RUM JUNGLE by Alan Moorehead


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Nine pieces (some of which have appeared in the New Yorker) Have the easy, visual descriptive sense- the selective, suggestive choice of detail which some will remember from his earlier The Villa Diana and which provide once again an entertaining commentary. In this, Mr. Moorehead returns to his native Australia after an absence of ten, and then again six, years. And this reconnaissance of his own country is in many ways a rediscovery; the Australia of his childhood was at best a second best imitation of life which was British in origin, bourgeois in character, and always ""depended upon an imprimatur from London"". Now that Australia is no longer just ""an appendage of Europe"", its own traditions are emerging and new peoples are bringing new life. And from the desolation of the Rum Jungle in the vast Northern Territory (523,000 square miles) where the Eldorado legend has been substantiated by uranium, to the exotic luxuriance of its Great Barrier Reef, the landscape here has the fascination of its aborigines and half-castes, bushrangers and cattlemen, kangaroos and koala bears and cockatoos- as well as the lonely challenge of its inaccessible far reaches..... A travelogue which brightens its points of interest with a lively discernment- this has a literary- not an American Express- appeal.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1953
Publisher: Scribner