Walkabout

James Vance Marshall

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Walkabout

Walkabout A plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia and the only survivors are two children from Charleston South Carolina on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide Mary and her younger

  • Title: Walkabout
  • Author: James Vance Marshall
  • ISBN: 9780140312928
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Paperback
  • A plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia,and the only survivors are two children from Charleston, South Carolina, on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide Mary and her younger brother Peter set out on foot, lost in the vast, hot Australian outback They are saved by a chance meeting with an Aboriginal boy on walkabout, who teaches them to find foodA plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia,and the only survivors are two children from Charleston, South Carolina, on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide Mary and her younger brother Peter set out on foot, lost in the vast, hot Australian outback They are saved by a chance meeting with an Aboriginal boy on walkabout, who teaches them to find food and water in the wilderness, but whom Mary can t bring herself to trust Though on the surface Walkabout is an adventure story, darker themes lie just beneath Peter s innocent friendship with the Aboriginal throws into relief Mary s no longer childish anxiety, and together raise questions about how Aboriginal and Western culture can meet And in the vivid descriptions of the natural world, we realize that this story a deep fairy tale in the spirit of Adalbert Stifter s Rock Crystal must also be a story about the closeness of death and the power of nature.

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      Published :2018-011-07T19:10:10+00:00

    One thought on “Walkabout

    1. sana°¤° on said:

      School required reading. Which is surprisingly engrossing.I'm going to be honest here, I actually did enjoy this quite a lot. I know, for some people reading for school makes a book less fun for them because of all the analyzing every little thing, quizzes on every chapter etc etc, but for me when my teacher explains all those little things about the book, it's actually interesting. I like it when my teachers ask us those "pointless" questions about the book and I absolutely love answering the q [...]

    2. Darryl on said:

      This novel was written by Donald G. Payne by 1959, who used the pseudonym James Vance Marshall, in honor of a man who lived in the outback of Australia and collaborated with Payne in its creation. Walkabout did not receive much attention until 1971, after a movie based on the book, but not faithful to it, was released, to critical acclaim.Eleven year old Mary and her eight year old brother Peter are residents of Charleston, South Carolina who find themselves stranded after their Adelaide-bound p [...]

    3. Nandini on said:

      Walkabout was the very first book I was ever assigned for school. I remember very little of the discussions my class had about the book, but vividly recall almost every page of the book itself. I'm surprised at people saying nothing happens in the book because in my mind, each plot point and each detail of Peter and Mary's interactions with the bush boy stand out clearly even 17-18 years after I read it: Mary clucking like a mother hen around Peter, the bush boy teaching the city kids to get wat [...]

    4. Rebecca McNutt on said:

      With themes of nature and survival, this book set in the Australian outback is both vivid and intense, and as the two stranded siblings start to trust their new friend, it becomes a story about friendship and growing up.

    5. Kathrina on said:

      This was a lovely transport to somewhere new and unexpected, the writing is effective, the setting well-described, and the story comfortingly linear. But there is a seam of racism that grows deeper than the language ("darkie" and "pickaninny" are troublesome, to say the least). The author acknowledges a difference in cultural interpretations that describes each character's actions, perhaps the author's effort to disrupt racist stereotyping, but it all lays on a foundation of salvation from the " [...]

    6. Sarah on said:

      5/7 - This was a set book for literature in about Year 9. Thinking about it now, over a decade later, after only reading it that one time, I'm surprised at how many details of the plot I remember. I didn't love it or hate it, landing at either end of the rating scale usually being the best way to make a book memorable. The 'just okay' books, of which Walkabout was one (from what I remember) tend to be the ones I forget. I'm interested to see if I get more out of this than I did as a 15-year-old. [...]

    7. Melinda on said:

      Walkabout is a story of diversity, three children's experience of life through great diversity - culturally, environmentally, racially and rite of passage, death is also addressed. The arid desolate, barren land of Australia's Northern Territory is vividly described explaining the difficult surrounding Mary and Peter contended with, while bush boy was one with nature, again contrasts tying the story together. "Sturt Plain, where the aircraft had crashed, is in the centre of the Northern Territor [...]

