"A package tour of thirteen men and women visit countries and museums, hotels and shops, just like all the tourists. Except that wherever they travel - Africa, England, South America, New York or Russia - nothing is as it seems. Subjected to unexpected propositions, differences and subtleties of history and creation, they are accordingly repelled, attracted, altered."
"a visual writer with great understanding of sensual man" - Patrick White
"a bizarre, playful and at times hilarious send-up of globetrotting" - Observer
"funny...undeniably clever" - Daily Telegraph
"A work of brilliant and resonant artistry" - Australian Book Review
Strange sensation then (August 26). To finally have the turbines cut, metallic whistle dying in the ear, and that drumming of the horizontal holding them to their seats like a hand, replaced by solid upright pressure, relative silence, of earth. They sat becalmed, benumbed. The hum and vibration remained within them, and would for some hours. For the time being they felt more like gazing than looking. Chins rested on hands.
Out there all around was concrete, colour of tarpaulins, stained with fuel. This canary-yellow tractor of obscene squatness came crawling towards them. It had a canvas canopy. The local people were going about their work; they took their time. The driver wore khaki and drove one hand.
From the Penguin paperback edition, 1985.
Winner of the 1980 National Book Council Award for Australian Literature and co-winner of the 1980 Age Book of the Year Award.
This page and its contents are copyright © 2002 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Murray Bail page.
Last modified: April 29, 2002.