"I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back."
So begins Robyn Davidson's perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea, with only four camels and a dog for company. Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.
©1980, 2012 Robyn Davidson (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
In 1977 Davidson in her 20s took her dog Diggity, four camels and set off across the 1700 miles of the Australian outback. Davidson starts her story in Alice Springs learning about camels. She obtains four camels called Dookie, Zelly, Bub and Goliath.
She wrote the story for the National Geographic Society that had helped subsidize the trip and paid for the photographer. Because the National Geographic provided the money she had to meet a photographer at various locations on her trip for photographs. The trip took seven months; she met interesting aboriginal people along the way.
Davidson describes how enjoyable and watchable the camels are. She writes beautifully of the majesty of the land. There is a great description of scenery such as “At times, the sand rolls on and on like an endlessly unfurling, magically variegated carpet that shifts from blood red to burnt sienna, pale pink and dung brown. At other times, it violently rises off the desert flood, swirling and churning into dusty whirlpools.”
The book is well written and is full of information and trivia such as the word whoosh means sit in Afghani. Davidson writes with an offbeat since of humor that makes the book a joy to read. Angie Milliken narrates the book.
I am putting Tracks in my top five favorites. Robyn's spirit and passion for the adventure is only surpassed by her incredible clarity and beauty in her writing. I will probably listen or read this book every fall, when the darkness of the cloudy Pacific Northwest makes me yearn for the brightness of the dessert. She made me fall in love many times throughout the text, with camels, with solitude, with blue sky and dry dessert plants. But throughout her story is also the story of people finding contentment in being human and standing their ground against those who would dehumanized them. From her standing with gun in hand against rough men, to the aborigines who must stand against the intrusion of rough modern societies, this story so effortlessly spins such an intriguing tale that I found myself resenting having to pull my head out of the narrative to take care of my own daily needs and responsibilities.
The author's humility and honesty, her courage and deep connection to the landscape. Davidson's journey through it was extraordinarily difficult and yet she was one with it in revelatory moments, even those of loss and privation. And therein lies the magic of this work. Decades later reading it (listening to it), her words transported me to that liminal space between my world and hers, between urban and wild terrain, between the surface of things and the depths. SO much better and more significant than "Wild."
The book is filled with riveting moments both before and during her journey.
Gorgeous descriptions of the Australian bush Davidson traverses which listened to, rather than read, had the effect of slowing me down and allowing the landscape to come alive, vivid and beautiful in the mind.
I'd love to meet the author and share a cup of tea with her. She'd be a delightful friend, no doubt.
Fascinating read of Robyn's journey and her experiences in the wilds of Australia. I admire her and loved the beautiful images she described with honesty and skill. Good on ya, Robyn.
I was assigned this book for my sophomore English class in college. It's truly a remarkable story, some parts are a bit slow but overall they serve the purpose of the book.
I loved Wild so I was looking for another "woman on a journey" book. Her spirit is inspiring. It made me feel like I could go on a crazy adventure too.
Say something about yourself!
The book(Audio book by Audible) was okay. It was slow moving. I found myself wishing it was over so I could move on to another audio book. It did have a nice message at the end of the story about following your dreams, but that's about it.
Excellent reading of a hard-to-put-down book. As I listened during my commute, I found myself not in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but working camels and walking across the Australian desert.
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