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Rowing To Alaska And Other True Stories

Wayne McLennan



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01 January 2006
Biography: general; True stories; Rowing; Travel & holiday; Travel writing
Wayne McLennan tells the story of his utterly extraordinary life through a series of adventures after he leaves his home town in Australia, desperate to avoid following his father and grandfather into the mines. Travelling from the Australian outback to London, to Spain, McLennan has skippered a fishing boat off the coast of Nicaragua, become a professional boxer, mined for gold in Costa Rica and made a gruelling six-month journey by rowing boat along the 1,000 miles of coast from Seattle to Alaska. He tells the stories of the compelling characters he encounters along the way: men who refuse to give in to the conformity and comforts of modern life, choosing instead lonely and, often, dangerous occupations. A wonderfully vivid, Hemingway-esque memoir by a talented and honest writer.
By:   Wayne McLennan
Imprint:   Granta
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   200g
ISBN:   9781862077874
ISBN 10:   1862077878
Pages:   226
Publication Date:   01 January 2006
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Wayne McLennan was born in New South Wales, Australia in 1954. He now lives with his wife in Amsterdam and runs a business in Estonia.

Reviews for Rowing To Alaska And Other True Stories

Booze, brawls, broads-an Aussie adventurer explores the macho commonalities of communities around the globe. McLennan, Macca to his friends, is originally from the sun-baked countryside of Australia, land of sheep, beer and hard living. The author starts his essay collection here, at an amateur boxing competition at a county fair in 1969, the last year that the legislature allowed amateurs to have a go at each other. They had decided, these politicians, that it was their decision when we as free men might take a risk in life, the author explains. The rest of the work is devoted to the many risks Macca has taken since. It took some years for him to leave Australia; first there were three-and-a-half years spent working, however incongruously, as a bank teller. Macca got his kicks nonetheless, drinking with friends, crashing his car, starting a rugby team and funding it with an illegal and impressively organized stag party. The routine was too much for him, though, and soon he was off to Europe to camp, work as a bartender, do construction. The States were next, and the titular essay follows Macca as he and his friend row a thousand miles from Seattle to Alaska in a boat they had built to their specifications. After that, the author's off to warmer climes, to join the gold rush in Costa Rica. And always, everywhere, there are bars, women and, mostly, the company of men. The small doings of humankind often serve as foils for the stunning, bruising landscapes that the author ably describes. Beautifully straightforward, unadorned, evocative prose that will likely inspire a new generation of travelers. (Kirkus Reviews)

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