One for the Road: Hitchhiking Through the Australian Outback

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"A high-spirited, comic ramble into the savage Outback populated by irreverent, beer-guzzling frontiersmen." —Chicago Tribune

"A fascinating insight into what we're all about on the highways and byways along the outback track." —The Telegraph (Sydney)

Swept off to live in Sydney by his Australian bride, American writer Tony Horwitz longs to explore the exotic reaches of his adopted land. So one day, armed only...

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"A high-spirited, comic ramble into the savage Outback populated by irreverent, beer-guzzling frontiersmen." —Chicago Tribune

"A fascinating insight into what we're all about on the highways and byways along the outback track." —The Telegraph (Sydney)

Swept off to live in Sydney by his Australian bride, American writer Tony Horwitz longs to explore the exotic reaches of his adopted land. So one day, armed only with a backpack and fantasies of the open road, he hitchhikes off into the awesome emptiness of Australia's outback.
        What follows is a hilarious, hair-raising ride into the hot red center of a continent so desolate that civilization dwindles to a gas pump and a pub. While the outback's terrain is inhospitable, its scattered inhabitants are anything but. Horwitz entrusts himself to Aborigines, opal diggers, jackeroos, card sharks, and sunstruck wanderers who measure distance in the number of beers consumed en route. Along the way, Horwitz discovers that the outback is as treacherous as it is colorful. Bug-bitten, sunblasted, dust-choked, and bloodied by a near-fatal accident, Horwitz endures seven thousand miles of the world's most forbidding real estate, and some very bizarre personal encounters, as he winds his way to Queensland, Alice Springs, Perth, Darwin—and a hundred bush pubs in between.
        Horwitz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of two national bestsellers, Confederates in the Attic and Baghdad Without a Map, is the ideal tour guide for anyone who has ever dreamed of a genuine Australian adventure.

"Lively, fast-paced and amusing . . . a consistently interesting and entertaining account." —Kirkus Reviews

"Ironical, perceptive and subtle . . . will have readers getting out their maps and itching to follow Horwitz's tracks. . . . The internal journey is his finest achievement; he allows the reader into his heart, to go travelling with him there, sharing his adventures of the spirit." —Sunday Times (London)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Having spent months in Sydney without seeing the ``real'' Australia, American journalist Horwitz sets out to hitchhike solo through the continent's rugged interior. He discovers this to be infernally hot, flat and fly-ridden, with the only above-ground liquid to be found in the ``hotels'' (pubs) that dot the lone highway at irregular intervals. Aptly titled, One for the Road is as much a chronicle of the pubs along the way as of the scenery. In the Northern Territory, besides being the national beverage, beer is also a unit of measure and standard of currency. It is ``about a six-pack''or one beer every eight minutesto the next roadhouse; fixing a car's tail pipe costs ``a carton.'' Horwitz has a delightfully wry style and an eye for absurdity, evident in descriptions of himself warding off a sandstorm by wearing five pairs of jockey shorts on his headwith his nose sticking out of the fliesof a sailboat race on a dry riverbed and of the nonappearance of Halley's Comet. But he also appreciates the massive beauty of Ayers Rock, seat of Aboriginal culture, the wisdom of a prosperous cattleman and the peaceful charm of Broome, a tropical seaport, where he looks up the town's only Jewish family to celebrate Passover. A glossary of Aussie terms is provided. (June)
Library Journal
This recounting of one American's hitchhiking odyssey through the outback in 1986 unfortunately gives readers only the stereotypical aspects of Aussie life. From Sydney, Horwitz travels to Queensland, to Alice Springs, through Southern Australia to Western Australia, and then across the Northern Territory to Darwin before returning to his point of departure. Although the prose is at times pedestrian, the author does capture some of this hard land's essence: the isolation, the heat, and the barrenness punctuated only at irregular intervals by pubs. Still, the work lacks the insight and perceptual gifts associated with Paul Theroux or Graham Greene. For only the most comprehensive collections. Susan M. Unger, Madison P.L., N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375706134
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Vintage Departures Series
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 230,099
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Horwitz

Tony Horwitz lives in Waterford, Virginia.

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    1. Hometown:
      Waterford, Virginia
    1. Date of Birth:
    2. Place of Birth:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University; M.A., Columbia University School of Journalism

Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Ok but not more

    I have really loved his other work, but this was just not up to the standard of his other work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Could Have Been Great

    Early on the story captivated me but then shortly after the car crash, the language became foul and very offensive. Perhaps that is how a writer writes when beer becomes a substitute for common sense. I gave it two stars only for the first portion of the book but the second half of the book left nothing for me but pity for the author who intentionally stooped to the lowest level. I took one star away because of the second half. I've never felt the desire to ask for my money back after reading this trash.
    Don't waste your money on this trash. I now no longer have a desire to read any of this authors books.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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