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A Youth Not Wasted

Average rating  
3.4
/
198 reviews
  • 300 readers got their hands on Ian Parkes’ hugely anticipated memoir A Youth Not Wasted before it hit bookstore shelves.
  • They were invited to share a sample chapter of the memoir with their book-loving friends, and then host a dinner party to discuss it.
     
:A Youth Not Wasted
4
Every now and then i come across a book that stirs something inside me. I just cant put it down, it brings back memories and i find myself smiling or laughing. These are the books i keep, i might lend them but i put my name in them and tell the person i want it back. "A youth not wasted" is one of those books.
I particularly like ...
There were parts of the book where i could put myself there with the characters. It was real and it made me smile.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The first half of the book was mainly little tid bits of stories, i would have liked the book to be like the second half where it actually was a story.
6
Leelita
19 Apr 2012 19:34
Member since 05/05/2010
3
An enjoyable read that transported me to outback Australia and gave me a feel for life at the time. A rugged, hard life, that I probably wouldn't like to live but a very interesting one. It's hard for me to imagine a young man of today sticking with the hard yakka that Ian was subject to.
I particularly like ...
the feel for the landscape and the way of life on the sheep stations that he worked.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Not much really as it is what it is
4
Twitcheroo
20 Apr 2012 15:59
Member since 13/05/2011
5
This book has brought back memories of a time that does not seem to alter in the bush where everyone is one big family and things are done one way and always will be. The descriptions of the land and surrounding bush was delightful to read as I have travelled in the bush and could picture the land especially his description of Mt Augustus big and beautiful and filling your senses with its size.
I particularly like ...
The way you were drawn into the book by the author and could visualize what he was doing and where he was.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Nothing leave it as it is
4
dragon
20 Apr 2012 11:36
Member since 21/08/2009
3
although at times the book is a bit jaggered in its writing style, it does well to lead the reader to a time gone by, and that has not been captured in any tv show or school lessons. The stories are great and speaks of when the Asutralians where taken at face value.
I particularly like ...
the relationship between the writer and the aborigines and how honest their relationship was
It'll be nice to improve ...
fluency in the wrting, and maybe maps to guide the reader arounf Australia
4
CHOOK1968
19 Apr 2012 20:04
Member since 08/09/2009
3.5
I enjoyed reading about the era this was written in (the 1950s). I was a child at this time and remember how "authentic" Australia felt at this time, with its White Australia Policy. Although there were many European migrants living in Australia by then, they were very eager to assimilate and tried their best to blend in, often with mixed results. The Aussie bushman was a hero, tough and laconic and this was the image we presented to the rest of the world. Ian captures this image perfectly with his description of the outback and the life in the 50s. I enjoyed his detailed description of the different types of work he did over the years, especially the breakdown of his day, including "smokos". It was fascinating to read about the white man's relationship with, and respect for, the Aborigines in the bush, so different to the attitudes today, especially towards urban Aborigines. The characters Ian encountered during his years in the Outback ranged from the eccentric to the "true blue". Loved Ian's description of the Outback and his obvious love of it. However, couldn't help thinking, thank God I wasn't there, with the heat and often barren landscapes, plus no airconditioning! Still, fascinating to read how they acually managed to work full days in the searing heat, suffering sunburn, blistered hands, being thrown from horses and coping with numerous injuries and illnesses, far from doctors and hospitals. The tone throughout was raw, honest, no-frills and often dead-pan narratives of hair-raising events which made this most enjoyable reading. Amazing to think that a 14 year old had so much responsibilities and was expected to work so hard. Can't imagine it happening today! Ian captures the isolation and loneliness well, and how important social events, like the horse races and dances, were to the people in the Outback. The accounts of the hard-drinking were sobering (excuse the pun) and understandable when there not much company, especially female, the work was so back-breaking and with boredom a major factor in their time off. Ian comes across as a youth of integrity, hardworking and reliable. He doesn't make himself out to be a hero, though, or knowing all the answers, especially when it comes to managing other workers. I'm looking forward to reading more from Ian Parkes and would love to read what happens after he left the bush. All in all, this book was an enlightening read for someone like me who has always lived in urban areas. Thanks for the opportunity!
I particularly like ...
the wonderful insight into life in the Outback in the 50s. A bygone era, never to be recaptured!
It'll be nice to improve ...
Sometimes I wondered what point Ian was making after a few detailed descriptions, as the narrative seemed to end abruptly and another topic was introduced. But this is just nit-picking.
2
fatboyslim
26 Apr 2012 17:18
Member since 19/01/2012
1.5
I found it hard to connect to the characters as there wasnt enough information given to form a connection to the characters. They just seemed 2 dimensional without any human traits that i could identify with. the stories didnt flow, they seemed to be a collection of memories running into one another with nothing tieing them together to make it flow. I havent actually recommended it to anyone. I would give it 2 stars
I particularly like ...
the cover
It'll be nice to improve ...
character building and continuity
2
SusieQ
26 Apr 2012 14:21
Member since 18/06/2009
5
I thought it was a wonderful story about his life working on a station, telling it how it is. Love the bits about the beauty of our outback makes you feel you are right there with him.I could feel the heat,wind, smell the cattle. well done.
I particularly like ...
Have been there my self so brought back loads of great memories.........Loved it!!
It'll be nice to improve ...
Can't think of anything!
2
Art Dot
19 Apr 2012 13:24
Member since 10/11/2011
4.5
Great insight into early Australian life. My mothers family comes from Mundaring and she would have been living there at the time Ian was visiting his grandparents. my mother is about 10 years younger than Ian but had older brothers who i'm sure would have known Ian. my cousin got married in the church they are referring to.The only thing i didn't like about the writing was that it was a bit convoluted - going back and forth to different years. i had to keep checking previious pages to see how old he was now. otherwise great book.
