Well it’s nine months since “Travels with Bertha” was launched. Long enough for a baby – and also for plenty of feedback to start coming through from previously unknown readers from as far away as the US, Scotland, Thailand, Australia (God bless ebooks!) and not to forget the Independent Republic of Cork
Most have been unfailingly kind – and very informative.
One reader reckoned the book was as good as “Down Under” by Bill Bryson and the descriptions he thought were so vivid that they made him feel like he was sitting there next to me as I travelled the continent. (A man of good taste obviously).
Another emailed to say he had been in Australia in the mid 90s with his then girlfriend, now his wife – and both enjoyed the book enormously on their holidays in Spain. His brother – who lived in Bondi for years – had a Ford Falcon Stationwagon and there he was thinking it unique when all these years he was unaware of the existence of the intrepid Bertha.
What has surprised me however was both the very wide age range of readers (I’ve received as many comments from people in their 50s and 60s as readers in their 20s and 30s) and also the repeated comments made about the many historical passages I included in the book; how readers were so intrigued by just how rich and complex Australia’s past was – much more than any had expected.
And the man from Cork – well he was a true gent. Not only did he read it twice, give it to friends with the exhortation to ” read the damn book gawd damn it !!!” but he also persuaded a librarian friend of his to purchase several copies for the local libraries. (I’m sure I owe him commission at this stage.). Since “settling down” – he was in Australia around the time I was there – he has been a keen reader of travel books (kindly placing Bertha among the best of them). Among the few he mentioned (including Clive James’ memoirs and “Johnny Gingers last Ride” by Tom Freemantle), if google is anything to go by one sounds like a really cracking read. “Cobbers” by Thomas Wood which describes his lengthy travels in 1930s Australia.
Any one ever come by it? Let me know – would love to hear more.
And please keep on sending me your feedback on the book (firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook travelswithbertha). Always good to learn as I slowly start work on the next magnum opus!