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Peter Rake spent the 1950s and 1960s in outback Queensland, moving from town to town, from one sheep station to the next, enjoying the expanse of land and the satisfaction of a long day’s work. Along the way he met a great many “characters” and amassed a wealth of experience as a roust-about, drover, stockman and contract musterer, as well as helping out with a windmill expert, driving tractors, delving bore drains and a couple of rides in rodeos for a bit of boyish fun.
It was in the 1980s, after Pete had settled down somewhat in Sydney, that these experiences began to inspire some witty tales. After over thirty years of spinning yarns, Peter Rake’s short stories, and a novel called Freda, are being published on Amazon Kindle, starting in July 2012.
It is rare that an Australian, who had such wonderful experiences in their youth, comes to fictionalise those times with such candour and humour. Peter Rake is a modern author writing about a time that is sadly often seen as an historical backwater, and yet the cultural spirit that is alive in his writing, still resonates in the Australian way of life today. That fortitude is celebrated in his writing and made accessible by the endearing characters and situations he has concocted from a life well lived.
Whilst his short stories would fair well in a retelling around a campfire, his literary command is such that the dialogue is distinctly outback-Australian, as are the inner thoughts and motivations of his characters, and of course that famous Aussie wit.