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One for the Road: An Outback Adventure

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3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  658 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
"A high-spirited, comic ramble into the savage Outback populated by irreverent, beer-guzzling frontiersmen." --Chicago Tribune

"A fascinating insight into what we're all about on the highways and byways along the outback track." --The Telegraph (Sydney)

Swept off to live in Sydney by his Australian bride, American writer Tony Horwitz longs to explore the exotic reaches of hi
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Kindle Edition, Revised, 225 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,256)
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Mark
Jan 20, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a recently married transplant to Australia, Horwitz decided that he wanted to see the outback. Now, obviously, the sensible way of doing this would be to rent a car, load up on necessities, and make a detailed itinerary to follow. So, as will be obvious to anyone who has read any of his books, he had his wife drop him on the far side of Australia, and began hitchhiking. It's a pretty good travel book, one of my favorite genres. It was also a gateway to a lot of memories. I went through my hit ...more
Bandit
Jun 05, 2014 Bandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Armchair traveling is by far the cheapest most stress free way to travel. One might even end up places one would never venture out to on their own accord, like outback Australia. Not the habitable civilized urban east coast, but the rest of the country, scarcely populated, desert like and generally not suitable for comfortable living. Tony Horwitz traversed that area in 1987 and just to make things more interesting(alternatively infinitely more difficult) he did primarily by hitchhiking. The who ...more
Mitch
Jul 06, 2011 Mitch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, biographical
This review is totally unfair- it is a review of Australia, not the book.

I read this because I have read and enjoyed other works by this author. He writes well, but here's the thing: I have always thought it would be sooo amazing to go to Australia- and then I read a travel book about it. Like this one.

And then I don't want to go.

Why? That's fairly easy to answer: flies, wasteland, heat and oceans of alcohol. (Oh...and racism.)

Australia sounds, frankly, awful. Hitchhiking around and through it m
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Alice
Aug 05, 2012 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
3 & 1/2 stars
I do like Tony Horwitz's writing style, but I would've liked a bit more of the history of the Australian Outback which he only touched on in the briefest of stories instead of so many stories of stopping at pubs and such in the Outback of today. Also, the fact that this book is now nearly 30 yrs old, it makes me wonder how the Outback has changed. I will admit that a place that sounded at least a bit intriguing to me, has lost most of it's charm! And he wasn't even overly negati
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Matte Resist
The main essence of this book seems to be that nobody drives anywhere in Australia without at least a few beers. Tony Horwitz is a recent transplant to Australia and decides to sate his wanderlust by hitchhiking through the outback. He stands at the side of the road with his index finger sticking out, or a cardboard sign saying where he wants to go. He hops in the car with one character (or group of characters) after another, who inevitably spend the drive pounding one 'tinnie' after another. It ...more
Carrie Speaking
Sep 17, 2015 Carrie Speaking rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The long title “Hitchhiking through the Australian Outback” is self-descriptive. Horwitz goes through a midlife crisis and wants to hit the road. To hit it hard. Reading through his journey through the outback, you don’t always know if you want to laugh, raise an eyebrow or half-open your mouth in dismay. In any case, you travel on and on: Horwitz has been caught by the Australian road and the latter won’t let go of him. He’s both trapped and carried further on. I let you decide whether you love ...more
Larry Vanzalen
Aug 13, 2015 Larry Vanzalen rated it really liked it
This is another of Tony Horwitz's fabulous books. In it he chronicles his adventures and insights while hitch-hiking across the great expanses of nothingness of Australia. It's an excellent read especially if (like myself) you know next to nothing of the Australian outback.

