The Way the Dice Fall - a powerful tale of mateship during the Vietnam War
Sunshine Coast author, and well known local, John Cunnington, will release a fictionalised account of his own experiences during the social upheavals of the late sixties and the Vietnam War at the end of the month - to coincide with Anzac Day.
The Way the Dice Fall, evokes a time in Australia when opposition to conscription and the Vietnam War is growing and the Anzac legend is under threat.
Whilst the book is the first published novel for John, he has previously published a number of poems encapsulating the Vietnam conflict. A Wurtulla resident for twenty-one years, John experienced a varied career since his army discharge in 1969. He worked as a Life Insurance salesman, Hotel Proprietor, Commonwealth police Officer, Finance Company Manager, University Lecturer and Probation and parole Officer. Along the way he acquired an Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching. His novel tells a quintessential Australian story - one of mateship, courage, larrikinism and self-discovery.
Based on John's own experiences, the book is a story about Jack, a nineteen-year-old public servant, drafted into the Vietnam War where he becomes one of a group known as the "Intrepid Five": Rocco, the charismatic entrepreneur; the sagacious Mick; Biggs the perennial joker; and the enigmatic Hugo.
Together the mates embark on a journey through the jungles of Vietnam and the seedy bars of Vung Tau. Along the way they discover the meaning of loyalty and hypocrisy.
Drawing honestly upon his own memories and the moving correspondence with his sweetheart during his tour of duty, John evocatively captures the raw emotions of the Vietnam recruits - his mates. The result is a compelling tale that is both powerful and intimate, providing an eye-opening account of the selective ballot system that summoned young Australian recruits to the Vietnam War.
"The Way the Dice Fall will certainly appeal to veterans but also to any reader who can appreciate the larrikin nature of Australian mateship," John said.
Deputy Caloundra City Mayor, Mr Don Smith, a supporter of the book, will be at the media launch at 9am on Friday April 20 at the Caloundra RSL.
The public book launch, to which everyone is welcome, will be held at 6pm on Friday April 27, also at the Caloundra RSL.
Books are available at Angus and Robertson in Caloundra and other Bookstores on the Sunshine coast.