I particularly like ...
full of outback flavour and early history
It'll be nice to improve ...
nothing (maybe not so convoluted writing.)
1
Lorrainet
30 Apr 2012 13:08
Member since 17/02/2010
4.5
I have been to many of the place's that are mentioned bought back memoryies.even if you had not seen or heard about the place his descrition made it feel you were there
I particularly like ...
I felt I was there
It'll be nice to improve ...
nothing
1
emmyloo
28 Apr 2012 14:07
Member since 04/04/2011
3.5
Here is a book that on the face of it did not appeal to me at all, a book about reminiscing about old Australia, an in exciting cover and it's called a memoir...ekkkk, that gives the book a bad image. HOWEVER, I really enjoyed it, it was a bit of a yarn rather than a memoir, memoir sounds old and stuffy, yarn is fun and a bit of a tail. I liked the fact the book was written in an easy to read format, no long words I have to look up the meaning and lots of Aussie phrases to make me feel engrossed in the setting. The book is recommended to anyone who likes to read books with a Australian flavour, would be great to read on a bush adventure. I give the book a 3.5/5 It might be worth more, but it's not my usual read, so I'm a bit reserved about giving more, considering I would give an unfortunate life a negative 5 out of 5, this book does still rate well with me. Enjoy
I particularly like ...
It gave me a sense of Aussie mateship
It'll be nice to improve ...
The cover, it did not entice me at all, infant I groaned when I saw it
1
bmth71
27 Apr 2012 18:50
Member since 17/11/2011
2.5
It started with a very descriptive chapter that eventually led you into the story along with the character but then I felt it became disjointed & I lost the feeling of being carried away with the story. A pleasant read but not a page turning one.
I particularly like ...
descriptions of the characters
It'll be nice to improve ...
More story involving the characters instead of being disjointed & chopping about.
1
gayeelizabeth
24 Apr 2012 13:06
Member since 20/10/2009
3
A Youth Not Wasted is a very interesting and informative story of a young man's life and experiences in the days of sheep stations in the Outback. It is told in a very matter of fact manner and is well written. What it fails to do is grab your heart and make you feel somehow connected to him.
I particularly like ...
Having my understanding expanded of growing up in this time and place.
It'll be nice to improve ...
More emotional engagement.
1
lovemyfood
21 Apr 2012 20:11
Member since 23/05/2011
4.5
no comment
I particularly like ...
like a breath of fresh WA air
It'll be nice to improve ...
no comment
1
roxcatty
19 Jun 2012 15:29
Member since 05/12/2011
1.5
I didn't like it. I found it somewhat boring. Yes, there were great descriptiions of the outback and what life on the land was like at the time, but there was nothing to spark my interest. I couldn't find my self caring about what happened. I could easily put the book down & not pick it up again. It would not have mattered to me if I hadn't finished the book. I just couldn't force myself to care about the people in the book or what happened to them.
I particularly like ...
Not a lot.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Make it interesting - hard to do when it is a biography, i know.
1
Krissy_anne
19 Apr 2012 13:34
Member since 14/04/2010
5
I enjoyed the touches of humour, the frank opinions and thoughts Ian shares, the neat descriptions of various things and people, and his modest recounting of his own actions.
I particularly like ...
Everything! The setting, the descriptions, which are succinct but graphic, and often objective, followed by the author's own view of situations. The subject matter interests me - I am a 2nd generation farmer, and also love horses.
It'll be nice to improve ...
I don't think it could be improved. It has a good balance of action and description, and is well and grammatically written.
1
carosb
13 May 2012 02:48
Member since 27/08/2009
4
Loved the fact it was a true story. The discription of the land is great, however it didn't show the emotion like it so deserves. I think this book would be great for years 7 & 10 to read & discuss as it does explain the ways of the land very well
I particularly like ...
the discription of the land
It'll be nice to improve ...
the writter needs to show more feelings when talking about travelling from one place to the other
1
robz
10 May 2012 20:19
Member since 15/04/2010
5
An honest book easily summed up with two words. Fair dinkum. I enjoyed reading about life in the bush, the growing up, the roughing it, overcoming adversity. The whole package is well worth the read
I particularly like ...
it is fair dinkum
It'll be nice to improve ...
Its very thick..... but then it doesnt need editing.
1
Reewel
10 May 2012 11:39
Member since 18/05/2011
4
A fascinating and thoughtful look at life on stations in the northwest of WA in the 1950's. Colourful characters of both the two legged and four legged kind are interspersed with lyrical descriptions of the Australian landscape. An ideal story for someone looking to explore life in the bush in that era.
I particularly like ...
that it is well written and gave me a perspective of a lifestyle different to my own.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Some romance would have been nice.
1
Jan,WA
06 Jun 2012 12:17
Member since 13/02/2009
5
This is a book that every Australian should read. The love of this great land of ours and an experience that we only dream about having and can only read about. Ian has enriched our lives of days gone by.
I particularly like ...
the way the author expressed himself making me understand what it was like in those days.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Nothing really only another book to carry on.
1
cazza60
02 May 2012 14:33
Member since 21/01/2010
3
I enjoyed the book although I did not feel that it was written with a great deal of emotion, most emotion was shown for the aboriginal people that he had an excellent working relationship with and a respect. I felt that he had a great love of the land and working with animals, especially his relationship with his dog and horses.
I particularly like ...
The relationship between the characters. Couple picture the area as described.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Make me feel more connected with his characters and with more emotion, especially when describing his relationship with the fellow that he did not get along with whilst working at the station or even when his workmate had an accident and lost his toes, could not feel the emotion there.
1
SHEILA
01 May 2012 15:48
Member since 15/10/2009