I don't know. I'm about 50 pages into this book, and so far I've got mixed feelings. Australia seems so far boring even to the Author. Slow trains. Bad beer. Empty landscape. Idiot company. Tell me how you're coping in said environment. If you're going to drink beer, go full Bukowski. If you're going to describe the area, go full Bryson. If you're going to be bored, make me feel it because I'm there with you, not 'cause your book has me staring out of my own window.
"Alice Springs is a quiet town of 12,000 souls, similar to many towns of that size in the American West, although not so blatantly ugly. Tourism, cattle ranching..." Well there's a hell of a description. How is it ugly?! Why is it important that its ugly?! Might as well give me it's dimensions, in both imperial and metric, to be thorough.
The aborigines are all drunken idiots. Fair enough. I'm fine with having opinions, good and bad, on culture. But seems a little weakly justified. You walked through a few towns and saw some Abos pissed in the gutter. Ok. You can walk through most college towns and see frat idiots in the same position. If you're going to bother describing the people, go out of your way to talk to them a bit! Instead, all we hear is anecdotes and broad statements from the rednecks Abbey's hanging out with. Which is fine. But it's not fair. So now I know how they, the rednecks, feel about the indigenous folk, but are they right about 'em? Go find out and report back! Nope. Back on the train.
This woman was wearing a skirt. That one had great legs. Good. I love women, too. DESCRIBE A FREAKING RELATIONSHIP! Even if it's adulterous, even if it's simple. I don't care. If you're going to bring it up do more that dedicate one paragraph to describing how a tourist girl with legs look better than a middle aged man with a camera and a bad hawaiian shirt. No shit. Literally: "My attention was caught by a pair of smooth brown thighs in short shorts... [5-10 sentences]. She allowed me to buy her a drink that evening... we said goodbye...". Amazing.
There have been some gem epigrams in here. At the moment, too frustrated to go back and find them. As a boozing, hunting, women-loving, outdoors-man myself, I had a lot of expectation for this book, my first of Abbey's. So far, not all that impressed. Then again, when you're pissed off, everything looks grey regardless. Maybe I'm just cranky.