Winner, Colin Roderick Award, 2018
Winner, Staunch Book Prize, 2018
Amid the furious ocean there was no human sound on deck: some people standing, watching the wave, but no one capable of words.
On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli and a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored beside an idyllic reef off the Indonesian island of Dana.
In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a Federal election looms and (not coincidentally) a hardline new policy is being announced regarding maritime assistance to asylum-seeker vessels in distress.
A few kilometres away from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers fleeing from persecution are Roya and her mother, and Roya’s unborn sister.
The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all.
With On the Java Ridge Jock Serong, bestselling author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket, brings us a literary novel with the pace and tension of a political thriller—and some of the most compelling, heartstopping writing about the sea since Patrick O’Brian.
Jock Serong’s most recent novel, On the Java Ridge, a fast-paced political thriller, was published in 2017. His debut novel Quota won the 2015 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel. The Rules of Backyard Cricket is nominated for a 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Award. Jock teaches law and writes feature articles in the surfing media and for publications such as The Guardian and Slow Living. He lives with his wife and four children in Port Fairy, Victoria.
‘Terrifying, compelling.’ Australian Book Review
‘Taut and impressive.’ Age
‘You might want to clear the decks before you start Jock Serong’s third thriller, because the odds are you won’t be able to put it down.’ SA Weekend
‘With this book, Serong cements his growing reputation as the thinking person’s adventure writer. On the Java Ridge is such a strong piece of writing on so many levels. Andrew Bolt would hate it!’ Readings
‘Expertly written, vast in scope…A compelling literary political thriller and a must-read commentary on the Australian political environment and its treatment of refugees.’ Better Read Than Dead
‘This is the mastery of Serong’s novel, understanding that fictional dystopias are at their most profound when they take the everyday and tilt it towards the darkness…it is a deeply considered novel that steers us to the logical conclusion of an entrenched system rooted equally in brutality and silence.’ Monthly
‘The best surf-related fiction I have read in a long, long time, possibly ever—Jock Serong’s riveting On the Java Ridge.’ Swell Net
‘On the Java Ridge cements Serong’s place as one of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious crime writers.’ NZ Listener
‘The rescue and the scenes that follow it are the real heart of the book, and they are exceptional. Serong invests the chaos and confusion of the wreck and its bloody aftermath with a visceral power that makes for confronting but exhilarating reading.’ Australian
‘Serong exhibits impressive control, leaping between three vastly different viewpoints and delivering a fevered crescendo as compassion competes with political survival.’ NZ Listener
‘Devastatingly brilliant…an emotionally grueling mix of high-octane action, life-and-death political maneuvering and, at its heart, an anguishing portrayal of worldwide refugee crises…Beautiful, mournful, infuriating and brimming with tension, On the Java Ridge is utterly incomparable.’ Shelf Awareness