    8. Jacob on said:

      Brother and sister were products of the highest strata of humanity's evolution. In them the primitive had long ago been swept aside, been submerged by mechanization, been swamped by scientific development, been nullified by the standardized pattern of the white man's way of lifeIt was very different with the Aboriginal. He knew what reality was. He led a way of life that was already old when Tut-ankh-amen started to build his tomb.(Walkabout, pp. 25-26)Noble savage sacrifices self to save civili [...]

    9. Rosemary on said:

      I thought I had read this as a child or teenager, but I had a clear idea of the ending that turned out to be wrong, so I must have misunderstood what happened at the end when I was younger. I knew two children were alone in the desert of central Australia because of a plane crash. Anyway, that's how it starts and fortunately for them they meet a native Australian boy on walkabout who helps them find water and food.However, it's not a sunny little story of how kids are blind to racial differences [...]

    10. Nikki on said:

      I'm not entirely sure why I read this book. Maybe because it was reissued by NYRB, and I find it difficult to pass up their titles used? I bought this book at Barnes & Noble. If you live in the Twin Cities and find yourself in possession of a Barnes & Noble giftcard, I highly recommend checking out the HarMar location. They have used books! Wonderful, glorious used books. Not the best selection and not particularly well-priced, but used books nonetheless. Walking in to HarMar it's fun to [...]

    11. Jackie (Farm Lane Books) on said:

      Walkabout is a classic book about two American children who become stranded in the Australian outback after a plane crash. They are rescued by an Aboriginal boy who teaches them how to survive in this difficult climate. It is a short, easy read that is written for children, but I think this powerful book deserves an adult audience too.Walkabout was first published in 1959. It reads like an Australian classic, but was actually written by an English author who spent time studying the country. The [...]

    12. Ali Adenwala on said:

      This was a short, mildly enjoyable book. Throughout most of the story almost nothing happens, except for the death of the bush boy, and it continues that way until the end of the book. The first half was thoroughly captivating but along the way it got way too repetitive in its descriptions of the Australian outback (though very well written), and it didn’t really feel like it was going anywhere. It had a good message about cultural differences and acceptance but Marshal could have taken it a b [...]

    13. freckledbibliophile on said:

      This was a very enjoyable read. There were so many life lessons in such a small book. Language and race is only a problem when one allows it to be a problem. When one is taught that it is a problem. One must learn for themselves the meaning of what life is supposed to be. When this is done, only then will unity, love and peace exist.

    14. Caramel12 on said:

      My first introduction to Aboriginal culture and Australia in general. I first picked this book up in the 4th grade and have very fond memories of reading it 5 times. That's how spellbound I became with this book and till today though I look at it with new eyes and understanding, it yet still holds a fond place in my heart.

    15. TrinaLynn on said:

      Good read for children. Concise yet there is a lot of detail about their surroundings and the characters are very believable. Their dialogue, actions and reactions are age appropriate and culturally realistic.

    16. Karen Witzler on said:

      Read in the early Seventies. I love the Nicolas Roeg film, too, even though it changes some plot essentials.

    17. Ivan on said:

      It's short - that's a plus. A plane crashes and two children (boy 8 girl 13) have to make their way through the outback to civilization. Along their way an aboriginal boy (13ish) on a vision quest right of passage sort of journey into manhood encounters them and saves their lives by showing them how to survive. They walk from one waterhole to another - which can get monotonous - 'and then we walked, and then we found food, then we slept, then we walked, and then" It's an easy read, not uninteres [...]

    18. Debbie Kinsella on said:

      Loved it, a heart warming story about the lives and trails of two children in the outback after their plane crashes and they are the soul survivors

    19. Hilary on said:

      I think it's unlikely such a book would be written today. (view spoiler)[It's a snippet of their story - there's no official "beginning", with the airplane crash, nor "end" when they get home - with very short chapters, and yet it had a strange power.(hide spoiler)]It's obvious the author knew Australia very well, and amazing how much description he managed to cram into such a short book, without it feeling intrusive. Instead, it's almost as if the children themselves are turning their heads, ta [...]

