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Mutant Message Down Under

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  9,002 ratings  ·  1,122 reviews
Mutant Message Down Under is the fictional account of an American woman's spiritual odyssey through outback Australia. An underground bestseller in its original self-published edition, Marlo Morgan's powerful tale of challenge and endurance has a message for us all.

Summoned by a remote tribe of nomadic Aborigines to accompany them on walkabout, the woman makes a four-month
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Paperback, Tenth Anniversary Edition, 224 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mei-Lu
Here's the short version of my review: do not read this book. Do not under any circumstances buy this book. If any of your friends suggest that they might want to read this book, use all your power to convince them not to.

Now for the longer version.

I've had this book given to me three times. Not handed to me with a suggestion that I might like to read it, but physically given to me as a gift. The first two copies ended up donated in my periodic bookshelf organizing sprees. The third time someone
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Emily
I have read this book three times in my life. The first time I had no expectations. With the second and third (this time) reading I had the thought that the book would be stupid and hokey. But oh man, I love it. It totally makes me want to clean out my house and get rid of all my stuff so that I can just enjoy life and the moment.

The author gets semi-kidnapped by some Australian Aborigines. They go on walk-about across the Outback. I feel my skin getting pink and sunburny just thinking about it
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Raquel
The story piqued my interest and the book came recommended from my sister. What a disappointment. First of all, Marlo Morgan's claims are way off kilter. Secondly, her writing is as good as mine was in the third grade. I do give her points for trying to convey peaceful, happy, self-centering messages, but overall the book is a flop.

After reading the book I researched Marlo Morgan and found out that she merely worked for four months in a pharmacy in Queensland, came back to the United States and
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Allyson
Nov 04, 2007 Allyson added it
Recommends it for: naive fools and idiots
This book is one of the most offensive pieces of tripe I have ever read. Apart from being appallingly written, her white cultural superiority is difficult to ignore and her misappropriation and lies about the culture and heritage of Australian Indigenous people is horrifying. Her romanticism of a proud culture is nauseating and if anything, only serves to perpetuate the orientalist myth of 'other'.

Ignore this book and any other books she may have written giving 'insight' into Australian Indigeno
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Nicky
nice easy read but it sticks with you
Heather
May 09, 2012 Heather marked it as to-read
I just got an unpleasant education. After seeing reviews here stating this book is full of untruths and misrepresentations of the Aboriginal people, I cruised the web in search of more information. I discovered that this book is anything but a harmless fantasy story. Though published as a novel, the wording of the author's note is designed to lead the reader to think the content of the book is representative of Aboriginals and their lives and culture. The half-truths and outright lies in this bo ...more
Michelle
Dec 09, 2008 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Stephanie, Chisota, Christiaan
Recommended to Michelle by: Stephanie
Wow, after reading some of the reviews here, I've figured out that this book you either love it or you hate it. I personally loved it. I had to read it for sociology class in 2002, and thought it was a great read. I loved the message that it sends. My professor told us the story of how the author claimed it was true, but later had to say it wasn't, so before I even read it I knew this book may or may not be a work of fiction. I honestly think that, that is besides the point. Fictional books can ...more
Julie
This book is awesome! It's a non fiction about a woman who spends 3 months on a walkabout with Australian Aborigines. It will change your whole perception of American culture.
Kathy
Apr 21, 2008 Kathy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathy by: local book club selection
another selection from my local book club - we seem to be on a spiritual/philosophical kick this year. The reviews I saw were either scathing or glowing, so this should be interesting.