I do however, wish to take one annoyingly petty exception: On page 117 (Kindle location 2066) Horwitz makes mention of some of the words of the Eagles song, "Take It Easy", giving credit to Jackson Browne as the writer. That
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Chana
Tony Horowitz is an American living in Sydney Australia with his girlfriend and working as a reporter. He has a case of wanderlust and wants to hitchhike through Australia. Kind of a crazy thing to do considering it is summer and the interior of Australia has a lot of empty land in it. He goes anyway and mostly has a good time. He starts in Sydney which is in New South Wales, north into Queensland, west into the Northern Territory, south into South Australia, along the coast into and around Wes ...more
Sheridan
It took me a couple of tries to get into this book. In the end it was ok. I expected better - I've read other books by Tony Horwitz and enjoyed them much more, but it was ok.
jen8998
May 02, 2010 jen8998 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay but I liked his later work much better.
Shanna
Oct 28, 2014 Shanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably my least favorite of his books. Not because of the writing. Hitchiking through the Australian outback with Tony was eye opening. Australia is definitely on my bucket list of placed I'd like to visit but all the drinking and driving he experiences makes me want to avoid the rustic interior. No wonder he gives it the title, "One for the Road," as most of the people he travels with guzzle beer constantly to stay hydrated as they traverse the highways and byways of the outback. Craz ...more
Ensiform
Feb 04, 2012 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
The author, an American ex-pat living and working as a newspaper reporter in Australia, gets the wanderlust and decides to hitch around Australia. He circumnavigates the continent, nearly, and travels deep into the Northern Territory and South Australia. (He wisely avoids the utter emptiness of Western Australia.) He meets a variety of Australians: truckies, anti-environmental loggers and tourists, racists, Aborigines in beat-up “utes” (utility vehicles, like pickup trucks), and professional wan ...more
Andrew
Aug 23, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing I enjoy most about reading travel narratives is the chance to vicariously experience things that I simply would not do myself. There are certain places that I don’t expect to ever visit, and styles of travel that I consider too uncomfortable or inconvenient for me to bother with, but I still can share these because others are willing to go there and do that, and then write about it. In this case, exploring the Australian Outback by hitchhiking is certainly not something that I’m ever g ...more
Joel
Mar 22, 2015 Joel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I've read two of Horwitz's books before (Blue Latitudes and Confederates in the Attic), and loved them both, so perhaps I had outsized expectations for this one; an account of hitchhiking around Australia in the 1980s.

As a travelogue about Australia, it's not nearly as good as Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country. This one is a more specialized book; while Bryson does a better job of informing the reader about the land and its natural history, Horwitz, by hitchhiking, immerses himself more deep
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Crystal
Sep 30, 2013 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was exactly the palate-cleansing travel memoir that I needed to recover from the barren gloom of Theater of Fish. One For the Road is the second travel memoir I've read about Australia, and the second one I've loved. I'm starting to think I'd love anything Tony Horwitz writes (write faster!). I didn't think anything could surpass my love for In a Sunburned Country, but this certainly pulls even with it. The thing is that the two books seem to capture different aspects of Australian culture ...more
Leslie
Horwitz is a wonderful travel companion, and can make the worst experience worth going through with him as he points out with appreciation the ironies of human nature and the lives in different cultures.

His experience in Outback Australia does not reflect well on that area, but is true none the less and worth the telling. I think Americans would enjoy this book but could not recommend to Australians because, from what I can tell, they are already fed up with criticism from people who apparently
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Anna
Apr 19, 2012 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The outback of Australia in the 1980s as drunken testoterone - well, gee, who would have thought that?! I wonder if it has changed? All those drunk drivers!

