Top positive review
And like all travel books it's about who the journey and ...
on 21 March 2016
This is an enjoyable book, although, for me, not nearly as insightful as it could be. Part of the reason for that is because it's essentially a travel book. And like all travel books it's about who the journey and all the funny wee characters and encounters that the author has along the way.
Chatwin certainly has a way with words, which is both compact and poetic, with which he paints vivid pictures in the reader's mind - Australia comes alive as this primordial landscape overlaid by a pioneer upstart attitude of Westerners. It certainly conveys the vast strangeness that makes up Australia and it's people.
However, like all travel based accounts, it's seen through a traveller's eyes, so there's a detachment and a slight sense of remove about his accounts. Which is a total shame, because every now and again, a glimpse of how the Aborigines see and interpret their word is utterly awesome.
If Chatwin had been able to get into the Aborigines mindset and been able to convey this, this would have been a much more satisfying book for me. However, it is still a highly enjoyable read, and if you like anything that gives glimpse of a different world and other ways of life, then read this book.