The Books

So far, Jon has published the following books:

Click on any title above to go to that title.


Return Ticket

Published by Fremantle Press

Jack Muir is restless, an adventurer, idealist and dreamer.
He flees Genoralup, the stifling country town where his future was assured, to jump ship and certain danger in Durban, South Africa, and then fly to uncertain danger and a kibbutz in Israel.
From a country full of hate and violence to the place he will meet his first love, it is a war and the unexpected gift of two mothers that will change the course of Jack’s life…
As an old man Jack makes a pilgrimage that helps him rediscover the brotherhood of the kibbutzniks – it is the return ticket that helps him understand the true meaning of love at journey’s end.

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What makes this book unputdownable is the way despite the risks, Jack refuses to comply with apartheid laws…

An unforgettable book.

Lisa Hall, ANZ LitLovers LitBlog, January 2020

From The Author

  • An excerpt from Return Ticket, featuring Jack Muir as an old man
    Plus a bit from Alan Kohler, The Weekend Australian 28/3/2020 I am old now, but I find myself returning to socialism, not the socialism of the totalitarian states, Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, Ceausescu’s Romania, Tito’s Yugoslavia, but the socialism of the kibbutz, where everyone gave according to their ability and received according to their need. … Continue reading The BooksRead more
  • Review snippets
    Books and Publishing Through it all, Doust flexes a remarkably matter-of-fact delivery: ‘He was as happy as a man could expect given he’d gone through a relationship collapse, the tail end of a war, a couple of beatings, car accidents and another period of depression.’ Against that ever-shifting backdrop of war—and more intimate turmoil—Jack soaks … Continue reading The BooksRead more
  • A chat before Turkish coffee
    Thanks, Tash.

To The Highlands

Published by Fremantle Press

It is 1968. All around the world people are marching, protesting, fighting for freedom and free love. Jack Muir arrives in the islands fresh out of Grammar School: a failure, a virgin, and a reluctant employee of The Colonial Bank of Australia.
Life in the islands is raw, sensuous, real. Here, you may take what you want, especially if you are white. But the veneer of whiteness is a flimsy one, and brutality never far from the surface.
To be free, you must set free. So says George Kanluna, future leader of the islands. Yet there is a world of difference between freedom, and those things you unleash in others – and in yourself.

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To the Highlands is a short, dense, assured and incidentally poignant performance that has been worth the wait.

Canberra Times

There is a relentless rawness to this book that make its moments of tenderness hit their mark even more keenly.

Books+Publishing

From The Author


Boy On A Wire

Published by Fremantle Press

Depicting the full spectrum of adolescent alienation, this engaging, coming-of-age narrative is a humorous blend of novel and memoir. A sensitive, quick-witted boy from a small town, Jack Muir adores his mother, yearns for affection from his father, and lives in the shadow of his accomplished brother. Sent to a boarding school at a young age, Jack must quickly decide what sort of person he will be—the type that succumbs to the pressure of bullies and the school system or the type that fights back, using clever banter and intellect to get by. With a unique and authentic voice, this darkly humorous tale portrays the road to depression as seen through the naiveté of youth.

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From the opening sentence, it is clear that we are in the presence of a writer with a distinctive voice and uncanny ability to capture the bewilderment and burgeoning anger of a boy struggling to remain true to himself while navigating the hypocritical system he finds himself trapped in … If you know an angry teenager, give this to him.

The Age

The novel is apparently autobiographical and is being publicised as such but Doust has done with his material what so many autobiographical novelists fail to do: he has turned it into a shapely story, with no extraneous material or diversions and with an absolutely consistent and convincing narrative voice.

Sydney Morning Herald

… a hilarious, angry and sympathetic portrait of boys behaving badly, teeming with sadistic bullies, imperfect heroes, adolescent onanists and ice-cream gorging hedonists.

The West Australian

From The Author


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