By Peter FitzSimons
Published by Hachette
RRP $49.99 in hardback: also in e-book and audio book
Peter FitzSimons is a prolific writer of narrative non-fiction. His books cover a broad range of events and people drawn from the annals of Australian history.
With this latest effort, it’s fair to say that many Australians of a certain age will have heard of Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and his role in the Boer War via the 1980 Bruce Beresford film ‘Breaker Morant’ which won ten Australian Film Institute awards.
It’s also fair to say that the majority of people would subscribe to the mythology that has sprung up around Breaker Morant – that he and his fellow prisoner Peter Handcock were scapegoats and were only following orders not to take Boer prisoners alive.
Fitzsimons has tackled this tale with his usual narrative flare, producing another epic work that will engage his loyal readers. His aim is to tell a story in an accessible and interesting way, relying on a blend of fact and invented dialogue to move the plot along.
Bruce Beresford has written an interesting critique of the book in the Review section, (The Weekend Australian, 31 October-1 November, 2020, p.14) which is well worth reading, given that he is a man who extensively researched this topic prior to making the film
VERDICT: This is a book for readers who enjoy story-telling that is anchored in real historical events. I’m pretty sure it will please FitzSimons’ growing fan base.