Sunday, January 8, 2012


Nearly at the three year anniversary of Black Saturday, I felt comfortable enough to read Kinglake-350 by Adrian Hyland. I read it in two days, whilst I was camping. I'm glad I had no access to the internet whilst I was reading it, because I was worried about Roger Wood's family from the outset. The other surreal thing about reading this book whilst camping, was that I was breathing wood smoke for most of the time. Ever since Black Saturday, an unexpected whiff of wood smoke has made me nervous.

Any trauma that I may have suffered does not compare to that suffered by those directly affected, and I understand that Adrian Hyland was a local, I was only living a few kilometres up the road at the time of the fires, near Broadford. I was awake all that night, watching the CFA website. Little did I know how useless that exercise was, until I read this novel.
   Although written as a novel, it is a true account from the point of view of various survivors.
   Obviously, the book is very emotional and confronting. But, Adrian Hyland has balanced the writing very well. He provides a lot of factual slabs of information, giving you a well-timed break from the pace of the story. He has researched weather, fire, Australian flora, and the history of fire in our country.
   This novel also asks a lot of questions, raised by Adrian Hyland. He tries to balance anger and the laying of blame very well. He asks relevant questions. He is concerned about the increased likelihood of a fire storm in years to come, and he encourages us to take responsibility in our role in creating the conditions for the same. Rightly, he encourages us to stop trying to find an individual or corporation to blame, but instead understand the multiple factors that brought about this disaster and trying to find a way to prevent another fire storm from taking so many lives.
   All people living in Australia should read this book, particularly those living in southern New South Wales and Victoria.


  1. I didn't realise that someone had written a book about the Black Saturday fires. I can't believe it's already been almost 3 years since. Will try and find a copy of this.

  2. Three years already.... Gee, tough but important book to read. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  3. I have to get my hands on this - Adrian Hylands previous novels were both 5 star reads for me. I had no idea he had a new one out.
    Thanks for sharing

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out