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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Shadow Play
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'Among the subversive pleasures of Paul Theroux’s travel writing are his intermittent encounters with Australians. To use the local vernacular, he hates our guts.Over the decades, Theroux has happened across us everywhere — mountain highways, city parks, remote deserts, tropical islands — and invariably he finds us tanned, crude and vapid. Our presence affronts his efforts to venture forth in the bazaar of the global exotic, unmolested by the ordinary.“The Australian Book of Etiquette is a very slim volume,’’ he writes at one point. After one night on a train, closely confined with a batch of Aussie backpackers, he calls their company ‘‘a reminder that I’d touched bottom’’.Theroux doesn’t get Australians. We pop up in the most outlandish places, like some noxious weed. We move bravely through the world, but always in a bubble of unthinking privilege. We are inveterate wanderers, though in Theroux’s cantankerous view also rubes who don’t understand or appreciate the places we go. Why, he seems to be asking, do we bother?' (Introduction)

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Last amended 1 Nov 2017 11:46:51
20 Review Shadow Playsmall AustLit logo The Weekend Australian
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