City, by James Roy

The only water out this way was the river and the reservoir and the twin pipes that fed the city. Huge and dark, as thick through as a small car, they rose and fell across the plains towards the glowing sky and the shimmering skyline.


Cities are big, cities are too small, cities are full of people, cities are lonely, cities are full of variety, cities are all the same. James Roy’s City is a title for young adult readers, that explores the bustling tapestry that is a city through twenty-two stories of young city-dwellers. The characters of City don’t always tell stories of triumph, or even stories of failure, these are stories of real people just living their lives and learning as they go.

City is the follow up to James Roy’s acclaimed 2007 book, Town. Like its predecessor it takes place in an unnamed, fictional, location but is grounded in the real world. The characters of City aren’t necessarily connected directly, but they all exist in the same space, they might never meet or acknowledge one another, but they know the same people, the same places, the same items. The format works well in providing a snapshot of a city whilst also providing the personal stories of the characters.

A masterfully crafted exploration of both the city environment and the people who live there.

City by James Roy
University of Queensland Press, 2012
ISBN 9780702249266

Available from good bookstores or online.