This novella is set in the pub scene of 1950s Australia. The Man Down Under is a teenage boy whose dad is an alcoholic, a regular in the local pub. The boy talks and talks to his dad, who lays dying, as he recounts the adventures and stories of the many characters who frequent the old pub. The stories, reminiscent of those told by Henry Lawson a century ago, are sometimes bawdy, often funny and mostly tragic. In the first half of the 20th century, Aussie pundits noted that Australians did not have an unconscious, they were a simple people who when they spoke revealed everything of themselves. There was nothing more. The boy who becomes almost a man in this story finds out who he is – or likely to be – through his father's death, and through the fellowship, such as it was, in the old pub culture.
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