Update after reading it: Maybe I just don't have what it takes to appreciate this type of book. The author goes on a totally unplanned (from her perspective) walkabout with a band of Aborigines in Australia (the Real People), who have chosen her to be a messenger to other "mutants". They have decided to let their
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Shannon
this might be the worst book ever written. I know that it was somewhat controversial due to its content, but to be completely honest I couldn't even be bothered with the content. I've seen essays written by 5th graders with more of a grasp on English grammar. The poor writing quality was too much to get past so the content didn't even matter. I hardly even put a book down before it's finished... I made an exception for this one though! yuck.
Beth F.
The narrator of this book is a middle-aged American woman who is kidnapped by a group of nomadic Aborigines and taken on a several-months-long walkabout through the Australian bush. The resulting story is a narration of her experiences with skin exposure to the elements, eating bugs and worms and experiencing unexpected spiritual growth with a group of people who are the opposite of herself. When it was first published, the book was presented as a non-fictional memoir. Except resulting criticism ...more
Kimber
I was told the book was an autobiography so I started reading it that way. Right away my sceptical mind determined it was fiction. On the back in very fine print it does say fiction but the author wants you to believe that it is a real journey that she took. I think she may have had a better response to her ideas if she hadn't been trying so hard to sell the idea that the 'walkabout' was real. With that out of the way I really did like the book.

There were chapters that I just skimmed because I
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Debi
Dec 07, 2007 Debi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites
This book changed my life. When I read this book, I couldn't put it down. I wanted to become an aboriginal person and learn how to live peacefully within the world. It blew my mind to think of a world without disease. This book opened up the possibility of what life could be, one where life did not constantly revolve around the next fear to conquer. Relaxing into the flow of the universe, I learned that all is truly well.
Stephen
A friend recommended this book to me. She said, “Oh, you’re into this kind of transcendental, living in the woods, sitting around a campfire, eating with your fingers kind of mumbo-jumbo. I think you might like it.”

She was right. If you are one of those who believe indigenous, hunter-gatherer peoples have a certain innate wisdom that our culture dismisses or doesn’t value or has forgotten, then you might like it as well.

Cited as a complete work of fiction, “Mutant Message Down Under” follows t
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SilverRaindrops
For this review I will disregard the fact that the journey with the Aborigines described by Marlo Morgan has been questioned a lot and may not have happened at all. (Although, if you want to read this, which I strongly suggest you don't do, please take note of the controversy surrounding this book!)

In fact, I might even have just given four stars and pointed that fact out to you, if the book had been good. The trouble is, Mutant Message Down Under isn't good. It is far, far from good.

One thing
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Corrie
I was uneasy about this book. I've spent a lot of time researching Australian Aboriginal cultures, and there were a lot of things described in this book that seemed fabricated. It really reminded me of Kabul Beauty School.

The things that I learned from the book I was surprised about so I looked them up and found them to be inaccurate.

The book has been rejected by the Australian Aborigines as an offensive and misleading book and Marlo Morgan has admitted that the story is fictional. Yet, the boo
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Sarah Hurd
Reading through the other reviews I feel a lot of people are seriously missing the point of the message in this book. Whether it was made up or not.

The story she tells is a beautiful way of sharing an eternal truth that many generations before us understood and some cultures today still teach and practice.

I imagine that those who looked past the writing style, the fact that it was fictionalized, or whatever petty details might have bothered them about this book, can really open their hearts an
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this years ago because my mother-in-law thought it was great. (Erp, sorry.)

It is one of those heightened, unrealistic spiritual accounts of a walkabout where the author discovers the connectedness of all things, even the flies that (view spoiler).

Peter Macinnis
This is a piece of complete bilge, a gross and grotesquely offensive attempt to misrepresent Australian Aboriginal culture. To call it a load of bollocks would be excessively polite. Please refer to http://dumbartung.org.au/ and follow the links, to find out what real Australian Aborigines think of this rubbish.
Christine Bowles
I must say that by taking this book as a work of fiction it seems that I have a better view of it than most of the other readers. I don't know much about the Aboriginal culture or peoples, but I have always been fascinated with older, native tribes of any continent, hence why I picked this book up in the first place. I was a little hesitant to read it once I had discovered others' views of it, but I wanted to form my own opinion.
This book was not horrible, in my opinion. No, it was not a classi
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Nea
Marlo Morgan is certainly not a spectacular writer, but there is great wisdom in her message. She highlights the many flaws in our ways of life: our attachments to "stuff," competition with each other, insecurity, excess, greed, waste, mental enslavement, abuse of Earth's resources, lack of true spirituality, and so much more. These are all things worth thinking about and improving as we attempt to awaken from the illusions. However, I'm not sure how to feel about the book's delivery.

