After a year working an office job in Sydney, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman Tony Horwitz finds himself longing for the open road. Spurred on by a colleague's "Aren't you a little too old for this game?" he sets off on a 7,000-mile adventure around Australia, hitchhiking to Alice Springs and beyond: through desolate mining towns, sheep stations, countless bush pubs (do not
attempt to match his beer intake), and the forbidding, Martianesque emptinesses of Australian deserts. On the way he encounters hostile, friendly, and downright strange natives; jumps a train; survives a harrowing accident; and uses his relentless sense of humor to face down a cyclone:
I prop my pack against the fence as a windbreak. Huddled behind it, I pull on two pairs of pants, three shirts, four pairs of socks--my entire wardrobe in fact, except for the dung-covered shirt and five pairs of elastic-waisted underwear. No room for dignity here, at the center of a cyclone. I put the jockey shorts over my head, one pair at a time, fitting the fly over my nose to let a little oxygen in.
A wily melange of tenderness, eye-popping lunacy, and occasional white-knuckled fear, One for the Road
will leave you yearning to have the never-ending-blue Oz sky above, the flavor of that red, red dust in your mouth, and a tinnie to wash it all down with. --Jhana Bach
From the Inside Flap
"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
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