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Spinifex and Sand   By: (1871-1900)

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Spinifex and Sand by David Wynford Carnegie is an intriguing memoir that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the uncharted Australian outback. The narrative follows the author's incredible adventures as he embarks on a quest for gold in one of the harshest environments on the planet.

One of the standout aspects of this book is Carnegie's vivid and eloquent descriptions of the Australian wilderness. Through his words, readers are transported into a world of vast and unforgiving landscapes, where the scorching sun beats down upon endless deserts and dense bushland. The author's attention to detail is impeccable, painting a realistic and immersive image of his surroundings.

Moreover, Carnegie's encounters with the Indigenous people of Australia add an important layer of cultural exploration to the narrative. His interactions with various Aboriginal tribes provide valuable insights into their customs, traditions, and way of life. It is through these interactions that the author learns to appreciate the resilience and wisdom of these ancient societies.

The memoir is not just a story of survival and exploration; it is also a reflection on the human spirit and the pursuit of one's dreams. Carnegie's determination and perseverance in the face of numerous challenges and hardships serve as powerful inspiration. His unwavering belief in the possibility of striking gold pushes him to overcome physical exhaustion, encounters with dangerous wildlife, and the constant threat of dehydration.

Additionally, Carnegie's writing style is engaging and accessible. He writes with a sense of humor, often injecting amusing anecdotes into his narrative. This light-hearted tone provides delightful moments of respite amidst the harshness of the environment.

However, it is important to note that the book was written in a different era, and some readers may find the author's attitude towards the Aboriginal people outdated and insensitive. While Carnegie does attempt to depict them in a respectful manner, there are instances where his colonial mindset shines through, reflecting the prevailing attitudes of the time.

Overall, Spinifex and Sand is a captivating memoir that takes readers on a gripping adventure through the Australian outback. David Wynford Carnegie's descriptive writing, cultural exploration, and inspiring journey make for an engaging read. Though it may have its flaws, this book is undoubtedly a valuable historical document that sheds light on a bygone era of exploration and discovery.

First Page:





"An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told."

The following pages profess to be no more than a faithful narrative of five years spent on the goldfields and in the far interior of Western Australia. Any one looking for stirring adventures, hairbreadth escapes from wild animals and men, will be disappointed. In the Australian Bush the traveller has only Nature to war against over him hangs always the chance of death from thirst, and sometimes from the attacks of hostile aboriginals; he has no spice of adventure, no record heads of rare game, no exciting escapades with dangerous beasts, to spur him on; no beautiful scenery, broad lakes, or winding rivers to make life pleasant for him. The unbroken monotony of an arid, uninteresting country has to be faced. Nature everywhere demands his toil. Unless he has within him impulses that give him courage to go on, he will soon return; for he will find nothing in his surroundings to act as an incentive to tempt him further.

I trust my readers will be able to glean a little knowledge of the hardships and dangers that beset the paths of Australian pioneers, and will learn something of the trials and difficulties encountered by a prospector, recognising that he is often inspired by some higher feeling than the mere "lust of gold... Continue reading book >>

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