Girt by David Hunt
* of a good political speech.
(In response to Alfred Deakin talking about Australia’s one single shore in support of Federation in 1898.)
Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia … In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia’s past, from megafauna to Macquarie – the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.
First Impressions: I loved the comical tone right from the start. Yes, Australia’s isolation and girtness by sea make it a rather odd petrie dish for eccentricities!
As an aside, on the weekend a friend was talking about how it was common when growing up to know someone who had a pet cockatoo on one of those big perches who would just keep bobbing up and down with excitement (the cockatoo, not the friend). Our European friends found this rather odd. Girt. Case closed.
Highlights: I’ve read a reasonable amount of Australian history in previous years so I did know a fair few of the stories but Hunt’s retelling made all the stories new again. Why not make reference to Shane Warne and John Farnham when discussing colonial Australia? I did learn some new things though. I always assumed Flinders spent more time in Australia than he and while I knew William Bligh had his detractors I didn’t realise he was such at ****. I am also intrigued by the other first white temporary ‘settlers’ before 1788, particularly the first white baby born on Australian shores. More info please!
If I was an editor: More sketches and illustrations! When will Girt turn into one giant detailed five volume hilarity of Australia up to the present day?
Overall: Girt. Something only Aussies will fully appreciate.
Girt: 5 Stars