Holmes takes the reader into the little-known world
of the black opal: the volatile nature of the business and
the people who mine and sell this product of the earth.
Descending into a three-foot diameter shaft six stories
down, shared by poisonous spiders and snakes, to chip at
rock is not something the average person would find appealing.
The "Wild West" nature of Lightning Ridge and
its part-time inhabitants will appeal to the American reader,
Robert Fulton, Ph.D
March 25, 2005
W. Holmes of North Carolina is a frequent visitor
to Lightning Ridge and has written a trilogy of short stories
in the form of three books. Bryan Cook has done an imaginative
job of illustrating the books in pen and ink, and his covers
entice you to pick up the books and read them.
The themes of the three booklets are interwoven with the
main characters, one being a crusty outback woman (Kate)
and the other a would-be miner (Rusty) and others that give
a true-to-life animation to these stories written in and
around the Lightning Ridge opal fields.
Richard has been very observant and when he describes
the interior of the mines and the lay-out, it is very
obvious the stories are written with a first hand knowledge
of opal mining.
I found the three books delightful to read and it answered
my delimma of what to suggest to visitors to get hold
of when staying in a motel. They are a must for any tourist
visiting the gem fields to get the real flavour of the
place. (Hopefully these books can still be found for sale
at the Ridge motels/shops).
I heartily recommend reading them in the sequence they
were written and when you are finished reading them you
want Richard to put pen to paper again and write as many
more credible yarns as he can come up with.
His driving desire is now to have a film made on the basis
of the books and with persistence he may well achieve
By J Milton
Metal Stone & Glass
to visit the Metal Stone & Glass web site.
Read the October 2007 Rock & Gem's Book Review of Richard Holmes Trilogy in their News and Reviews section Pics & Pans.
Click on the image to view a copy of the review.