Road Story

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Allen & Unwin, Jul 1, 2005 - Fiction - 168 pages
1 Review
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.


'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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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

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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.

About the author (2005)

Julienne was born in 1970 and grew up in country New South Wales. She studied creative writing at the University of Wollongong and later at the University of Queensland where Road Story was completed as part of her PhD (Creative Writing). Julienne's work has been published in a variety of journals in Australia including TEXT, Mattoid and Verandah and has been broadcast on ABC radio. She now lives in Perth, where she is a lecturer in the Faculty of Media, Society and Culture at Curtin University of Technology. Julienne's website is

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