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As I Was Saying - A collection of musings

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
As I Was Saying is a swirling conversation with the reader on everything from travel to dogs and cats, from sport and swearing to the pleasures of idleness. Punctuated at regular intervals by talks Dessaix has given on a wide range of subjects, as well as by some of his most incisive journalism, the conversation invites the reader to join a leisurely guided tour of his cha ...more
220 pages
Published March 2012 by Random House
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Aug 09, 2012 Avril rated it really liked it
Robert Dessaix has such a distinctive voice, both in writing and speaking, that I could hear him clearly as I read these short 'musings'. (Given that some of them are pieces he has read on Radio National, it's probable that I had in fact already heard them before reading them.) If, like me, you are a Radio National-listening, latte-sipping, English language-loving, left-wing, dilettante, you will love this book. It is perfect holiday reading (I read it in Austria) containing as it does musings o ...more
Lee Kofman
Feb 21, 2016 Lee Kofman rated it it was amazing
So much wisdom in Robert Dessaix’s collection of essays, as always, and yet he disappointed me slightly with some of his simplistic anti-American tirades or those critiquing democracy. Not something I’d expect from a man of such refined intellect who usually shies away from big statements, instead mulling life between his sensitive fingers as if it was silk-in-the-making. Also I didn’t think this collection of essays needed links between pieces, this felt like an artificial device. Having said a ...more
Anya Nielsen
May 30, 2014 Anya Nielsen rated it really liked it
As I Was Saying
by Robert Dessaix
Published in 2012 by Random House, Sydney
Not a travel guide like Lonely Planet, nor a handbook for travellers such as Baedekers, this is a reflection of things experienced by the author while journeying to distant shores. Robert Dessaix writes for educated travellers who can relate to various historic events and are familiar with notable people the likes of Andre Gide whom he often mentions. Alternatively, you can gain that knowledge during the course of reading.
Oct 19, 2012 Sonia rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
I enjoy reading essay collections. Over the years I’ve read some of ‘The Best Australian Essays’ and I own the Ten Year Collection that was released in 2011.

After reading Robert Dessaix’s latest collection, I can see very clearly why he is considered one of the best (if not, the best) Australian essay writer; that is, of the personal kind.

Personal essays are a tricky business. Why on earth would someone care what you thought about travelling or swearing or social media? That’s the tricky part –
Jan 21, 2016 Maureen rated it it was amazing
Robert Dessaix's writing is so intimate that it feels as if he is in the room spouting forth on subjects that take his fancy. One of my favourite books is his (..and so forth). Strangely I always agree totally with his opinions or else disagree completely, though this is much rarer. In this book he ranges over his pet topics like travel, particularly to the Middle East and language, swearing and the use of phrase books in this case. His views on sport and on Australia and his inability to belong ...more
Jill Scanlon
Feb 02, 2014 Jill Scanlon rated it really liked it
I didn't find these essays as engaging as the author was in conversation. Sometimes I could hear his voice but at other times I felt it was muffled under convention. All in all a good collection though. It made me want to tramp the streets of Hobart looking to strike up a conversation by chance with the author himself.
Feb 02, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
This book was engrossing and enjoyable. Writers/writing student will find this book a useful reference. I laughed out loud whilst reading 'On Phrasebooks.'
Apr 30, 2012 Marion rated it really liked it
Fascinating food for thought. A frank exploration of the human condition, especially enjoyed his thoughts on travel and why we do it. What a great writer.
Simone Chandler
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Jan 01, 2012 Book Bazaar rated it liked it
Not my normal reading matter but some enjoyable, cleverly written essays.
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