peteg's blog - noise - books - 2008 12 07 McLennan RowingToAlaska

Wayne McLennan: Rowing to Alaska (and othe true stories)

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McLennan has written a few pieces for the Griffith Review which have tickled my fancy in the recent past. He's something of a modern-day Henry Lawson, with a keen eye for the prosaic and a good turn of phrase; specifically, though, he turns the tables on Lawson's channelling of the bush through English sensibilities by taking a view of the world at large that is essentially Australian.

The stories tend to be tough and blokey, with the odd admission of moral turpitude and fear, but no cowardice. There are many gaps in the stories, yielding a feeling that although a lot of drinking is recounted even more was elided. None of the stories really stood out from the others, although some stang sharply due to a close observation or vulnerability. An agreeable way to pass a weekend.