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No Worries: Journey Through Australia Paperback – 14 Sep 2000
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A fascinating and hilarious picture of Australia through the eyes of a young Englishman
Knowing nothing of Australia except the lager-ad cliches of sun and surf, ockers and sheilas, kangaroos and didgeridoos, Mark McCrum arrives Down Under. Hitching, flying, by Greyhound and by train, he makes his picaresque way around the vast brown land. From royalist hippies to republican cattle-ranchers, from Queensland jillaroos to Indo-Chinese immigrants, from Perth millionaires to desert Aboriginals, he meets modern Aussies of every kind. 'Infused with the spirit of Australia: breezy, accepting, humorous' The Times
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First thing to note is that this is not really a guide to the sights and attractions of Oz, it's more a guide to the people, their lives and their opinions, that the author meets on his journey. Pretty soon the recurring theme of Aborigines drinking away their 'social' payments turns into the main focus of the book.
I'd have preferred to have read more about other aspects of Oz life, but as a wannabe Oz immigrant I have learned a hellova lot about the interaction between the Aborigines and the more recent arrivals. Useful information indeed for anyone planning to move down under.
Considering the price and the 300+ pages it's a good buy, though I'd have to admit it wasn't what I was expecting.
Indeed, while cultural cringe is still very much alive and cowering in Oz, at least one enlightened soul has seen fit to withhold judgement until he's done his research. And even then, he still shows a generosity of spirt and warmth of word that more curmudgeonly minded authors would do well to follow.
Oh, and any reader who complains that the book goes off-track and takes the less-than-scenic route round Australia upon occasion, should perhaps stick to reading travel brochures in future.
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