Patrick O'Neil was born in Melbourne in 1978 and still lives there most of the time. He completed an Arts degree with majors in English and International Politics then embarked on a largely undistinguished career as a newspaper journalist. He has spent every cent he's ever made on travelling.
Whether we are with the author at the administratively aggravating Hungarian-Slovakian border post without a visa, being massaged for free in Marrakech, or partying high in Alto Paraiso, Brazil, there are laughable situations, poignant moments, physical danger and the possibility of deep friendships. However, this book is neither solely travelogue nor episodic philosophy, but a ruse that employs travel and modern philosophy to enable entry into the author's searching mind. The ruse is colourful and enjoyably packaged. There is much pleasure to share on this journey, during which the author's untidy circumstances are tempered by his acute observances on the subtleties and nuances of the human condition. Although written in a breezy style, this book belies its serious undercurrent. It operates on a number of levels, the most important being what the author may have purposely omitted from the dialogue. We are often brought painfully close to the author through his swift clarity and distilled descriptions, but there is a literary reticence masquerading as bonhomie which we are not permitted to go beyond. O'Neil's next offering is greatly anticipated. Barbara Cullen was CEO of the ABA and now manages small business policy for the Victorian Government