For some people, travel is all about the destination. For me, it’s about the journey. Don’t get me wrong; I love going to interesting places, but half the fun is getting there. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, and as such I also find myself attracted to books which include a journey.
As a kid, I loved reading novels like Don Quixote, Candide, Siddhartha, The Divine Comedy and Heart of Darkness. If the physical journey entwined with an emotional journey, all the better. In a way, The Devil’s Hairball was very much a tongue-in-cheek nod towards these types of stories.
Aussie Sickos by Simon McHardy fits fit into that mould, and for me it was a story which sucked me in once the plot became obvious. Caleb and Sunny are two Aussie blokes of dubious morals. When the shit hits the fan, they (well, Caleb) makes the decision to set off on an epic voyage to find Uncle Red, who they believe will understand their predicament and offer solace.
The joy of books about journeys is that the structure allows a writer to string together a series of building moments without the whole thing becoming irritating, and McHardy does this very well. Not only did I enjoy it, but as I read it (ironically on a plane journey), I could feel the eyes of the man in the next seat locked onto my copy. As he held his sleeping baby, he read along with me. However, when an infant in the story ended up in a deep fat fryer, he chose to swap seats with his wife. She only read along briefly, before grunting like a stuck pig.
Definitely a fun read, more so if you like journey-based tales.