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So begins Robyn Davidson's perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea, with only four camels and a dog for company. Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.
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By Sara on 03-23-16
An Australian Desert Adventure
I enjoy biographies and personal memoirs because they offer a chance to see life through another's eyes. The reader gets to see a writer's version of their own truth based on their own personal perspective. The adventure depicted in Tracks becomes even more complex because the passage of time and history that has elapsed and been added to this mix. The adventure actually took place in 1977, it was an article in National Geographic magazine in 1979, a book in 1980, and now a movie and and audio recording in 2015. Quite a history.
The story itself was engaging, beautiful, overwrought, frustrating and at times self indulgent and self possessed. The stories about the treatment of animals--camels in particular and the aboriginal tribes of Australia were extremely difficult listening. The adventure was amazing. I listened hanging on each word, eager to hear about the next disaster, the next mix-up and the next near miss. To me, the author captured her alone time, her stepping outside of the world and into the wilds of nature wonderfully.
As a extra treat--when you are finished listening to the book look up Davidson's Facebook page and look at the photos of the journey. I am glad I waited to look because in hind site she really captured the world from the book in words. It looked just the way I thought it would--just the way she described it. Pretty great really--but be warned--tough listening ahead.
34 of 39 people found this review helpful
By Jean on 04-25-15
In 1977 Davidson in her 20s took her dog Diggity, four camels and set off across the 1700 miles of the Australian outback. Davidson starts her story in Alice Springs learning about camels. She obtains four camels called Dookie, Zelly, Bub and Goliath.
She wrote the story for the National Geographic Society that had helped subsidize the trip and paid for the photographer. Because the National Geographic provided the money she had to meet a photographer at various locations on her trip for photographs. The trip took seven months; she met interesting aboriginal people along the way.
Davidson describes how enjoyable and watchable the camels are. She writes beautifully of the majesty of the land. There is a great description of scenery such as “At times, the sand rolls on and on like an endlessly unfurling, magically variegated carpet that shifts from blood red to burnt sienna, pale pink and dung brown. At other times, it violently rises off the desert flood, swirling and churning into dusty whirlpools.”
The book is well written and is full of information and trivia such as the word whoosh means sit in Afghani. Davidson writes with an offbeat since of humor that makes the book a joy to read. Angie Milliken narrates the book.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful