Barry Dickins

This book is the best thing that’s happened to me since J.D. Salinger covered his typewriter, or went to Mars or whatever it was that happened to him. It’s a book to put in your satchel and take everywhere, so that in times of stress, you can take it out, read a chapter and feel your heart lift. In fact, it’s really too good for me to write about, but I don’t suppose the editor would be amused by a silent tribute.

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It is impossible to know who first said, ‘Get your end in!’ but that is probably the only normal colloquialism of ours left out of this beaut (if you’ve got about forty bucks) book.

Clearly, G. A. Wilkes has had his end in; we all have, haven’t we? But Australia’s greatest saying is not included. Perhaps it is Welsh.

I’m buggered if I could have summoned up the bloody patience to wade through valleys and dusty quagmires of books, newspapers, dead pamphlets, had-the-gong magazines and no-longer-with-us snippets, fragments, skerricks and dust of deceased smartarsedom.

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