Strange Objects

Strange Objects

"Strange Objects" is a 1991 novel by acclaimed Australian author Gary Crew.

This book, set in Western Australia, is based on the shipwreck of the Dutch vessel the Batavia. Using the framing device of a collection of papers made by a missing boy, Steven Messenger, it is an intriguing mystery story that explores the construction of history. When Steven discovers relics from the wreck of the Batavia, (a diary and a mummified finger with a gold ring on it, the two inside a steel pot), he investigates the media frenzy surrounding them, and in particular the stories of two murderers from the doomed ship who are sent away to what they think is a deserted island for committing crimes of mutiny. The book parallels characters from the past and present in an exploration of human nature, and the presentation of self through the written word. It features an unusual construction, similar to Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in that the book is purportedly a compilation of letters, diary entries and photocopies; there is no authoritative narrative voice.


The book was partly a response to Australia's Bicentenary, which occurred in 1988. This event caused a revival of interest in Australian history, particularly in the "discovery" of the land. The bicentenary celebrated the landing of the "First Fleet" in 1788, and the beginning of permanent European settlement in Australia. James Cook charted the east coast of Australia in 1770, however there were a number of sightings and landings prior to this.

In "Strange Objects", Gary Crew takes the premise that survivors from the Batavia made it to the mainland, and lived with the Aboriginal people of the area. This actually happened, with European settlers noticing that the aboriginals had fair hair and more complex bush huts, which resembled their houses. This very deeply interested scientists.


The Batavia, the ship they were on, sunk in 1629 with 300 people on board (and the Tyrall earlier in 1622). Two Hundred and fifty made it ashore, on a tiny desolate sand bank known as Beacon island. The commander took a boat and sailed to Java to get help, leaving the rest to wait.The man who took charge was a satanic worshipper called jeronimous Cornelius, a satanic worshipper who instantly rallied up a council and took charge.He sent out the soldiers on boats to look for water, and told them to leave their guns. When The soldiers found a hospitable island (West Wallabi Island) they signalled to the rest with smoke. However, when no reply came, they became instantly suspicious. Jeronimous and his men had killed over 120 people, with another 40 escaping to West Wallabi Island.By the time help came, the soldiers had repelled attacks with rocks and sticks, where as the Satanics had guns and bayonnetes.The commander and the rescue team came, and executed most of the Satanic worshippers, then let two of the men to walk free on the then unknown land of Western Australia.


"Strange Objects" in part examines the place of Aboriginal people, both in an historical context and in a contemporary context. The contemporary context is a poor one. The Aboriginal people live in a reserve which is tattered and ruined. They largely shun contact with white society, and are regarded by them as "Abos". We also see them in the 1629 era. Here they are masters of the land, and more adapt to survival here than are the Dutch sailors. We are also shown glimpses of the 19th century, where the Aboriginal people are largely regarded uncivilised or savages.

What unfolds throughout the novel is the complexity of the Aboriginal past including its history told in rock art and passed down in oral stories.

Recognition and Awards

"Strange Objects" has had the following accolades:

Winner of the Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year for Older Readers.

Winner of the 1991 Victorian Premier's Literary Award.

It was also shortlisted for the Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Fiction Award (Crime Writers of America).

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Strange Things Happen at Sundown — is a 2003 horror comedy, centering on the lives of a handful of New York vampires. It was directed by Marc Fratto and produced by Insane o rama Productions, and picked up for distribution by Brain Damage Films. The film won the audience choice… …   Wikipedia

  • Strange loop — A strange loop arises when, by moving up or down through a hierarchical system, one finds oneself back where one started. Strange loops may involve self reference and paradox. The concept of a strange loop was proposed and extensively discussed… …   Wikipedia

  • Strange Days at Blake Holsey High — infobox television show name = Strange Days at Blake Holsey High caption = Strange Days at Blake Holsey High title card show name 2 = Black Hole High format = Science fiction runtime = 25 minutes per episode creator = Jim Rapsas starring = Emma… …   Wikipedia

  • Strange Visitor — Superherobox| caption= Superman #149 (October 1999). Art by Ron Frenz comic color=background:#8080ff character name=Strange Visitor real name=Sharon Vance publisher=DC Comics debut= Superman #149 (1999) creators=Randall Frenz Ron Frenz alliance… …   Wikipedia

  • Strange Pilgrims — 1st edition cover Strange Pilgrims (original Spanish language title: Doce cuentos peregrinos) is a collection of twelve loosely related short stories by the Nobel Prize winning Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. Not published until 1992,… …   Wikipedia

  • Strange Odyssey — Infobox VG title= Strange Odyssey caption= developer= Adventure International publisher= Adventure International distributor= designer= Scott Adams series= engine= version= released= 1981 genre= text adventure modes= single player ratings=… …   Wikipedia

  • Production and Decay of Strange Particles — Infobox Television episode Title = Production and Decay of Strange Particles Series = The Outer Limits Caption = Season = 1 Episode = 30 Airdate = April 20, 1964 Production = 30 Writer = Leslie Stevens Director = Leslie Stevens Photographer =… …   Wikipedia

  • Planetary objects proposed in religion, astrology, ufology and pseudoscience — This article is about non scientific hypothetical planetary objects. For scientifically accepted hypothetical planetary objects, see Hypothetical planet (disambiguation). For fictional planets, see Planets in science fiction. There are a number… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor Strange — This article is about the superhero. For other uses, see Doctor Strange (disambiguation). Doctor Strange Doctor Strange as featured in Witches #1 (August 2004). Art by Mike Deodato …   Wikipedia

  • Magical objects in Harry Potter — The following is a list of magical objects used in Harry Potter. These objects exist for the use of the characters in the series by J. K. Rowling. Contents 1 Communication 1.1 Enchanted coins 1.2 Howler …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”