    20. Valerie on said:

      At the time I read this, I didn't make a connection with the Burke and Wills expedition. I was once told a story about an Aboriginal man who showed up in an abandoned settlement during WWII, and, finding nobody there, led his family through the Outback to another settlement, arriving with all well-fed and healthy. His guide? Old stories told around campfires in his childhood.Burke and Wills, on the other hand, died from having arrived at their appointed rendezvous a mere 9 HOURS too late. If the [...]

    21. Nicola on said:

      Zwei weiße Kinder treffen im australischen Outback auf einen Aborigine Jungen, der ihnen hilft, in der Wildnis zu überleben. Er zeigt ihnen, wie man Feuer macht, Essen findet und führt sie zu Wasserlöchern. Der Aborigine befindet sich gerade auf dem Walkabout, einem traditionellen Ritual der Mannwerdung.Zum einen wird die australische Landschaft mit ihrer faszinierenden Tier- und Pflanzenwelt beschrieben, zum anderen treffen zwei völlig verschiedene Kulturen aufeinander: zwei weiße Kinder [...]

    22. Tom on said:

      Had never heard of this novel until reading review in NYRB, which I gather is actually the Intro to new NYRB edition. Siegel's intro also comments on a film version of the novel, which, though it sounds interesting in its own right, departs in some significant ways from the book (but then, don't they all or most) but that difference only highlighted the appeal of the novel. Sounds like another literary resurrection from NYRB worthy of our celebration and gratitude (and another cool cover, which [...]

    23. Wendy Jackson on said:

      Four-star rating for a few reasons: (1) The book is a memorable one from when I was in school, and was so different than anything else I had read at the time; (2) The book contains some excellent wildlife descriptions (lyre bird scene is great - and I would recommend checking out youtube footage if you cannot picture it); and (3) While the whole 'noble savage' aspect of the book is anachronistic (among other things), it is probably one of the more respectful portrayals of Australian indigenous p [...]

    24. Kristen on said:

      This short novel is notable for its really remarkable descriptions of the Australian landscape, as well as the sheer sadness and loveliness of the central storyline. I found Marshall's overall style to be a bit heavy-handed at times: the contrasts drawn between the Aboriginal boy and the American children (who are named Peter and Mary, leaving me to assume that the Aboriginal is the sacrificial Christ figure here, of pure goodness, dying for the sins of civilization) were hardly subtle. Still, f [...]

    25. Dave on said:

      Lovely idea of children rescued in the Australian Bush by Aboriginal boy. But very dated writing--very patronizing towards the boy, very ridiculously English "American" children, and very romanticized version of children and Australia both. The book wants to be a psychological study, a travel guide, an allegory, and a moral fable. The best parts are when it just wants to be a story. There aren't enough of those.

    26. Prakash Yadav on said:

      I am glad that I didn't dismiss this book as a "children's book". The untold eeyorish story between the lines is disturbingly dark and ends abruptly of course the story itself is a 50 year old adventure story for children, but coupled with the impressive description of the aboriginal outback, the story has a dreamy dark texture which i absolutely loved. I am intrigued as to how the 'Lord of the flies' fandom missed this one.

    27. 3wash_alk3bi on said:

      This is the story of an Aboriginal boy's walkabout and two American children lost in the Australian bush. When they meet, Mary and Peter learn about the desert. They follow the boy to food and water. Now they have finish their journey home!

    28. Marts(Thinker) on said:

      An unusual story about an american girl and brother lost in the Australian outback and the aborigine they meet.

    29. Aurora Lector (reading in twilight) on said:

      Beautifully illustrative of the aboriginal outback, beautiful imagery and a simple classic story for young adults. I would have loved if this was longer.

    30. Kayla on said:

      First of all, I wish I didn't read the introduction for this edition (NYRB Classics), because it gave away some major plot points, so warning to all those who have that same edition!This short novel was interesting; two young American children crashed in the desolate Australian outback on their way to Adelaide and must somehow survive a long journey to the nearest civilized place. They eventually come across an Aboriginal boy, who feels a sense of obligation to help the children survive in this [...]

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