September 22, 2007 at 7:59 am Leave a comment

I have a new favourite Randolph Stow novel. Midnite. Written for children. Hilarious. Mitnite is a young bushranger with a gang of five animals, including, most importantly, a Siamese cat. Who speaks with a Siamese accent. And is much cleverer than him.

Once upon a time, in Western Australia a hundred years ago, a young man lived with his father in a cottage in a forest. The young man was called Midnite. At least, that is what I am going to call him, because that is what he called himself, later on, when he was famous.

His father dies, and he is very sad, so Khat tries to cheer him up.

‘Let’s have dinner,’ said Khat, ‘and then we will talk about money.’
So Midnite went into the kitchen and cooked the dinner, and they ate it on the verandah, so that Gyp and Major and Red Ned and Dora could listen to the conversation.
‘Now,’ said Khat, when he had finished his dinner and was enjoying a saucer of tea, ‘what are your plans?’
‘I have no plans,’ said Midnite, looking sad.
‘If I were you,’ said Khat, ‘I should be a bushranger.’
‘Would you, really?’
‘I should call myself Captain Midnight,’ said Khat, ‘which is a fine name for a bushranger, but I should spell it M-I-D-N-I-T-E.’
‘Why?’ asked Midnite.
‘Because that is more fierce and romantic,’ said Khat. ‘There is nothing romantic about good spelling.’

Hear hear!


Entry filed under: Australia, Randolph Stow.

Summer Reading More on Midnite

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