A controversial novel of power, prestige and pack mentality exposes the dark underbelly of college life at a prominent Australian university.
How do old boy networks start? We read about elaborate hazing and initiation rituals – what are they all about? How are the rich and powerful shaped by their college experiences? Can your university experience have a lasting effect on your moral code?
In 2008 Brigid Delaney was granted unprecedented access to some of Australia's most exclusive and prestigious university colleges- hoping to write an in-depth profile about the sinister underbelly of campus culture. What she witnessed surprised, fascinated and ultimately inspired her beyond the scope of a magazine length piece.
-It was quite immersive. I stayed at each college for meals, parties and interviewed students and Masters. A lot of kids came to me off the record and told me the most revolting stories – about sexual abuse and rape' says Delaney of the experience.
Wild Things is set in a St Anton's, a fictional Australian university college. With its Elysian lush green lawns and buildings of golden sandstone, it seems like a place where nothing bad could ever happen and is a cradle for privileged young men and women.
One weekend, members of the college cricket team go to the mountains for a wild weekend away. Things spiral rapidly out of control, and a young Malaysian student they dragged along with them as part of a cruel prank goes missing. When the boy is found by some bushwalkers on a rock ledge, barely clinging to life, most people think it's because of a fall, but the St Anton's men know better. The stress of keeping their collective secret however becomes harder and harder to bear, and even the heavy wrought-iron fences of the college can't keep out reality…
Dark, dangerous, bloody and visceral, this is a story of power, prestige and the pack mentality that forms the underbelly of campus life at a prestigious university. With overtones of The Secret History meets Brett Easton Ellis, this is the debut of a thrilling new Australian writer.
Brigid Delaney is a former lawyer turned journalist. She has been a staff writer and editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, worked in digital news and on the foreign desk at The Telegraph in London and CNN. She has been the deputy editor at ninemsn and is currently the news director at the New Daily. Her writing has appeared in The Age, Vogue, The Spectator, The Guardian, Sunday Life and The Australian. She is the author of non-fiction book This Restless Life.
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Brigid Delaney