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Ryan JS. Review of of Ian Ridgway's 'Red Cedar-Red Gold Trilogy'. 2010.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/7287
Review of of Ian Ridgway's 'Red Cedar-Red Gold Trilogy'
• Ian Ridgway, 'Red Cedar-Red Gold', Ian Ridgway, Port Macquarie, 2006, pbk, ISBN 9780980388800, 407 pp, $35.00. • Ian Ridgway, 'Red Cedar-Red Gold 2: Burying the Ghosts of the Past', Ian Ridgway, Port Macquarie, 2006, pbk, ISBN 9780980388817, 357 pp, $35.00. • Ian Ridgway, 'Red Cedar-Red Gold 3: All Things Return to the Beginning', Ian Ridgway, Port Macquarie, 2008, pbk, ISBN 9780980388824, 351 pp, $35.00 or $90.00 for the set of three. ... These three large and closely printed soft-covered volumes have been described as 'The Red Cedar-Red Gold Trilogy'. The actual wrapper for the set refers to them - and justly - as 'true stories and bushmen's tales about the last days of cedar-getting on the North Coast of New South Wales'. The three works constitute a wide-ranging and extraordinarily rich saga of the last and most difficult phases of the North Coast's traditional industry, that of 'getting' the harder/more hidden and dangerous cedar, even as they also comment variously on the task of felling and bringing out many other timbers from (smaller) stands still amazingly difficult of access. The steadily evolving plot - for we are dealing with 'faction', or the use of facts to create time, place and socio-cultural circumstances - is one that radiates out from a central location, a river town with many small sawmills feeding it. It is given the fictitious name of 'Brown's Landing', on 'the Spencer River', somewhere on the lower Mid-North Coast, and it sounds much like Wingham or Taree, as it/they might have been earlier in the twentieth century. For they are mouldering, long-memoried, and strangely evocative of a ruthless age that succeeded the convict one, but retained many of its predatory and ruthless characteristics.