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The Boys in the Island is Christopher Koch's first ever novel, a beautiful, lilting coming-of-age story set in the 1940s and 50s in Hobart and Melbourne.
Francis Cullen, growing up in the island of Tasmania, is outwardly a very ordinary boy. But his inner life is dominated by dreams of a place he calls the Otherland: a transfigured world beyond the real one. In childhood, he glimpses it in the landscapes of his native land, and when he falls in love with a country girl, the dream is central to his feeling for her. After Heather is lost to him, Francis becomes more and more under the influence of Lewie Matthews - a youth whose ambition is to become a criminal. Now the Otherland's location is seen as the mainland of Australia, where a mythical life of wildness and crime beckons. Francis, Lewie and their friends pursue this life in Melbourne - until a climax of destruction shatters the dream.


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