My favourite part of the book was the POV of Garrgiil, I enjoyed learning about the Guugu Yimidhirr people. It was fascinating to learn about their traditions and how misinterpreted their actions were by the British. Obviously this is a fictitious story however I do not doubt that similar occurrences happened between the two peoples meeting. My other favourite part was at the end when the men assimilated into the Guugu Yimidhirr tribe. This was what I was waiting for and offered the alternative ending to the colonisation of Australia. I found this book, particularly at the end, to be thoroughly educational and enjoyed this new take on the discovery of Australia by Cook and their interactions with First Nations people. This take on history demonstrates what could have happened if there had been a different approach to making contact with the Indigenous peoples and every other continent that was colonised by Europeans.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Iwasaplatypus

    I really loved reading On A Barbarous Coast. An alternative retelling of Captain James Cook and the beaching of the Endeavour on the coast at what is now Cooktown in Northern Queensland. The beauty of this piece of speculative fiction is that it is from two points of view. History is quite often from one, those with the most power. We see the story of Cook and his crew from the point of view of Magra, the midshipman, who is at odds with Cook at the time of the shipwreck. And from Garrgiil, a you I really loved reading On A Barbarous Coast. An alternative retelling of Captain James Cook and the beaching of the Endeavour on the coast at what is now Cooktown in Northern Queensland. The beauty of this piece of speculative fiction is that it is from two points of view. History is quite often from one, those with the most power. We see the story of Cook and his crew from the point of view of Magra, the midshipman, who is at odds with Cook at the time of the shipwreck. And from Garrgiil, a young member of the local Guugu Yimiddhirr people. On a wild and stormy night the Endeavour is shipwrecked. The survivors gather on the shore, with a comatose James Cook. Here they stay, dividing into two groups, trying to survive in this hostile land they have no knowledge of. Meanwhile the local Guugu Yimiddhirr people are watching from afar unable to understand just who these people are, or even if they are people, and not spirits come to visit. {And if they are spirits then why don’t they know the rules!} I enjoyed the machinations and misunderstandings within and between each group as they slowly made contact. The story is exciting and thought provoking. What would’ve happened if when the two cultures had met, they had met on an equal footing? With respect? Sadly, we will never know. Terra Nullius was assumed and history written. I recommend On A Barbarous Coast for those who enjoy a well rounded tale that might have been, if only. {If only Cook had really been comatose!} On A Barbarous Coast is written by Craig Cormick {Magra} and Harold Ludwick {Garrgiil} Published by Allen & Unwin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christina Donoghue

    Originally published on www.onthetown.net.au On the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing in Australia, the intoxication with writing about Captain James Cook shows little sign of subsiding. On a Barbarous Coast by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick joins a slew of fiction that attempts to re-story Captain Cooks landing on the coast of Australia. On a Barbarous Coast poses an imaginary conundrum of what would have happened if after leaving Botany Bay, the Endeavour had wrecked on a coral reef off the Originally published on www.onthetown.net.au On the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing in Australia, the intoxication with writing about Captain James Cook shows little sign of subsiding. On a Barbarous Coast by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick joins a slew of fiction that attempts to re-story Captain Cooks landing on the coast of Australia. On a Barbarous Coast poses an imaginary conundrum of what would have happened if after leaving Botany Bay, the Endeavour had wrecked on a coral reef off the far north coast of Australia. Escaping the wreck is a small band of shipwreck survivors, including a comatose Captain James Cook, together they must then survive the unknown dangers of this foreign land and each other as survival strips away the last illusions of civility and order. As the mythology surrounding colonialism is stripped away, it is near impossible for any writer to not include the indigenous perspective in any arrival story. Within the writing and academic communities there is an awareness of allowing First Nation’s People to speak for themselves and tell their own stories. It seems that this was the reason for the co-authorship between Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick. Craig Cormick is an accomplished writer and academic. Harold Ludwick is a Bulgun Warra man who identifies with the Black Cockatoo group and works for the National Museum of Australia. In relation to On a Barbarous Coast, Ludwick lends his knowledge of country and language to give the story a strong sense of place and context through the eyes of both the character Garrgiill, a young boy of wandaar (white cockatoo) group and Gandhaarr the crocodile that lives in the river. The central narrative is told through the recollection of the protagonist Magra, a midshipman from the Endeavour. Magra is modelled after James Mario Magra, who is believed to be the author of A Journal of a Voyage Around the World in His Majesty’s Ship Endeavour published in 1771. Thinly dispersed throughout the book are chapters narrated by Garrgiill, seemingly with the vision of creating balance in the narrative. This is not the result due to the dominance of the central narrative of the shipwreck survivors and the overarching presence of Cook. The failure to create fully rounded characters from the Bama and the amount of page real estate awarded them, causes the bama to remain two dimensional place holders for what could have been a more nuanced contrast between the white cockatoo group and the aliens on their shore. The book is very easy to read. Cormick’s style is simple, journalistic and undecorated and moves the story forward at a steady pace. Ludwick’s educational style is rather like a guidebook of Guugu Yimidhirr words and cultural practices which is, while interesting, unable to match the status of the shipwreck survivors. The impact of projecting an unpolished imagining onto the survivors and position of those men into a situation that humanises was an ambitious project. It was thought-provoking observing the subtle evolution of the group dynamics when placed in an unfamiliar landscape. How swiftly and completely civilities so prized by the white Europeans slip away when their survival is tenuous. On a Barbarous Coast is an easy read that questions the legitimacy of Captain Cook’s myth through changing the ending to one that doesn’t destroy the Aboriginal population, but depends upon them for their very survival. But, whilst this was an interesting diversion that uses its fictional narrative to shift the scale to one where the Indigenous population is on top, as real life stakes are so high for First Nation’s People in Australia my tolerance for reading accounts of Captain Cook, even fictional ones, is non-existent particularly where I feel the white story is still being prioritised over the Indigenous one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fruzsi Gal

