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Tracks [Kindle Edition]

Robyn Davidson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition $8.54  
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Paperback $10.64  
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Book Description

Now a major motion picture starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver

'I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back.' 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.


Editorial Reviews


“Beautiful, thrilling and ferociously brave, Robyn Davidson’s timeless story of her astonishing journey gripped me from the first page to the last. Tracks is an unforgettably powerful book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

“Vivid and vivacious. . . . Davidson is as natural a writer as she is an adventurer.”
The New Yorker

“Engrossing. . . . Lyrical and salty. . . . Candid. . . . Best in her accounts of her days alone in the desert and what they did to and for her. . . . Her states of mind . . . veer between feelings of being at one with the cosmos and feelings of being utterly crazy.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Saucy and unsparing. . . . A strong book, the kind that clings to your back after you’ve read it.”
—Chicago Sun-Times

“Every bit as witty as her camels—and a first-rate writer besides.”

“What continues to resonate with readers isRobyn Davidson’s honest introspection throughout the journey. It prompts the reader to ask herself, ‘Would I do this?’ and ‘Could I do this?’”
A Traveler’s Library 

“The integrity of this articulate and impassioned account is evident in the fact that Robyn Davidson does not find glib solutions to inner or outer conflicts. Like her camel companions, she seems temperamental, insatiable, and slightly crazy, but also determined, direct, vulnerable, and splendid.”
500 Great Books by Women 

