Ghosts of the Big Country
by Keith Willey
Rigby, 1975, [First Edition], ISBN 085179985, black and white photographic plates, hardcover, Mylar protected dust-jacket
Very Good Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, slight lean; dust-jacket in removable Mylar protector, minor edge and shelf wear to jacket (see photographs)
"After many years' absence, Keith Willey returned to seek the experiences and people he had known before, when Far North was "every young man's dream of adventure". His sentimental journey was to provide him with a rich hoard of stories and reminiscences: tales of characters like Roger Jose, the philosopher who lived in an old upturned rainwater tank; Matt Savage, the "Boss Drover"; "Dapper Donald" Duncan, who after one night's drinking floated out into the Arafura Sea whistling "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" - and then, at the turn of the tide, floated home again.
Many of the personalities who helped to weave the legends of the Big Country are dead now; even White Dog, the happy beer-guzzler widely known as the only dog in Darwin which could smile, is no longer around. The qualities of the outback are beginning, subtly and not so subtly, to change. New roads are snaking out into formerly little-known regions. Fences have been put up, and notices saying "Keep Out". the tourist hordes are beginning to descend.
Ghosts of the Big Country is an affectionate and nostalgic tribute to the way of life that is fast disappearing and to a race of people of whom one can say "They don't make them like that any more". It is a book written with sensitivity and deep feeling, yet with an unquenchable sense of humour. Above all, it tells us how it was. Here at least, the ghosts live."