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We Of The Never Never

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  659 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
First published in 1908, We of the Never-Never has long been regarded as a classic of Australian literature.

Newly married, 'The Little Missus' accompanies her husband to the huge cattle station, 'The Elsey', in the Northern Territory, some three hundred miles from the nearest town.

The presence of a white woman in such surroundings is unusual and is at first resented by th
Hardcover, 8th Edition, 256 pages
Published 1974 by Hutchinson of Australia (first published 1908)
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Dec 23, 2011 Tien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read mostly because of:

A Beautiful description of the Australian bush

"For a moment we waited, spellbound in the brilliant sunshine; then the dogs running down to the water's edge, the gallahs and cockatoos rose with gorgeous sunrise effect: a floating gray-and-pink cloud, backed by sunlit flashing white. Direct to the forest trees they floated and, settling there in their myriads, as by a miracle the gaunt, gnarled old giants of the bush all over blossomed with garlands of grey,
Jan 15, 2012 Jo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I tried to do for this challenge was to read a number of books I have been meaning to read for some time. We of the Never Never was one such book. Because it is an Australian classic from the early 20th century, I expected to find parts of it confronting, and in that, I was not disappointed.

A quick precis: the book is a memoir of the author's first year on the Elsey, a station in the Northern Territory, several days' journey (by the modes of transport then available) from Kath
Nov 13, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian-reads
Really great to get an authentic perspective on early Australian life
Sep 24, 2009 Kyla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favourite books. Vivid descriptions of life in the Australian bush. Lots of great characters. Whenever I am having a perfect restorative cup of tea I think about how they could live without anything except tea.
Claire Melanie
I read this book as part of a subject called Historicising the Colonial Mythscape, part of an Australian Indigenous Studies degree. It is incredibly difficult to read for anyone with even a basic understanding of the genocidal impacts of the settler colonialism on Aboriginal people in Australia but it is an important artifact illustrating the incredible racism of the time. It is also interesting to see it reviewed as people's favourite book. Apparent that a lot of that racism is still around - t ...more
Jul 26, 2013 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A revealing book about life on an early Australian cattle station.

It's a little confusing at first with the author's referring to places as if they are people and the multitude of nicknames she gives to those who accompany her into the bush, but easier once you get into it.

The author paints some beautiful and poignant pictures of life in the Australian bush. Most moving to me was the description of the postman's determined and dangerous journey along his mail route to the inside. Six times a yea
Helen Barr
This book was pretty interesting from a social history perspective. The somewhat racist and sexist attitudes of the time are a natural part of the characters conversations and behaviour. The ‘missus’ writes, ‘until I met Cheon [the cook] I thought the Chinese incapable of affection; but many lessons are learned out bush.’ At the same time, it is a book that emphasises humanity and the equalising nature of the bush. The ‘missus’ perceives the killing of the station cattle by the aboriginal people ...more
Apr 21, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To get the most out of this book, you really have to take yourself out of the modern world and put yourself in the shoes of Mrs Aeneas Gunn (Jeannie Gunn)as a young bride at the beginning of the 20th Century in Outback Australia. See the world through her eyes and you will see the wonder of the 'bush' and the ability of people to adapt to making the most of having very little, and finding comfort in the uncomfortable.

Remember also, that the author wrote about this one year, 1902, spent with her
Emma Darcy
May 22, 2015 Emma Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
absolutely loved this! although the last page is like by the way, SADNESS!
Even though I loved the story (seen the movie many moons ago) the language was a little bit of struggle for me. (Dare I admit it, but I borrowed the movie on Netflix and rewatched it instead of finishing the book).
Mar 04, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captures an era, a place, a people in the wonderful poetic prose of a bygone period. Wonderful reading. Evocative literary magic. Magically evocative literature.
the bookcover image goodreads uploaded here is not We of the Never Never.= have fixed that.
Oct 18, 2014 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tale of the Australian outback and it's people's response to the presence of a woman. There is some beautiful language and description. The development of relationships between the ranchers and the boss's wife is excellently done.
"tomorrow's still untouched"; "Time's a plenty"; Journey is an adventure" and many more quotes remind us that life has to be lived to be enjoyed.

There is a humour to the characters' lives despite its harshness. Each character feeds off the others both relying and help
Mar 08, 2013 Yasmin rated it it was ok
It was a slightly interesting little read. The erstwhile author managed to keep a flow of language of the period constant. Which meant of course that in this time not in Australia one was not always sure of the meaning as no translation was given. Unapologetically it is a period piece and there is some cringes to be shaken off if you are to reach the end. No real names are given only nick names acquired in the 'bush' and you do have to be sharp as to remember who is who as no real names are give ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Gaston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book. It gives one a good insight into life in young Australia on an outback cattle station... in the never never. Though you will notice that she sees herself as British, not Australian. I felt I got know the characters and I admired them all. Some of the language used is outdated but the Internet resolved much of that and I ended up learning even more about the past. The racial interaction is interesting and true to that era, you can judge it but what is the point? It is what life was ...more
The beginning of the book is a little confusing, as the author seems to switch viewpoints, referring to herself as 'I' or 'the missus.' At the beginning, there are also quite a few characters. There is a character list, but all it does is list the characters, not their jobs or importance in the story.

