Allen and Unwin
Publication date: August 2015
Reviewed by Debbie Berger
Looking for good dose of Aussie culture? Look no further than this excellent collection of Aussie yarns by Jim Haynes. Broken into sections such as Aussie Humour, Aussie Myths and Mysteries, Yarns From our Past and Racing Yarns there is something here for everyone. The introduction explains the history of yarn telling in Australia. For example, the expression ‘spinning a yarn’ comes from the days when threads were hand spun into yarn which would then be used to make cloth. The taking of some threads of a story and making them into something more substantial (true or not) is how a ‘yarn’ is created.
At almost 500 pages long there are many historical, hilarious, simple and cheeky stories both factual and fiction. It is a great book to pick up and put down and flick to the section that grabs your attention. The Aussie Icons section was of particular interest where I learned about all things Australian including the historical background to QANTAS, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the origins of the Chesty Bond.
A fun and informative read and or a great gift – especially with Father’s Day just around the corner.