Diana Kooper runs from a car crash in the heart of Sydney, scarcely looking back, leaving her best friend, Nicole, slumped and bloody in the damaged vehicle.
After hitching a ride to the far west of New South Wales, Diana takes a job as a kitchenhand at Bob's, an isolated truck-stop. At first she thinks she can predict the sort of rhythm her life will follow in this dusty, diesel-driven, lonely stop but soon a series of unsettling events disturb the order of things. A dog is brutally stabbed to death and left as a warning beside one of the petrol bowsers. And when Bob rolls his ute in suspicious circumstances, Diana is left to look after the roadhouse kitchen on her own. As every-day life becomes increasingly challenging, Diana struggles with her past and with the ghosts that haunt her present.
Road Story is a remarkable novel that reveals the tenuousness of love between friends and the dark pervasiveness of addiction.
PRAISE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN/VOGEL LITERARY AWARD JUDGES
'Compelling... the truckers, their habits, their rigs and their nonchalant ferocity come at you. She opens a window into the grit and diesel fumes of road-centred lives.' - Stella Clare
'A very genuine voice with a strong sense of authenticity and a rising sense of menace.' - Liam Davison
'Raw, direct and passionate, the assurance of van Loon's novel should distract no-one from the integrity and the intelligence which give weight to it.' - James Bradley
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Andy West anyway Barrier Highway bastard beneath bloke bloody blue Bob’s bowsers breath Bruce Springsteen carpark Charlie Chiko Roll cigarette climbs close Cobar colour counter darlin Diana feels Diana Kooper Diana looks Diana smiles Diana watches doesn’t door Dorky driver Dubbo dunno edge eyes face fella fridge front fuckin fucking G’day girls going gotta hair hand Harry Harry’s hasn’t hatchback he’s head hear Holy Smoke homestead Jeff Fenech JULIENNE VAN LOON kids laugh leans legs listen Marty Miller mate morning moves Nan Farley Nicole Clarke Nicole’s night Nola Nola’s Nyngan okay piss pulls reckon restaurant says seat she’s shit shuts sitting someone stomach Sweet F.A. Sydney Tash tell There’s thing toilet truck turns Ulladulla verandah walks What’s Wilcannia woman Yeah youse
Page 32 - I went down to the St. James Infirmary, I saw my baby there, Stretched out on a long white table, So sweet, so cold, so fair.
Page 11 - Joy, joy, down in my soul! Sweet, beautiful, soul-saving Joy! Oh, Joy, Joy in my soul. The lyrics are starting to get to her.
Page 24 - She counts: two times two is four, four times two is eight, eight times two is sixteen ... no.