I love Tony Horwitz. I love his descriptions of the landscape. He's also quite brave heading out into the outback and then to South and Western Australia to hitchhike for a month or two. Tony Horwitz can be really funny. Even though it was gross, I laughed out loud at his description of seasickness and the ridiculous idiot on the boat who co
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Marsha
Dec 03, 2014 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, travel
I loved Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic and others, so I picked up this early travel book about hitchhiking around Australia.
I loved it! The premise is insane enough for Horwitz to have fun with it and he wrote a funny, sometimes heart-warming adventure story of his exploration of Australia.
At times, I could tell how young he was when he wrote the book, but that didn't detract from my immersion in his trip.
Ken
Mar 16, 2014 Ken rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
After reading all Hortwitz’ books, I can say that his first is far from his best. Frankly, the Australian outback doesn’t offer him enough to go on. It’s a whole lotta nothing, although he does his best with what he has. The book would be helped by an amusing sidekick, or at least a more interesting part of the world to visit. That said, it’s still a pretty good — and short — travelogue of Australia and its people.
Cathy
Feb 20, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, kindle
This was great fun in parts and I learned a lot about Australia -- but I felt it didn't have an overarching theme and wasn't as deeply reflective as Confederates in the Attic. It was more a "I went here and did this" kind of narrative, which left it feeling a little thin.
Jen Bojkov
I'm giving this the benefit of the doubt with my 3-star rating. I have to admit, I remember very little of it. I do think it was easy to read ( I tend to remember if I had to slog thru a book!), but don't know if it was also enjoyable.
Peggy Page
Sep 02, 2013 Peggy Page rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally got to read this as I plow through everything I can find about Oz before a six week trip there is a few weeks. As always, Horwitz is a brave and crazy reporter of a little slice of reality. OK, not a flattering paean to life in the nether regions of the Outback, but hilarious and wonderfully sympathetic. These are memorable human encounters, and we are right there is the sweltering back seat with Tony every mile of the way. Maybe things are different almost thirty years later, as sadly t ...more
Nancy
Aug 26, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. He brings to life all of his encounters with various people whom he meets. Informative and delightful.
Jim
An extended pub crawl through Australia. One wonders about the wisdom of ever sticking out one's finger to catch a ride in this country, but Horwitz delivers an entertaining account of his misadventures down under. I suspect a trip around the edges of the country would be quite enjoyable, and the thought of laying up in Broome sounds like fun (almost like Key West in my memory), but travels in the interior without a sturdy vehicle with working air conditioning would be crazy and I probably would ...more
Luke Adler
Very interesting book that showed me what it would be like to hitch hike across Australia. Definitely recommend this to everyone.
Heather
May 29, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have read several of Tony Horwitz books and enjoyed each and every one. Reading his books is a great way to be an armchair adventurer myself without leaving my home and family and this one is no exception. His writing is funny and so descriptive that one can actually see,hear,smell,and feel everything from the beer in various roadhouses,to seeing the faces of people he meets;images of the burning desert and opal mines;the voices of those he hitches rides with. He writes in such a way that I co ...more
Kenneth
Feb 22, 2015 Kenneth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like Horwitz but this was surprisingly trivial. More Bryson than Theroux or Naipaul.
Lynn
Jan 26, 2016 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was captivated by Confederates in the Attic, Blue Latitudes and a A Voyage Long and Strange. I really enjoyed Midnight Rising. Had I read One a For The Road first, I don't know that I would have sought out the others. Too hot and bleak , I always felt like I needed a shower...
Chrisl
Dec 15, 2013 Chrisl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, australia, 1980s
Perhaps because I hitched back and forth from Sydney to Perth and down and around Tasmania, this is a favorite. When I finished reading this, the book was stuffed with sticky notes for passages I wanted to reread.

Might be an interesting companion read to Cold Beer ...

Australia-Travel

Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey into Australia
Christi
May 29, 2016 Christi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where distance is calculated not in miles, but in the number of beers it takes to get there. We're only spending a short time in the Outback, but we hope to meet interesting characters all over. See you in 10 days Australia!!

"I spend a lot of time at home composing lists and filling date books. My life normally has all the order and direction of a five-year plan. But it is always the detours that move me, like meeting another culture by firelight, or swimming at first dark in a desert stream."
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Date of Birth: 1958

Tony Horwitz is an American journalist and writer. His works include Blue Latitudes, One for the Road, Confederates In The Attic and Baghdad Without A Map. His most recent work, published in April 2008, is A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World, a history and travelogue dealing with the early European exploration of North America.
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“I am an agnostic on most matters of faith, but on the subject of maps I have always been a true believer. It is on the map, therefore it is, and I am.” 6 likes
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