The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island

Front Cover
Penguin Random House Australia, Jun 30, 2008 - True Crime - 288 pages
The story of a death, a policeman, an island and a country
The Tall Man is the story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. It is the story of that policeman, the tall, enigmatic Christopher Hurley who chose to work in some of the toughest and wildest places in Australia, and of the struggle to bring him to trial. Above all, it is a story in luminous detail of two worlds clashing – and a haunting moral puzzle that no reader will forget.
'The country's finest work of literature so far this century. A haunting moral maze, described with such intimate observation and exquisite restraint that I kept pausing to take a breath and silently cheer the author . . . [I]n her tale of the fatal collision between two 36-year-old males, black Cameron Doomadgee and white Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, Hooper . . . has produced an Australian classic.' Robert Drewe, The Age
'Hooper followed the case and its main characters for two and a half years, and she does their complexity a remarkable justice . . . Extraordinary.' Alison McCulloch, New York Times Book Review
'A gripping, heart-stopping piece of true-crime reportage . . . Deserves the widest possible audience.' Brian Schofield, Sunday Times (UK)
'The book is everything it should be: a sad, beautiful, frightening account of one man's death, interwoven with the brutal history of Palm Island and a golden thread of Aboriginal mythology . . . It is The Tall Man's triumph that Hooper finds the common humanity in the accused and the accuser, the police officer and the street drinker, the living and the dead.' Mark Dapin, Sydney Morning Herald
'The north has chosen to reveal itself to Chloe Hooper.' Paul Toohey, Weekend Australian
Selected for 'Best books of the year' lists by Ali Smith, Colm Tóibín, Matt Condon, Peter Carey,, The Globe & Mail and Dwight Garner in The New York Times.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PhilipJHunt - LibraryThing

Powerful, insightful, disturbing, depressing and just plain hopeless. What have we done to the true Australians? Chloe Hooper's account of Palm Island and the death-in-custody of Cameron Doomadgee ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - busterrll - LibraryThing

A difficult book to read, because it is a worldwide wide not an Australian book about an Australian problem. Before I had gone far, I knew what the outcome was going to be. Be it Australia, The United ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island (2008) won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. She is also the author of two novels, A Child’s Book of True Crime and The Engagement.

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