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.
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)