But there had been a war. Everyone was certain of it, though it had been a long time since . . . If there's a town in the countryside where I belong, it might already be hidden by some impenetrable shimmer. How could I ever arrive at it? ... Maybe I would arrive and know - with little to no resistance - that I am of that town. If I was, and if I understood why, I don't suppose even then that I could ever stop the town from disappearing. No town continues to just be a town. No answer remains true to the end.
This is Australia: an unnamed, dead-end town in the heart of the outback. A young writer arrives in New South Wales to research local settlements that are slowly vanishing into oblivion - but he didn't expect these ghost towns to literally disappear before his eyes. When an epidemic of mysterious holes threatens the town's existence, he is plunged into an abyss of weirdness from which he may never recover.
Dark, slippery and unsettling, Shaun Prescott's debut novel achieves many things. It resurrects the existentialist novel; excavates a nation's buried history of colonial genocide; and tells a love story that asks if outsiders can ever truly belong. Through a glass darkly, The Town examines the shadowy underbelly of Australian identity - and the result is a future classic.