Scrublands – Question 1 Despite being set in a fictional town, Scrublands has a strong sense of place. What elements does Chris Hammer include to achieve this? 0 0 votes Article Rating
My husband and I are listening to Scrublands together, we’re both thinking the priest’s shooting of the men out front of the church is targeted to keep the truth about the priest’s former life hidden. And wondering where or who the eight bullet hit?
Enjoying the twists and turns atm
The overwhelming sense of heat
By including real places as a reference point, the town appears real.
I liked that it was set in Australia, and NSW for that matter, because I felt that I could relate, and know the places (roughly) and also the slang.
The historical buildings, families who have resided there for generations, tough climate, and routines and characteristics of the residents
Part of establishiing the sense of “place” was the description of the taking of photos of storefronts, the soldier statue from different angles, the detail about how cars were parked in the town; the vivid descriptions of the heat/drought. I thought the author managed to describe buildings, scrubland, farm buildings etc. in such a way as they could be “seen” in my mind as I read. Probably helps to have seen movies/docos set in Aussie backcountry?
Good point, Cindy, I hadn’t realised just how important the taking of photos was in evoking the sense of place until you mentioned it!
I also found the sketch map at the start very useful in visualising the town.
Description of heat, sand, dust, crumbling buildings so graphic, painted a picture of the town. This became the backdrop to the story
Giving road signs, and being on Hay Rd, Hay one way, Deniliquin the other, Swan Hill and Corowa also being mentioned all gives it a real sense of place. Most eastern seaboard readers would be familiar with some or all of these towns.
You are correct. I am from Queensland but the moment actual towns and rivers are mentioned, my brain placed Riversend on the map. I have only travelled through that area five or six times in my life but the authors descriptions worked.
The heat, the flies, the haze, the buildings, the animals and plants, could be anywhere in outback Australia. The sense of defeat and loneliness is also generic of isolated towns. Without the use of actual places as anchors this story could be set in any state of Australia.
Chris describes Riversend in detail, the buildings, the lone soldier memorial as well as the lack of activity in the town. The shops that are only open bi-weekly and the heat that is also a factor of the town.