    On a Barbarous Coast by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick is a reimagination of Captain James Cook’s arrival to Australia. It's the story of a past and a future that might have been. In this past, Captain Cook’s Endeavour is shipwrecked off the coast of far north Australia, leaving only a small band of survivors who make it to land. The storytelling is split into two, the perspective of the survivors on this strange land interwoven with the perspective of the Guugu Yimidhirr people, who are trying On a Barbarous Coast by Craig Cormick and Harold Ludwick is a reimagination of Captain James Cook’s arrival to Australia. It's the story of a past and a future that might have been. In this past, Captain Cook’s Endeavour is shipwrecked off the coast of far north Australia, leaving only a small band of survivors who make it to land. The storytelling is split into two, the perspective of the survivors on this strange land interwoven with the perspective of the Guugu Yimidhirr people, who are trying to decide whether these strange spirits are friend or foe. As the fate of all these men unfolds and as both groups struggle with the dangers that lie ahead (often at the hand of the people you consider your own), this book takes you to the heart of what it means to belong. It’s a meditation on fear of the unknown, on natural curiosity, and on humanity - on both sides of history. On the ugly and the beautiful, on the old and the new. On what it is we consider the natural way of things, and how might that differ for others. It’s filled with the type of self-awareness each of us would’ve liked to have. It’s a fairytale, in a way, and yet there are unexpected moments of questioning yourself: could things really have turned out this way? On a Barbarous Coast is hopeful and it isn’t, but it’s precisely this duality that took me on the ride, and I came out on the other end knowing more than before. I think it’s a must read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marlz Henry

    Thank you @allenandunwin for this gifted ARC. 'On A Barbarous Coast' is the retelling of Cook's journey along the far north coast of Australia. The dependence on local Aboriginal tribes for survival replaces the history we know, where so many of the Aboriginal population lost their lives because of Cook and his crew. This collaboration - between a Bulgan Warra man / researcher and an australian writer/ academic - gave a voice to those from long ago. Ludwick's ancestral connection and deep knowle Thank you @allenandunwin for this gifted ARC. 'On A Barbarous Coast' is the retelling of Cook's journey along the far north coast of Australia. The dependence on local Aboriginal tribes for survival replaces the history we know, where so many of the Aboriginal population lost their lives because of Cook and his crew. This collaboration - between a Bulgan Warra man / researcher and an australian writer/ academic - gave a voice to those from long ago. Ludwick's ancestral connection and deep knowledge of the land, water and culture is delivered through a young male named Garrgiill. Cormick provides a narrative through Magra, who was based on a shipman who was believed to write an account of the Endeavour and James Cook in the 1700s. If this was the history record left before us, would things be different, and by how much? The observations in each chapter make so much sense. The deliberate watching and curiousness between the white sailors and Aboriginal tribes of each other seemed surreal, but so possible and equally heartbreaking that this part of history never occured this way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    4.5* An alternate history where Cook's Endeavour sinks off the coast of northern Australia. Told in alternating perspectives of one of the shipwreck survivors and a local Aboriginal boy. I would have liked a more balanced split between the two narratives; the white man had most of the story, the Aboriginal perspective came only in short bursts. It was a great read though. Lots of tension, both poetic and a page turner.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    An easy read with some interesting ideas but I would have liked to hear more from the indigenous narrator. This would have made it stand out from other Cook-centric/Cook-worshipping texts. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the ARC. An easy read with some interesting ideas but I would have liked to hear more from the indigenous narrator. This would have made it stand out from other Cook-centric/Cook-worshipping texts. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the ARC.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Riley

    I can't wait to read this as I know one of the authors and it sounds like a cracker of a read

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  16. 5 out of 5

    Max Jardany

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Ferguson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Penny Karatzovalis

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ben Adams

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terry Maxwell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Toni

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jodie Warner

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bear Reads Books

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Renshaw

  28. 4 out of 5

    ☼♄Jülie 

  29. 5 out of 5

    Em__Jay

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  32. 4 out of 5

    Mel

  33. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Burr

  34. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  35. 5 out of 5

    Evan

  36. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Aline

  38. 4 out of 5

    Katarina Kaneff

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rivqa

  40. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  41. 4 out of 5

    Deb

  42. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Phillips

  43. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

  44. 4 out of 5

    John

  45. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  46. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  47. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.