Daniel is a 16-year-old drug dealer and he’s going to jail. Then, suddenly, he’s not. A courtroom intervention. A long car ride to a purpose-built facility for ‘gifted delinquents’ in the middle of nowhere.
So where are they? It’s not a school, despite the ‘lessons’ with the headsets and changing images. It’s not a psych unit—not if the absence of medication means anything. It’s not a jail, because Daniel’s free to leave. Or that’s what they tell him.
He knows he is part of an experiment, but he doesn’t know who’s running it or what they’re trying to prove.
‘The Subjects is energetic and compelling from the opening pages. And in Daniel, the book’s narrator, we find a voice that I was worried was disappearing in Australian fiction: unpretentious, smart and lacking all mawkishness. It’s a joy to hear his voice, and it is a joy to read a book of such complex ideas that is also alert to the art of storytelling.’
‘A vivid, human (and humane) novel with an irresistible dark pull. The Subjects explores the utopian madness of social engineering in a similar way to Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things.’
‘The Subjects does what literature does best: gets inside our skin by transforming aspects of our world into a fictional form that is completely credible,’ Text publisher Michael Heyward says.
‘It’s an honour for Text to publish such a talented writer.’