But that's okay. You can slip right into the book anyway. This book is fraught with hilarious stories, like:

- The blocking of 'the missus,' trying to stop her from coming out to the station. (This i
Aug 05, 2016 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book during a recent holiday in the Northern Territory. I think it truly captured the landscape and the people even though it was written over 100 years ago. Some of the language was a bit outdated and actually offensive but I guess that was just normal terms to refer to the indigenous people back then. Anyway I loved the descriptions of how these people survived and thrived in such harsh conditions with none of the modern gadgets that make living and travelling the same outback so m ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though racially biased by our times, Jeannie was a fair minded, strong and independent woman. It would have taken such courage and determination to face the obstacles she did. Not the greatest book but very interesting due to it's actual (recent) historic and locality descriptions.
Oct 06, 2011 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, read-in-2011
I picked this up for $1.00 last weekend--the cover drew my eye and I was intrigued by "THE AUSTRALIAN CLASSIC" under the title. I've read plenty of classics, but, so far as I am aware, never an Australian one. So I figured, heck, why not? Anyway, this was written in 1908, so, you know, there are some awkward words in it. But it's a really interesting and entertaining account of a "missus" accompanying her husband (the Maluka) out into the bush of Australia to run a cattle station, and how she is ...more
Miechelle Van kampen
I picked this up in an op shop, having vague memories of watching the movie as a child. I didn't have a clue what was going on half of the time (what were they actually doing when they were 'out bush' with the cattle?), but it was still mildly interesting.
Mar 09, 2015 Mack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful reading. A true classic and a favourite of many Australians. The warmth and spirit of the characters, the sounds and sights of the country, the cruelty and descriptive beauty of the land, the comradeship that brings Australians together.
Sep 28, 2011 Jessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book more than 3 stars worth, BUT it earns the mediocre rating just because of how much I didn't understand. While a lot of the anecdotes defy language issues, there were also many things I didn't get because of local terms or vague nicknames or jokes that didn't age well that I couldn't understand. I think I'd have gotten more out of this book if it had been a guided read in a class or something where some of the background of the time, place, and people could be explained more. ...more
Oct 31, 2015 Glenyse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with humour, colourful characters and beautiful descriptions of the Australian bush, this was a lovely read.
Leah Anderson
I struggled to finish this book. I found the author didn't write about any feelings, just story composition, therefor it was difficult to connect with the characters. As a book about Australian outback, a good read of their day to day life- which was interesting. I also found the characters having titles, disconnecting. Some things have been lost as to what they are over time- so occasionally I was unsure of what they are, which was frustrating. The first 3 chapters were hard going - I found too ...more
Very enjoyable and endearing description of life in the Australian outback in the early 1900's.
Apryl Anderson
I love stories of people in their times & places, and this was the 1st time I've encountered a woman's account of living in the Australian wilderness at the turn of the last century.

There was also a wonderful irony for me in that American English is my mother tongue, and I pride myself on my fluency (as a cover for the wounds caused by my floundering French). At times, while reading this, I had absolutely no idea what she was saying, and hoped that I'd figure it out in context. I could've be
An interesting look at life on the Australian frontier in the early 20th century.
This book captures a moment in time in Australian history and that is why it is a good book to read. Some of the writing is quite beautiful but other parts confusing. Her constant referrals to us "bush folk" is annoying. After all she was only in the bush for just over a year - hardly a great amount of time. And the writing reflects the racism in that society at that time. But it is worth reading because it is a small slice of history
Simon Cox
Mar 17, 2014 Simon Cox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My girls were riveted as we tackled this Australian classic, an account of the year 1902 at a bush cattle station south of Katherine in NT. Such an affectionate portrait of people and conditions, not shirking the darker moments. Can't recommend this enough.
Jul 31, 2012 Sharolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute account of Australian life on a remote cattle station for a young, newly married wife. The are many sweet interactions between the story teller and the indigenous people she encounters and finds companionship with in the lonely days of isolation. One of those books that made me appreciate the beauty of my country.
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We of the Never Never is an autobiographical novel by Jeannie Gunn. Although published as a novel, it is an account of the author's experiences in 1902 at Elsey Station near Mataranka, Northern Territory in which she changed the names of people to obscure their identities. She published this book under the pen name Mrs Aeneas Gunn.

Mrs Gunn was the first white woman to settle in the area. Her husba
More about Jeannie Gunn...

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