‘Imagine the entire population of Melbourne abandoning their homes and taking to the road in flight from the city…’ this was how the then war correspondent George Johnston described the Sino-Japanese uprising in 1944. From personal experience came his novel, the Far Road, a powerful story on the war in China. Amidst a landscape of corpses, two foreign correspondents, the American Bruce Conover and the Australian David Meredith, set out on an assignment into the interior of drought-stricken China. there they find the population in a state of panic - not from the invading Japanese, but from the local officials. through Johnston’s self-critical and sensitive protagonist, David Meredith, ‘hero’ of My Brother Jack, Clean Straw For Nothing and A Cartload of Clay, George Johnston exposes the essential self-interest, not only of the role of the war correspondent, but of journalists in general.
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