From the Inside Flap

A cult classic with an ever-growing audience, Tracks is the brilliantly written and frequently hilarious account of a young woman's odyssey through the deserts of Australia, with no one but her dog and four camels as companions. Davidson emerges as a heroine who combines extraordinary courage with exquisite sensitivity. 16 pages of photos.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2598 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0093K1M0A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,045 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If she could do this, anything is possible! June 2, 2001
Subtitled, "A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback," this 1980 book by Robyn Davidson, then 30 years old, is now considered a classic. She did it alone, with four camels, a loyal dog, and all the self-doubt and introspection that make her very human. Ms. Davidson grew up in Adelaide, a city in Southern Australia, but she traveled to the Central Australian town of Alice Springs, arriving with just $6 in her pocket and a desire to learn about camels. She worked in a bar and apprenticed herself to a camel owner, performing menial jobs and learning all she could. It took two years and half the book, but finally she was ready to pursue her dream.
She never was able to accumulate the funds needed to outfit her camels and so she applied for and received a grant from National Geographic. Throughout the book she questions that decision because this meant she had to meet with a photographer on several parts of her journey as well as an onslaught of unwanted publicity. In her mind, the trip became less the pure expedition she had envisioned and there is much soul searching about this. This is not the only thing she constantly reflects about though. Throughout her 7-month trip, she questions everything, even at times, her own sanity. I learned not only about the harsh Australian Outback, the pleasures and problems of living with camels, and the plight of the Aboriginal people she met along the way. I also shared every nuance of her fears and inner journey, which was as complex and richly landscaped as the harsh and beautiful land around her and found myself laughing out loud at times at her offbeat sense of humor.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring -- really! January 12, 2000
By A Customer
It's a cliche to call books "inspiring," but this one really is -- not because Robyn Davidson is heroic, but because (as she points out repeatedly) she's an ordinary woman from a rather sheltered background, but with extraordinary determination, persistence, and resourcefulness. To her, the meaning of her journey is that anyone can achieve whatever they want to. But, she tellingly points out, many of the reporters who dogged her steps portrayed her as crazy because that blunted her message -- which, if women took it seriously, would rock the foundations of society. She's completely frank about her feelings, her doubts about her journey, and the excuses she makes to herself when she's tempted to quit; but, to me, this made her accomplishment even greater because she was fighting herself as well as external obstacles. The internal journey she underwent was as important as the external one, and those readers who complain that there's too much of the former and not enough of the latter are, I think, completely missing the point of the book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 Years Old And Still Rocking January 15, 2003
Who really knows why Robyn Davidson--a woman who describes herself in "Tracks" as a disaffected refugee of the superficiality of Sydney's and Melbourne's urban culture of the late 1970s--sold her belongings and trekked to Alice Springs, a tiny town nearly in the center of the Australian continent? Sure, plenty of us have trekked to Nowheresville in our youths, but from the first page of "Tracks," readers will immediately recognize that Davidson is not only leaving something, like Hemingway, she is searching for something as well. In light of a renewed interest in Aboriginal rights--and in the rights of Native Peoples everywhere on the planet--Davidson's seminal account of a grueling (and also rewarding) journey across one of the world's most forbidding wildernesses should prove to mainstream thinkers and commentators that Davidson had it right all along. Like Beryl Markham's "West With the Night," another account of a pioneering woman taking on what at the time was reserved for the so-called men of the world, Davidson's "Tracks" is not only filled with useful information (did you know "whoosh!", a word almost everyone in the English-speaking world, is actually an Afghani word that means "sit!"?), it is also one of the most readable adventure and travel books written in many years. Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This book is a true story by a determined Australian woman who crossed one of the most inhospitable stretches of land in the world - a wide swathe of treelees dry scrubland which is most of Australia's center and its northern half.
I especially enjoyed this Australian classic, having just visited the remarkable and idyosyncractic town of Alice Springs where the early part of the book is set. This is where the author learns how to tame, care for, live with, and depend on camels for survival, as she prepares for the dramatic trek which lies ahead.
The rage against the male photographer who keeps showing up - the compromising aspect of her compact with her sponsors at National Geographic - is at times shocking, leaving one to wonder whether the author has more sympathy for her camels than fellow human beings. But this impression is deceptive. The mostly male characters who populate her book hardly seem caricatured, while the camels do emerge as a woman's best friend in the outback. "One does not have to delve too deeply to discover why some of the world's angriest feminists breathed crisp blue Australian air during their formative years, before packing their kangaroo-skin bags and scurrying to London or New York or any place where the antipodean machismo would fade gently from their battle-scarred consciousness like some grisly nightmare at dawn. Anyone who has worked in a men-only bar in Alice Springs will know what I mean."
The rage, courage, vulnerability, determination, and other emotions and qualities which this trek depicts, almost seem like a metaphor for the complex place of the outback in the Australian experience. "It was delicious new country but it was tiring.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this book, it held me glued until the end. I cannot wait to see the movie.
Published 23 hours ago by littlelulu
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story of a young woman in search of herself ...
Makes you believe that if you can dream it, you CAN do it. Wonderful story of a young woman in search of herself while courageously facing the dangers of the Outback.
Published 1 day ago by Sheri N. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Robyn captures the the late 70s as I remember them but she was braver, more independent and bolder than I ever dreamed of being. This was a delight to read.
Published 4 days ago by Linell McCray
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
I was hoping for a Krakauer-type struggle for survival, which it wasn't. But that's a pretty high bar to set. There was a lot of self reflection, which was interesting. Read more
Published 5 days ago by F. Dorsey
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisite adventure
This book, more of an account, really, took me along so thoroughly that I could see the desert through her eyes and imagine the emotion as Robyn struggled with, and basked in the... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Lady Falcon
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book leaving you with the feeling of wanting to ...
This book started out by me thinking the woman was a little dingy. But as I read on, it turned out that I completely understood why she did what she did and why she was so... Read more
Published 6 days ago by dicknsal
5.0 out of 5 stars gfdn
How can I wrote a review of a book before I could actually start to read it what is the point
Published 7 days ago by yoyo
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I loved this book. Not only is the story of her trek told so well, but her love and caring of her dog and camels is just beautiful. It is a real inspiration
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes real life isn't glamorous!
There were some parts I really enjoyed but at times it was very slow, but that is how real life is and this was a true story. Heard the movie was real good.
Published 8 days ago by Lady Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent adventure book.
Published 9 days ago by Doug Sanderson
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