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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully perceptive and funny -beats Bryson any day!
I first read this book before ever having visited Oz and enjoyed it immensely - it certainly whetted my appetite to visit Down Under. I re-read it again recently while actually travelling in Australia and it certainly illuminated my experience of an extraordinary country of many contrasts. Unlike the view of the previous critic here - I found it a highly readable and...
Published on 30 May 2002

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the Curates egg!
First read the book in 1989 after my first visit to Oz. I couldn't find much to relate to, as his narrative on the east coast was sparse to say the least. They were the cities I visited Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns.
I reread the book this week, having re-visited Oz twice. I found much more I could relate to, having visited a lot more of the places in the...
Published on 6 May 2001


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully perceptive and funny -beats Bryson any day!, 30 May 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Paperback)
I first read this book before ever having visited Oz and enjoyed it immensely - it certainly whetted my appetite to visit Down Under. I re-read it again recently while actually travelling in Australia and it certainly illuminated my experience of an extraordinary country of many contrasts. Unlike the view of the previous critic here - I found it a highly readable and absorbing book which gets under the skin of Australia and its people . Jacobson can make you laugh out loud or ponder the issues which haunt this nation -even when he addresses contentious matters like aboriginal land rights it is always from a keen observer's eye and with great affection. If you want to get to know a country -learn a little about it's history, and get to know it's people - this book will certainly do that.Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a class of its own!, 21 April 2012
This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Paperback)
Jacobson hasn't quite the relaxed humour of Bill Bryson, nor does he look for dirt as Theroux did in parts of England, instead he listens,observes and often interacts with people wherever he finds them, bush or city. The result is funnier, more brutally honest and insightful than any other book I've read about Australia. Serious, hurtful and possibly offensive at times but never dull nor far from a laugh...or the truth. Intellectual, Jacobson at times suffers both nature and people but he is almost always accommodating and always brilliantly descriptive of both. His writing is of a high order (at times, you'll likely need a dictionary or just ignore and read on) and the book once read, invites repeated dipping into. It made me realize just how ordinary most writing is and how limited my own. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Land of Oz, 26 May 2012
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A thoroughly good read, as well as being a perceptive record of a journey round the geography, history and politics of a fascinating continent. I had, myself,just returned from a six-week travelling holiday in Australia when I read the book. Our trip was less ambitious than the Jacobsons though parts of our routes overlapped. Despite the thirty-year interval, much of it still rang true. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it - no nonsense!, 15 July 2014
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Enid Irving "enid" (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Kindle Edition)
Read him - every book is gorgeous - this one is excellent and very funny - it has made me want to go to Australia more than any other book I have read (and there have been plenty). I'm a bit too old to emigrate - but I am very grateful to Mr Jacobson for sharing his blessed observations with Grandma!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jacobsen goes walkabout, 22 July 2013
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M. J. M. Mills (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Kindle Edition)
As jusual, Howard Jacobsen has used his superb powers of observations and his huge command of the English language to deliver non-stop entertainment. Terrific!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Australia observed by a great artist, 28 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful writing .Devastatingly accurate description of an extended trip to Australia.

The cool artist's eye sees so much that is funny, tragic and beautiful.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the Curates egg!, 6 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Paperback)
First read the book in 1989 after my first visit to Oz. I couldn't find much to relate to, as his narrative on the east coast was sparse to say the least. They were the cities I visited Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns.
I reread the book this week, having re-visited Oz twice. I found much more I could relate to, having visited a lot more of the places in the book. I found that most of our impressions co-incide, and I was able to chuckle in more places than before.
I now realise that the best bits of the book, are his first impressions of the places and people.
The characters are as large as life, and not exagerated at all. His comments on the bus drivers are spot on, and the G'day ritual must be in the company manual.
The reason that the cover of Melbourne and Sydney is sparse is because, he lived in both places for a while, and his thoughts about them must be written elsewhere.
First impressions are the strongest, and rehashed memories wouldn't have been in place in this book.
A book to take in small doses, to dip your toes into from time to time and enjoy, as he did into the waters of the Barrier Reef, and the dust od the Todd River. It regenerates memories better than any photograph.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Off beat travelogue, 3 Sept. 2013
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A. Sutton (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Kindle Edition)
He is a bit of a waffler, but I like his sense of humour. Accurate observations of the places that I know.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A VERY DIFFICULT READ, 25 Feb. 2000
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This review is from: In the Land of Oz (Paperback)
Whlist studying the pastoral at university we were asked to read jacobsons account of a trip down under. I myself found the book very difficult to read and almost depressing in some areas with the lack of trust between the natives and the tourists. I never read it again.
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In the Land of Oz
In the Land of Oz by Howard Jacobson (Paperback - 5 Sept. 2011)
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