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The Land Near Oz: Two Gay Yankees Move to New Zealand Paperback – June 16, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Astrolabe Media Group (June 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982856504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982856505
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,878,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Paradise is what many seek, but few ever uplifting story of two men who find their love, and search for paradise, finding it in New Zealand...a poignant pick for those looking for positive and gay memoirs, highly recommended." --THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW                                                                                                      

"...This is a portrait of a paradise, warts and all...Intended for travel lovers, humor fans, history buffs and any dreamer looking to improve their standing in life...hints at worldly adventure and a deeper knowledge about the mystery of living in this world.."

"...From Fashion Island...and celebrities on the beaches to...the land of cannibals and flightless birds...they are both Ms. Gabor and both Eddie Arnold ('Green Acres')--they both love southern California and farm life in New Zealand...110 miles from the nearest stoplight..."--GAYTRAVEL.COM

In THE LAND NEAR OZ: TWO GAY YANKEES MOVE TO NEW ZEALAND, memoirist and humorist Aaron Allbright examines the mystical fringes of life with a side of love and a little hash. Filled with great affection, indescribable moments of serendipity, and a few cattle calls, this debut is a raucous spot of fun....

From the Back Cover

Like Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence and Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun, this memoir shows the explosive, endearing, and unforgettable follies of being an expat, as well as the wild mysteries of living a full life. Here readers glimpse at what comes after adventure--and are given intimations of mortality in paradise.
A sort of modern-day gay Huck Finn, who becomes a professor and then runs away from it all, author Aaron Allbright lights out for the Territory and moves to the land of cannibals and flightless birds. With his beautiful lover Beau, an IBM exec who chucks Big Blue, he makes a life Down Under. Even more Down Under than Australia--called Oz by folk thereabouts. Not since Herman Melville voyaged to the Antipodes--not since Ishmael shared a cozy bed with Queequeg, that affectionate cannibal from New Zealand--has an American met Kiwiland in the way you will meet it in this memoir. Allbright describes the wanderlust of being a human exploring the world and the bright, cheeky landscapes of humanity.

More About the Author

Like Huck Finn, Aaron Allbright was born in Missouri and grew up on the banks of the Mississippi.

He spent three years in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone before traveling overland through other parts of Africa for a year and crossing the Sahara twice.

Later, he called Saudi Arabia (eight months) and France (four years) home.

In Paris, he was a member of the Union des Artistes and acted at the Duncan Theater in the Rue de Seine and at the Theatre de l'Atelier in Montmartre.

He and his spouse trekked extensively in the Himalaya before settling in Orange County, California.

For the past seven years, they have lived in New Zealand with two cats, two dogs, sheep, cows and a donkey named Don Quixote. The Land Near Oz is his first memoir.

Aaron Allbright has degrees in Russian Area Studies, Russian literature, and linguistics and has taught in Sierra Leone-West Africa; Saudi Arabia; Paris; the University of California Irvine; and was a tenured professor at Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sven Paardekooper on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I finished "The Land Near Oz," I felt that if I closed my eyes I could see Paradise..I could see Aaron and Beau at their farm, loving life, each other and the universe. What an incredible read. The amount of research and historical facts/anecdotes must have taken a great deal of research...but they are so worth it.

Shakti Gawain writes in her "Path To Transformation" that "Each of us makes a real and substantial difference on this planet. By making a commitment to your own consciousness journey, you are helping to change the world."

These words could have been written with this author, Aaron Allbright, in mind. Read this book and you will feel blessed to accompany him on his consciousness journey, blessed to have "met" him and Beau, honored to have read his book. And you will become their friends, attend their unique wedding under the trees on the beach at their New Zealand farm, and come face to face with those "intimations of mortality" which we all get at one time or another.

Lately, with all that has been going on all around this world of us, it is easy to get lost in the anger, the hurt and the panic of it all. With all that happening all around us, it is nice to walk along for a while with a man who has discovered his peace of mind, his part of paradise and shows you that maybe, just maybe, there is enough Paradise left for the rest of us.....all we have to do is to start our own journey to find it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bsbBelize on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Aaron Allbright LOVES WORDS. Readers can almost "hear" Aaron wrap his tongue around those long WORDS--POHUTUKAWA, a giant tree, or WAIKIKAMUKAU, the "boonies"--relishing every syllable. Aaron's love of words is matched only by his humor. The absolute delight Aaron experiences as he describes to Beau and us the characters and scenarios he has found in their new homeland are miniature masterpieces.

Aaron takes "side trips," beginning with his long quote from Melville's Moby Dick and adding in detailed stories of the assorted characters and almost mundane experiences that he and Beau meet along the way. I loved the stories and admired greatly Aaron's skill in pulling together in a masterful way the many and varied threads of their stories to the very end, giving tribute to their parents, James Allbright and Delia Marie La Joie Rodrique. Bravo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By american honey on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful book. Made me feel like I was there. New Zealand must be a little bit of Heaven on Earth. Cheers to the author.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chiselhurst on July 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story runs the gamut of emotions. It touching, fun, historically /geographically informative and at times quite comical. It is truly an inspiration for those who dream to live on foreign soil. Beautifully written, you are taken on a journey of discovery through New Zealand as Beau and Aaron discover and explore the country they have made their own. A must read!
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