• by Xavier Herbert
  • Narrated by Humphrey Bower
  • 23 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is the book that inspired Baz Luhrmann's Australia, the sweeping classic film of outback Australia. This is a true Australian classic - now available in audio for the first time.Spanning three generationsâ¿¿ Capricornia tells the story of Australia's North. It is a story of whites and Aborigines and Asiansâ¿¿ of chance relationships that can form bonds for lifeâ¿¿ of dispossessionâ¿¿ murder and betrayal. In 1904 the brothers Oscar and Mark Shillingsworthâ¿¿ clad in serge suits and bowler hatsâ¿¿ arrive in Port Zodiac on the coast of Capricornia. They are clerks who have come from the South to join the Capricornian Government Service. Oscar prospers and takes to his new life as a gentleman. Markâ¿¿ howeverâ¿¿ is restlessâ¿¿ and takes up with old Ned Kraterâ¿¿ a trepang fishermanâ¿¿ who tells him tales of the sea and the islandsâ¿¿ introduces him to drinkâ¿¿ and boasts of his conquests of Aboriginal women - or "black velvet" as they are called. But it is Mark's sonâ¿¿ Normanâ¿¿ whose struggles to find a place in the world embody the complexities of Capricornia itself.


What the Critics Say

"Big, powerful, irreverent... as timeless as the stars, as Australian as spinifex." (Sydney Morning Herald)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dreadfully disappointing

I tried really hard with this audiobook - sticking it out for over 8 hours. Such a waste of credit and not even the wonderful Humphrey Bower narrating could save this dire tale of undending misery. The writing is simply awful, with virtually no characterisation and the 'poetic' descriptions are trite to the point of laughability. If you want excellent audiobooks about Australia, go for the brilliant and highly recommended Bryce Courtenay and give this a miss.
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- Grace


If the reference to Baz Luhrmann's Australia doesn't fill you with glee, ignore it. This book is far, far better than the film, and bears practically no relation to it. It's fascinating historical information delivered by riveting story-telling. Xavier Herbert worked as a protector of Aborigines in Northern Australia, and his experience illuminates the narrative. I was kept awake long into the small hours by the emotional power of the writing. Very,very hard to press pause...
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- Kate

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-08-2009
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd