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Scoundrel Days : A Memoir - Brentley Frazer


Published: 27th February 2017
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RRP $29.95

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Published: 27th February 2017
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Tom Sawyer on acid, a 21st-century On the Road, a Holden Caulfield for punks … a profound, provocative memoir of self-destruction and self-discovery.

In Scoundrel Days Brentley Frazer tells the story of his youth - wild, disillusioned, impassioned and desolate. Born into a Christian cult in outback Queensland, Frazer escapes through literature and poetry, drugs and violence, sex and alcohol; and his ensuing rejection of religion, authority and the 'way things are' leads to adventures, desperation and, just possibly, redemption.

Beautifully written and urgently told, Scoundrel Days is a visceral, compelling assault on the senses. An at times brutal story articulated with a poet's sensibility, it portrays a walker of edges exploring the dark side while searching for the love essential to build a soul.

AN ASIDE: Frazer wrote Scoundrel Days using an obscure literary constraint known as English Prime. No tenses of the verb 'to be' (are, am, is, was, were, be, been, being and contractions) appear in the text. Read more about this unusual approach in Frazer's article Beyond Is: Creative Writing with English Prime published in TEXT Journal.

About the Author

Brentley Frazer is an Australian author whose poems, prose and academic papers have been published in numerous national and international anthologies, journals, magazines and other periodicals since 1992. He holds a MA (writing) from James Cook University and authored Scoundrel Days as part of a submission for a PhD in creative writing at Griffith University. He is also a lecturer at Griffith University and the editor-in-chief of Bareknuckle Poet Journal of Letters.


A Masterpiece - best Australian book in years


Fantastic work of Australian contemporary literature. An instant classic.




Amazing read! The author is a 21st century Salinger for sure. Only negative is not enough about the strange and secretive cult - I hope this author writes a whole book just about the Tramp Preachers. Sign me up.


A gripping read


A fast and gripping read that will keep you glued to the page from beginning to end. At times confronting, always absorbing, the story charts the coming of age of a young man in Queensland in the days of Bjelke-Peterson. The story is remarkable for the insights it offers into the quest of a youth with the soul of a poet who grapples with the so-called truths of his elders, community and society. It is also fascinating for the vignettes it provides into outback Queensland with all its rawness and Brisbane before it became sexy and cosmopolitan.

NSW Australia


Gripping novel, couldn't put it down


Just like Hemingway's lean and athletic prose, Frazer's story tells a fast and furious tale. Impossible to put down, I loved every second like I lived it myself.

Jakarta, Indonesia


An instant classic


Once in a generation a book like this comes along. The writing is beautiful. I read a review in the Australian newspaper that compared Frazer's writing to Helen Garner, Andrew McGahan and Nick Earls and his ability to shock and unsettled to that of Marcel Duchamp; these comparisons are fitting but I would go as far as to say also as powerful as Genet and leaner and punchier than Hemingway. I'm not kidding.

Brisbane, Qld


Great read - poetic and raw.


I couldn't put this book down, a great coming of age story.



Fantastic read. I couldn't put it down.


Love this book. Once you pick it up, you won't be able to put it down.




5.0 7


'How brilliant is the writing in Scoundrel Days? Like poetry written with a nail gun. Shit he's good. Uncommonly good. He's got a great eye, but also a lot of muscle to his writing, and that combo doesn't come along often enough. I hope he's got a lot more prose in him.' Nick Earls 'Can't remember the last time I read anything this gritty and compelling. Frazer doesn't write like an angel. He writes like a demon. Scoundrel Days is one of the finest Australian works in years.' Brett D'Arcy, winner of WA Premier's Book Award for Mindless Ferocity of Sharks 'With a poet's eye for locating the marvellous within the commonplace and a novelist's ear for the nuances and rhythms of natural speech, Brentley Frazer has crafted a unique narrative from the myths and rumours of life and a wild imagination. Scoundrel Days is fiercely original, inspirational, and will no doubt find a wide, varied readership.' Anthony Lawrence 'An artist's true journey from blindness (or, what we call youth) into glimmerings of sight (coming of age). The writing is wonderful, and the writer lives in the tradition of the Beats, yet has managed to create something new through his use of the E-prime constraint.' Dr Venero Armanno, author of Black Mountain and The Dirty Beat "Can't remember the last time I read anything this gritty and compelling. Frazer doesn't write like an angel. He writes like a demon. Scoundrel Days is one of the finest Australian works in years." --Brett D'Arcy, WA Premiers prize for Mindless Ferocity of Sharks

ISBN: 9780702259562
ISBN-10: 070225956X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 27th February 2017
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 15.3  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.4