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One for the Road: An Outback Adventure Paperback – 1 Nov 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; Revised ed. edition (1 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375706135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375706134
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 500,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Ironical, perceptive and subtle ... will have readers getting out their maps and itching to follow Horwitz's tracks.... The internal journey is his finest achievement; he allows the reader into his heart, to go travelling with him there, sharing his adventures of the spirit". -- Sunday Times (London)

From the Inside Flap

"A high-spirited, comic ramble into the savage Outback populated by irreverent, beer-guzzling frontiersmen." --"Chicago Tribune
"A fascinating insight into what we're all about on the highways and byways along the outback track." --"The Telegraph (Sydney)
Swept off to live in Sydney by his Australian bride, American writer Tony Horwitz longs to explore the exotic reaches of his adopted land. So one day, armed only with a backpack and fantasies of the open road, he hitchhikes off into the awesome emptiness of Australia's outback.
What follows is a hilarious, hair-raising ride into the hot red center of a continent so desolate that civilization dwindles to a gas pump and a pub. While the outback's terrain is inhospitable, its scattered inhabitants are anything but. Horwitz entrusts himself to Aborigines, opal diggers, jackeroos, card sharks, and sunstruck wanderers who measure distance in the number of beers consumed en route. Along the way, Horwitz discovers that the outback is as treacherous as it is colorful. Bug-bitten, sunblasted, dust-choked, and bloodied by a near-fatal accident, Horwitz endures seven thousand miles of the world's most forbidding real estate, and some very bizarre personal encounters, as he winds his way to Queensland, Alice Springs, Perth, Darwin--and a hundred bush pubs in between.
Horwitz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of two national bestsellers, Confederates in the Attic and Baghdad Without a Map, is the ideal tour guide for anyone who has ever dreamed of a genuine Australian adventure.
"Lively, fast-paced and amusing . . . a consistently interesting and entertaining account." --"Kirkus Reviews
"Ironical, perceptive and subtle . . .will have readers getting out their maps and itching to follow Horwitz's tracks. . . . The internal journey is his finest achievement; he allows the reader into his heart, to go travelling with him there, sharing his adventures of the spirit." --"Sunday Times (London)

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By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
I read Horwitz's book around six months after reading Bill Bryson's "Down Under". Well, the difference is amazing and (unwittingly) pointed out by Horwtiz in the book. His travels led him to encounter so many different people, to change his perceptions and have a good laugh along the way. His prose is funny and very intellegent - much like Bryson has been in his previous works. And it was Horwitz's travels and encounters which made me realise why Bryson's book is so flawed (in my eyes, at least)....namely, Bryson doesn't scratch below the surface of Oz first hand - just by literary research and interactions with people already known to him. But I'm reviewing Horwitz's book, and I can't speak highly enough of it. With no false enthusiasm, it's one of those which you will be passing on to your friends to read once you've finished.
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Format: Paperback
There are constraints to Australian road travel - the chief one being that the cities, hence, the roads, hug the coasts. There are dangers, desolation, loneliness, above all, heat. And flies. It takes some courage to face these conditions alone, even in modern times. Tony Horwitz faced them alone and on foot - some of the time. The result was a fantastic voyage and a superb account.
Horwitz is an unlikely prospect for an Australian adventurer. A transplanted Yank [Washington, DC to Sydney], urban [New York City to, again, Sydney] and Jewish [a bit anomalous in the Outback]. These conditions might fatally impair the less adventurous, but Horwitz can "boldly go" [as he did in a later book] and so he does. With singular dedication, he even starts his trek heading West from Sydney past Dubbo to the Alice. With no direct Sydney to Alice route, the journey is circuitous, a fine introduction to the later expedition. Here, Horwitz encounters people and displays his talent at recording them. The limited number of roads implies limited options and few rides. It's a closed world and he becomes "the crazy Yank we heard about back in Nevertire."
Constricted view doesn't inhibit Horwitz' abilities. He has an advantage over many travel writers - he's a journalist first and a traveller after. A perceptive eye and a talented pen record his reaction to the land of Australia. And the people he encounters, which become the focus of his attention. He's good with people, drawing them out - fulfilling the image of the chatty Yank, entertaining, but somehow provocative. The drivers, pub keepers and drinkers respond to his novelty. He records them with lively asides, keeping your interest with every page. 'Surely, these can't be real people,' you may think.
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Format: Paperback
A very amusing and informative road trip through Australia - you can almost feel the heat and the dust, you can sense the need for a beer and share the author's astonishment at the perky, quirky ways of the outback. I enjoyed this book very much. One criticism - the publisher could have included a map of the route.
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Format: Paperback
A very amusing and informative road trip through Australia - you can almost feel the heat and the dust, you can sense the need for a beer and share the author's astonishment and the perky, quirky ways of the outback. I enjoyed this book very much. One criticism - the publisher could have included a map of the route.
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