Nominated by:

State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

The National Library of Australia, Canberra

Publisher of nominated edition:

Penguin Books Australia

Here Come the Dogs

Omar Musa    

2016 Longlist

In small town suburbia, three young men are ready to make their mark.

Solomon is all charisma, authority and charm, down for the moment but surely not out.  His half-brother, Jimmy, bounces along in his wake, underestimated, waiting for his chance to announce himself.  Aleks, their childhood friend, loves his mates, his family and his homeland, and would do anything for them.  The question is, does he know where to draw the line?

Solomon, Jimmy and Aleks: way out on the fringe of Australia, looking for a way in.  Hip hop and graffiti give them a voice.  Booze, women and violence pass the time while they wait for their chance.  Under the oppressive summer sun, their town has turned tinder-dry. All it’ll take is a spark.

As the surrounding hills roar with flames, the change storms in.  But it’s not what they were waiting for.  It never is.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper and poet from Queanbeyan. A former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and Indian Ocean Poetry Slam, he has performed extensively. Omar has released three hip hop albums and two poetry books, including Parang. Omar has also run creative workshops in remote Aboriginal communities, youth centres and rural schools. His critically acclaimed debut novel Here Come the Dogs was long listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and he was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015.

Librarians’ Comments

This is a simmering novel about the disempowerment of young men on the edge of mainstream society. The writing is accomplished and juxtaposes the brutal and the tender to great effect – a powerful work.

Here Come the Dogs is a fast paced and gripping story which sets the scene of an aspect of Australian suburbia and those living on the fringe of mainstream society. Poet, rapper and playwright, Omar Musa draws on his skill as a writer to tell the story of three young men, who despite the attention from those closest to them, struggle with the big question of their place in the world and their ability to control the fire which burns inside them. Musa combines poetry and prose to take readers on a journey which sees the characters trying to connect with their world through Hip Hop and graffiti, while grappling with the isolating and darker aspects of alcohol and violence. The book has received favourable reviews in the media and was longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

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