The Outback - Available Now


Matt joins the outback harvest trail in order to get another year added to his visa. When he arrives to find that drink, drugs and sex are just as easy to come by as they were on the coast, he thinks the task ahead of him may not be as daunting as he initially feared. Of course, he is not counting on his new boss.

Rhett is a cruel and miserable old farmer. He expects his workers to graft hard and to do exactly as he tells them. He also hides a deadly secret. Thirty years earlier he was involved in a terrible crime, the truth of which only he knows.

When one of the young travellers inadvertently crosses the old man, bad things begin to happen. One by one they each fall victim to a series of brutal attacks that are not the first of their kind to occur in the town’s history. Matt and his friends soon discover that unless they can unlock the secret of Rhett’s past, none of them may ever make it out of the outback alive.


The Outback explores the dark side of the travel dream. When the line between superstition and paranoia is crossed, absolutely anything can happen...

The Outback is a tense thriller that perfectly captures the spirit of backpacking in Australia. All of the characters, locations and themes are realistic and based on the author's own experience of travelling and working in rural Australia.

"Basically, I wanted to write a novel that captures the spirit and the tone of travelling in Australia in much the same way that Alex Garland's The Beach does for Thailand. This is not so much the book that I have always wanted to write, but the book that I have always wanted to read."

Not that you have to be a backpacker or even young to enjoy it. The themes, the fears and even the occasional humour are all universal and can be appreciated by anybody (provided they are over 18 that is - drug use is the root cause of much of the character's problems). Below are a selection reviews that the novel has received..

Customer Reviews


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story21 July 2013
By 
This review is from: The Outback (Kindle Edition)
"The Outback" by David Clarkson was a chance find for me. I have a thing for travel and backpack stories and jumped at this book which follows a group of international younger people on a work assignment in the outback, clearing fields for three months.

The world is full of possibilities, visa problems and living in the moment. Beer, love, smoking and discovering the world, but the real world catches up with them in form of a nasty supervisor, the hostile nature and clashes with the law and the world of the aborigines. The group of characters in the book is colourful and entertaining, the friendships and relationships formed are very realistic and the book gives an excellent account of the work as you travel experience.

This is excellently written, has great suspense and is a treat for anyone who has ever been on a backpack holiday. I found this very hard to put down, the tension and the pace of the story is really well done. Maybe I am too partial to the genre but I recommend this highly.


5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...November 12, 2013
This review is from: The Outback (Kindle Edition)
I have just finished this dramatic work and it gave me an excellent reading experience. Essentially this starts out looking like a simple story of kids doing what they need to do to explore the world in their own way. A group of kids come together through various circumstances in a way that would be clearly reminiscent to any back packer. What happens to them is dramatic to say the least.
As the reader we get to see the world from the point of view of several of the key players of the plot and in this way we are able to see, voyeuristically, into their futures and get the feeling of how their choices will have tough consequences in their immediate future. The heroes are young, naïve, full of the joys of youth and the invincibility of optimism.
The story builds up rather gently and we learn a reasonable amount about each of the characters and the abject work that they have submitted themselves willingly to. The labour itself is a delightfully tedious backdrop against which the unexpected takes place.
The author feeds us information with delicate care and the events that we are party to give us a lot of information that builds up and builds up the tension until we are finally taken on a dramatic rollercoaster closing.
This is more than just a drama. Clarkson also makes his characters consider how easily ones life journey can be radically altered by singular bad choices made at the wrong time.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 5 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
'The Outback' is a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I was hooked within the first few pages and couldn't stop reading. It didn't take me long to finish and I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good thriller.
I now look forward to reading further works by the author.
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner 14 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and found it hard to put this down as I couldn't wait to see what was coming next for the group. Will definitely be looking for more titles from this author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Part backpack travel book, part thriller/horror novel 14 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book makes me miss my 20's and my own days as a backpacker. I think it would appeal to fans of Stephen King, as the narrative style is certainly from that school and it is very much written with the same 'write what you know' ethos. I would recommend this to anyone who has travelled in Australia, and for fans of thrillers. The attention to detail is pretty good..

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 24 Jun 2013
By ewin42
Format:Kindle Edition
Been a while since I have read a book that I could not put down but this one just kept me coming back for more. The prologue sets the scene for what you can expect from this book and it does not disappoint. We follow Matt on his Journey to the outback and what starts as a simple story of a young man who needs work to extend his visa turns into thriller that no one could have seen coming.
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Ending 23 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
A well written book. Quite often the ending of a book can be guessed well before the end, but that is certainly not the case with this story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept Me Guessing17 Jun. 2015
By 
Angie T.D. (Wales)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Outback (Kindle Edition)
I loved the idea of this book, and didn't really know what to expect,it was actually better than I had hoped it would be,I wasn't sure if it was going to just be a bit of a lads adventure, but it was much more than that.As the story went on I was even wondering what genre I was reading it kept me guessing.It was a good story with some twists thrown in, and I enjoyed it.

REVIEWS ON SMASHWORDS
Review by: Brianna Summers on May 11, 2013 : star star star star star  I'm writing this based on having read the Prologue and the first couple of chapters. After I've read it right through later on I'll give a more thorough review. But off the top of my head I have to say I really enjoyed what I've read so far. The characters seem likable enough and just when you think things are going in a certain direction the punchline in the Prologue hits you and you think 'hang on here.' Dialogue was good, all seemed natural and flowed easily and characters were easy to relate to. Am writing heaps over the week but look forward to a day off so I can read more of this and finish it. First time I've read a book set in Australia too. :)
Review by: Michael McQuaid on May 15, 2013 : star star star star 
Not a bad effort mate. The Aussie slang can get a bit odd, but if you think about it, it works. Good detail. Easy to read and follow. As an ex-cop/ ex-military I only found one small error. The Glock pistols do not have a safety selector on them like all others do. The have what looks like a small trigger embedded with in the main trigger. That is the only safety. You put your finger on the main trigger, you obviously depress the smaller one at the same time. Overall: Good book, good read, good job.

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