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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Book Review - The Taciturn Man by Geoffrey Gibson

Book Review
The Taciturn Man
The Taciturn Man and Other Tales of Australia
by Geoffrey Gibson

About the Author
Geoffrey Gibson grew up in rural Australia in the 1940s, earned his keep as a jackeroo (farmhand), had a brief stint in the Army, followed by thirty years as a suburban real estate agent in Sydney. He has dabbled in politics, and in retirement now spends his time writing, surfing and mucking about with friends on the state's South coast.

Book Description
Alexander Gibson, my father, was a young Englishman who with his brother settled in Australia in the 1920s. The brothers each married one of the Solomon sisters just prior to the Great Depression. The Taciturn Man begins just after the Second World War when Alexander took up a rough bush sheep-grazing block in isolation among the tall trees of New England (New South Wales).

I was born in 1937, and so I was just three years old when my father went to war, and age eight when he returned. Fortunately, by then I was old enough to absorb much of the material for this collection which I hope you will now enjoy.

Our Book Review
An excellent portrayal of one mans life in Australia, the type of people that are mentioned in the book can be found in any town or city throughout the world.

Having been brought up in the midst of the Second World War and having to help out on the farm while his Dad was away on National Service, gives us a strong indication of how times were hard and the only way to get through it was for all the family to pull together.  You sense from his writing and memoir that family meant a lot to the author and helped him become the man he is.

The escapades of the authors childhood in the idyllic world before technology are one of freedom and without restraints - a childhood full of mischievousness and joy.  

My favourite chapter is the one in which he describes his National Service, as with any young man this taught the author a lot about comradeship, discipline and respect which was to hold him in good stead for the rest of his life.

The author writes with a strong sense of emotion which draws the reader in and you can envisage the places, the situations and the people in your mind as you read.  The style of the writing is easy to understand, the text and short chapters are very easy to follow, the memoirs are broken down and follow in sequence unlike some I have read.  The honesty and openness of the author to share this with the reader really shines through.  A very light read and if you enjoy a turn back in time this is a book for you.

Our Rating    


  1. I would love to read a book about someone's life in Australia. Thanks for this great review, Sharon.

  2. My friends lives in Australia so I really want to read this book. Great review!

  3. I think this looks really good. The title itself is interesting. I love memoir type stories.
    Marie H.

  4. Sounds like a great read. I love to be lost in the book I'm reading and it sounds as if the author allows you to do just that.

  5. Thanks for the great review. I will have to look for this book.


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