Deadly Unna Review

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“Deadly Unna” was the fist book published by the Australian Author “Phillip Gwynne” in 1998. The book focuses on racial tension, friendship, family conflict and relationships. The story is told in first person by the main character “Gary Black” more commonly know as “Blacky”. The story is mostly Blacky’s relationship with Dumby Red, an indigenous Australian, and about how he, as a white Australian, changes throughout the book, by understanding the racial conflict and learning how to stand up for himself.

Blacky is more academic than he is sporty; though he plays football for the town. He has a very large family consisting of 8 siblings, and he gets along with all of them, putting aside the occasional conflict. He has a good relationship with his mother; however, he has a terrible relationship with his father due to a past event. Dumby Red has a very enthusiastic, optimistic and self-confident personality. “Pickles” is Blacky’s best friend, and he disgustingly unhygienic, with gruesome habits. Blacky often goes to talk with his old next-door neighbour ”Darcy”, who a maggot farmer and is full of advice to give Blacky.

The story is set on a peninsula of Australia, all the whites living in the “Port” and all of the blacks living in the ”Point” about 1hour drive from eachother. I believe the reason the Author made the distinct seperation between the white and black Australians is to emphasise the racial tension in the area. The book consists of two parts, “Winter” and “Summer”. Winter being the footy is mainly focused around the footy culture of the town and focuses on Blacky trying to be the hero in his team, and eventually succeeds although by accident. They win the grand final, and by the end of the winter, Blacky becomes very aware of the large racial tension in the book. The “Summer” part of the book is mainly filled with racial, and family conflict, and during the course of this Dumby is shot dead. Blacky is faced with many decisions he has to make, and...
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