Synopses & Reviews
On what he calls “the adventure of his life,” Howard Jacobson travels around Australia, never entirely sure where he is heading next or whether he has the courage to tackle the wild life of the bush, the wild men of the outback, or the even wilder women of the seaboard cities.
In pursuit of the best of Australian good times, he joins revelers at Uluru, argues with racists in the Kimberleys, parties with winegrowers in the Barossa, and falls for ballet dancers in Perth. And even as vexed questions of national identity and Aboriginal land rights present themselves, his love for Australia and Australians never falters.
"Originally published 25 years ago in the U.K., this travelogue recounts the author's time in Australia in the mid-1980s. Jacobsen, a 2010 Booker Award winner (for The Finkler Question), certainly knows how to turn a phrase. His probing descriptions often capture the splendor of first encounters, as when he describes the Margaret River estuary: 'I like the idea of waters meeting, a current having its way against a tide.... If the sea is death then an estuary is a way of dying of peaceably.' As an outsider, Jacobson excels at capturing the idiosyncrasies of life Down Under and astutely delves into the downtrodden yet esteemed place that Aboriginals command among Australia's white society. Known for his comic writing, Jacobson indeed works best with a light tone. Regrettably here, many gags create the impression of an imperialist poking fun at the colonials for the amusement of those back home. Jacobson, a novelist at heart, likes to control the story and place himself front and center, but is at his best when he steps aside following his wife on her return home to Perth, or when their would-be safari guide drags them willy-nilly around the Northern Australian bush. It is then that he discovers the real Oz and the work becomes worthy of a writer of Jacobson's ability. Agent: Jonny Geller, Curtis Brown" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question went Down Under - and this is what he found...
The Sunday Times bestseller - over 50,000 copies sold of the original edition
About the Author
An award-winning writer and broadcaster, Howard Jacobson has written the novels The Mighty Walzer (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Kalooki Nights (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize), No More Mr. Nice Guy, Whos Sorry Now?, The Finkler Question (winner of the Man Booker Prize 2010), and, most recently, Zoo Time, along with the collection of journalism Whatever It Is, I Dont Like it. He lives in London.