Otway Books – Reviews submitted by Neal Drinnan


Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe is a much loved writer and figure in the Otways  and his recent work Dark Emu has become a favourite of independent book sellers nation-wide. He argues  throughout this highly readable book  for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required. Dark Emu, like Bill Gammage’s Largest Estate on Earth  joins an emerging genre of new books exploring flawed interpretationsof indigenous culture and fundamental misunderstandings of the nature of the very earth pulsing beneath us.


Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe  $35.00

Published by Newsouth Books



Returned Soldier By James Prascevic

Another quiet hero of the district is James Prascevic, the former , Colac lad who went from a career in  plumming to enlist as an infantryman in the Australian Defence Force. After facing the horrors of war-torn Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and experiencing  first-hand what explosives can do both to the mind and body. He has embarked on a  journey from post traumatic stress to mindfulness. This inspiring and deeply heartfelt journey story shines a light on the very real and pervasive  issue of depression amongst  men and the possibility of a recovery that can positively enhance the relationships of all those close to people, especially men, living with depression.


Returned Soldier By James Prascevic $30

Published by Melbourne Books


Neal operates the lovely Cow Lick Bookshop in Colac:




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