Author(s): Andrew McGahan
Underground is the novel that at least half the country has been waiting for. Think ahead five or so years from now, to an Australia transformed by the never-ending war on terror. Canberra has been wiped out in a nuclear attack. There is a permanent state of emergency. Security checkpoints, citizenship tests, identity cards and detention without trial have all become the norm. Suspect minorities have been locked away into ghettos. And worse - no one wants to play cricket with us anymore. Enter Leo James - burnt-out property developer and black-sheep twin brother of the all powerful Bernard James, Prime Minister of Australia. In an event all too typical of the times, Leo finds himself abducted by terrorists. But this won't be your average kidnapping. Instead, vast and secret forces are at work here, and Leo and his captors are about to embark on a journey into the underworld of a nation gone mad. Like some bastard child of Dr Strangelove and George Orwell, Underground is both an adrenalin-pumped thriller and a gleefully barbed satire that takes a chainsaw to political neo-correctness and Australia's new ultra-nationalism. Blistering and blackly com
Shortlisted for Queensland Premier's Literary Awards: Best Fiction Book 2007.
Andrew McGahan was born in Dalby, Queensland, and now lives in Victoria. His first novel Praise (1992) won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award and the regional prize for best first book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His second novel was the prequel 1988 (1995), and his third novel Last Drinks (2000) was shortlisted for multiple awards, including The Age Book of the Year and the Courier Mail Book of the Year, and won a Ned Kelly award for crime writing. In 2004, The White Earth was published and won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the South East Asia and South Pacific region, The Age Book of the Year (Fiction) and the Courier Mail Book of the Year Award. It was also shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards. McGahan's fifth novel, Underground, was published in 2006 and was shortlisted in the Queensland Premier's Prize for fiction and for the Aurealis Award. In 2009, Wonders of a Godless World was published to acclaim and won the Aurealis Award...McGahan's award-winning writing also includes stage plays and the screenplay for the movie version of Praise...In 2011, McGahan launched his children's book series, the Ship Kings. The Coming of the Whirlpool was shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award - older readers, for the Indie Awards, for the WA Premier's Book Award, was a finalist in the Aurealis Awards and was longlisted for the Gold Inky for an Australian YA book. The second novel in the Ship King series - Voyage of the Unquiet Ice was published in 2012.