What are your favourite books set in Brisbane?


This city has brought forth a great number of awesome novels set in Brisbane. From books with a setting in the developing past of Brisbane to modern day stories, it’s fantastic to get stuck into books set in the exact same city you reside in.

Out of all books you’ve read set in Brisbane, which ones made a mark in your memory? Why are they so memorable? Is it the people in the story, or merely the familiar surroundings which the author has written about? It could be that it was even adapted into a TV series, which is perhaps how you first came across the novel…

Vote for your best Brisbane books below.


  1. I found the name of the book after much time spent looking. It’s called The Kingdom where nobody dies. Author Kimberley Starr

  2. Hi I am trying to find a book that was set in Brisbane. I read it a few years back.

    a young girl came to live with her grandmother, and years later she became a psychologist and she was involved in solving a boys murder along the Brisbane river ? not much to go by sorry but if you can help that would be fantastic

  3. I think this is my last one : ) and thank you to everyone who has posted — I have quite a few titles I definitely want to follow up from your descriptions and insights.
    I would also like to nominate “All Over The Shop” by Tony Maniarty — set in the corner shops in suburbs across Brisbane that the narrator lived in as a little kid from a a Greek migrant family in the 1950s and early 60s in Brisbane. So many familiar landmarks both geographically as well as culturally and emotionally.

  4. David Malouf’s memoirs, “12 Edmondstone St”
    Amazing and beautiful, poetic book. His descriptions of his childhood home in Edmondstone St, West End had me transfixed and reminded of my own childhood a decade or so later and only a few streets away … Take me there …

  5. Perfect Skin by Nick Ears
    Trademark Nick Earls Laugh-Out-Loud !!! moments along with insights and a backdrop that make you want to linger and never get to the last page.

  6. Blue Days by Donna Sharp.
    A story we can all relate to of growing up, and wondering whether we want to or not, in Brisbane as a teenager wherever and whenever that may have been.

  7. The Brisbane Crime Writers Group brought out a colection of short stories called “Murder Under The Mangoes” which were mostly set in Brisbane (the remainder were across the rest of Queensland). A good read and always a treat to be able to relate to the settings.

  8. Reading novels set in a location is such a great way to really get to know a place. We would add The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton which is part set in Brisbane.

  9. World of Chickens by Nick Earls. Both Nick and John Birmingham between them have created the Brisbane I lived in and still live in. Any of their books set in Brisbane do it for me, but World of Chickens made such great use of iconic Brisbane landmarks.

  10. I wrote a short story set in Brisbane called The Sixteenth Touch. Its about a young man who has to get from the UK to Brisbane touching or being touched by only 15 people, because the 16th touch will fall in love with him forever.

    Half way around the world touching only 15 people? Will he make it?

  11. Messages from Chaos by Susan Johnson. It pre-dated Zigzag Street and captured the smell and taste and feel and look of Brisbane in the 70s better than anything else. It launched one of Australia’s great writers and is a big personal book for me and many others.

  12. A Man’s Got to have a Hobby by William Mcinnes…a great yarn that captures the essence of the time and family life in the burbs alive with detail long forgotten by this reader

  13. “The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco” by John Birmingham. One of the piss funniest, laugh out loudiest books I’ve ever read. My wife hates it whenever I pick it up for a re-read. Legendary…. Go read it right now..Go…..Now

  14. I really liked 48 shades of Brown. I also found ‘he died with a felafel in his hand’ interesting, if not rather gruesome.

  15. Zig Zag Street because it showed us that an entertaining, modern story could be written about our place. And 48 Shades of Brown because it’s sweet. Also the one about figs where the bloke was going out to Chelmer and planting climbing figs in the forks of camphor laurels.

  16. Over The Top With Jim by Hugh Lunn
    One of the funniest books I’ve ever read & a sweet snapshot of a Brisbane that is long gone.