This autobiography is not a new book but I have only just recently read it. Albert, or Bert as he is called throughout the book, was born in 1894 and truly had a remarkable life. Bert had to start working at the age of eight and from then on worked extremely hard for the rest of his life which, even with all he endured, he still considered to be fortunate. He loved the Western Australian outback and found solace in sitting and watching and listening to the wildlife. Bert’s descriptions of the land bring it to life and his writing style is simple, everyday language.
Bert worked on the land in many varied jobs, learning a range of skills that he put to use all through his life. His account of his experience at Gallipoli is moving and educational and really gives the reader an honest picture of what it was like. The second half of the book has a very different feel to the first half, which is probably because of the romantic way we all feel about our childhood and his recount of his adult years is more “matter of fact”.
I’m glad I finally read this book because it is an Australian classic with insight into Australia’s history.