Saturday, February 6, 2010
A Man's Got to Have a Hobby
Caveat; my copy of this book is currently loaned to a friend, so I’ve written by memory.
William McInnes is a well-known, spunky Australian actor most famous for his role in my favourite TV series Sea Change. In Aussie lingo ‘sea change’ literally means quitting your high-powered job and downsizing your life to move to a small beach community. Figuratively it means any huge life change.
So, spunky Aussie actor decides to write a book. Should we read it or stick to perving at him on the screen? A Man's Got to Have a Hobby is a memoir of his childhood, with particular attention to his dad. He grew up less than an hour from where I live now, in a rambling house in a beach community with lots of brothers and sisters, an aunty and his parents. The house was on a battle axe (shaped) block next to the fire station, and McInnes recounts these years with skill, tenderness and humour.
McInnes paints portraits so clearly, I feel as if I knew his family through mutual friends. His parents were eccentric, and his childhood almost Tom Sawyer-esque in its freedoms and adventures. The entertaining neighbourhood characters wander in and out of the family’s life and home. What I found most touching was the relationship between the adults; his parents were in love with each other and fond of his aunty.
The protagonist, however, is his dad, and McInnes describes a man less fettered by the common drumbeat. He was a man of integrity, good humour, and industry, always busy with a project and ready to help a friend. His one-liners had me laughing out loud.
Except for one very brief scene, this book is appropriate for any age, and I was disappointed I couldn’t let my eleven year old read it. It did, however, make a great gift for Hubby. I recommend you read it, even if you’ve never seen the spunky man on TV. He writes as good as he looks.