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The Bush

Narrated by: Don Watson
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)
Non-member price: $54.63
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Publisher's Summary

An enthralling journey, showcasing Watson's trademark literary gift and sardonic wit, through the Australian landscape and character.

While most Australians live in cities clinging to the coastal fringe, our sense of what an Australian is, or should be, is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by 'the bush', and how has it shaped us?

Starting with his forebears' battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is: the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don't. A milestone work of memoir, travel writing and history, The Bush takes us on a profoundly revelatory and entertaining journey through the Australian landscape and character.

©2014 Don Watson (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great stories and very interesting details

I have always admired Don Watson's writing, but he has excelled himself in this book, The Bush. It is a mixture of stories, both from his own family and from many other sources, and details about many issues, from prickly pear to aboriginal practices and dingoes. I found it all quite engrossing, and believe this will be an important reference book for many years - not all reference books are as entertaining to read as this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Outdated view of Australia

Struggled to finish. Instructive of a white farmers perspective. Confronting and at times offensive. I can't say I enjoyed it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • W*BvK
  • Sydney Australia
  • 17-03-2019

A Rambling Mosaic of Australian Rural Life

This is without exception one of the best Audible books I have bought and I bought it on sale.
The Bush is a must listen for all Australians and those who want to understand what it was to be Australian.

It rambles through many different areas of bush mythology and in doing so carries you in your imagination from the early days to the present. From sheep to indigenous relations, from the bushmen to the hardships of Australian countrywomen. I lived this life. I reconnected with my life through this book.
Australia for Australians and those who want to understand the Australian Psyche of old.
I regret today we are a different nation or are we. Listen and tell me.

The Bush is a must listen to :)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Australian history mixed with modern politics

A great insight into the life of early Europeans in Australia. Covers a lot of recorded accounts from the people, literature, botany, economics, farming principles and more.
Strongly influenced by 'global warming' and 'white guilt' philosophies of early 21st century.
Very informative, only spoiled by the increasingly overt politics of the later half of the book.

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  • JJ
  • 03-02-2019

Australia’s history through the eyes of Watson’s #TheBush

Clear-eyed, passionate yet not overtly emotional, it is the perfect accompaniment to Bruce Pascoe’s #DarkEmu.

Based on journals of early European settlers words, intermingled with his own memories, Watson brings alive the best and the worst of Australia’s past ... and today the Murray Darling River System of which he speaks is being mourned, for more ongoing corruption destroying it even now.
May today’s(literally, this day’s) Royal Commission Report bring some justice, albeit too late.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Bush

Interesting and balanced . It is quite a thorough historical account, and really sets the background for how Australias relationship to the bush evolved. I would like to have seen a bit more on how the political power of the bush emerged, and how it continues to shape Australia today. What hapened to the old squatocracy where are they now? How did the relentless desire to ringbark every single tree come about- he mentions it as an almost unifying national philosophy- where did it come from?
There is also a place for a sequel - where can it go? What options and possibilities for the future
.
The book is fascinating, illuminating and will leave you with much to think about. I highly recommend it.

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All Australians ought read

Truthfully told, sometimes shocking observation of Australia's history since white man. Excellent narration by the author

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Important and memorable

A comprehensive account of how White settlement has affected every aspect of how we think, how we use the land, what we believe about the past. A magnificent book.

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A must read for all Australians.

This is our history without embellishments. Don is a great observer, writer and story teller.

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'A Must Read Book'

I enjoyed the journey from the early days to current bush practices. The farmers and their stories with a few interesting moments in between.
Well written & narrated.
Brilliant!