What the b
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Deborah Ideiosepius
This book was given to me by a lovely but credulous woman (She also believed in the predictions of Ramtha; namely that in 1997 the Australian coast would be devastated by tidal waves). She gave it to me knowing I had travelled the region described in the book. I read it fairly soon after it was published and before the debunking began, yet it was very obvious to me VERY early on it the book that it was complete fabrication be someone who was to dumb to read up on the culture she was misrepresent ...more
Nick
Pretty good story, and definitely sounds like an incredible adventure she took.

8: Much later I would understand that the releasing of attachment to objects and certain beliefs was already indelibly written as a very necessary step in my human progress toward being.

18: "Forget the pain. ... Learn to endure. Focus your attention elsewhere." <-- she had thorns in her feet, but I should try to remember a similar sentiment for long runs.

53: When we took water from a rocky crevice, I was taught how
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Leticia
The question that arises, upon reading this book, is: How can I take this woman seriously? Or even, can I take this woman seriously?

The problem that I have with the story is that I am a born-and-bred Australian. And I have a really, really big problem with patronising Americans. I have a problem with their condescension of the way we speak, how we see the world, things about our society, her insistance on calling Australia "down under", and so on and so forth. I also have a big problem with the
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Dorothy
Read for book club. This may very well be the worst book I've ever read. It is ridiculous and made me angry on many levels.

*UPDATE! I just learned that the whole book is a LIE! I knew it was fiction/fake, but the author never had contact with Aborigines, made up the whole thing, and offended a ton of people! Now I hate this even more. Even if you say, "oh, it's fiction, listen to the message", well, who wants to absorb a message from a BIG FAT LIAR?*

The author makes like a wannabe anthropologist
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Alicyn
i wish i could give zero stars, but i think i have to give 1 star to pull down the average rating of this book.

my assessment of the book on it's own: it will make you think about the impact of materialism on modern life and hapiness if you can get past the author's simple voice and (i think unintentional) racisim. (fyi, people whose parents come from different ethnicities do not like to be called half-breeds or half-caste, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.)

my assessment of the book in the
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Elizabeth
I have mixed feelings about this book. My sister read it and told me parts from it and it sounded like a "must read". Since I have been reading, however, I can't say I enjoy it the same way that I thought I would. I keep wondering how much of it is truth and how much is fiction? The author's prologue definitely didn't clear that up for me. Did she really go to Australia? I don't know. I hate to say this, but I found the whole idea and story more intriguing BEFORE I looked at the author's photo. ...more
Judy
Take one "memoirist", add a fictionalized account of a walkabout with an Aboriginal tribe, claim it is true but don't allow anyone to know your sources while claiming it is to protect the sources and voila! Mutant Message Down Under, (self-published originally) is born!

While I am still miffed at Marlo Morgan for her attempt at deceit of the reading public, the book kept my interest to the degree that I finished it in one day. Granted its only 174 pages, but still I don't normally read a book in
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Insouciantly
First, I'd like to preface this review by saying I know absolutely nothing about real aboriginal culture or history. I can't possibly tell you what is fact and what is pure creation by the author. This book is aparently extremely controversial because while some people love it as the tale of a spiritual journey amongst a mysterious native population, other people say that the author didn't accurately portray the culture truthfully, and was actually blatantly offensive.

I also have no idea if the
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Christian
I devoured this book, and utterly loved it. Of course, it was also that time in a young man's life when he discovers "The Fountainhead", as well, and goes Ayn Rand-crazy, too.

When it later came out that this book is a total fabrication, I was deeply hurt. This was the first book I ever read that intentionally lied to me. Other books may have had bad information and good intentions, minor errors, or skewed views, but none of them had been presented as fact and turned out to be entirely fiction.

Be
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Marlo Morgan is a controversial American novelist best known for her book Mutant Message Down Under concerning Aboriginal Australians, a book which was originally promoted as nonfiction but has since been republished as fiction.
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“You either have faith or fear, not both. Things, they think, generate fear. The more things you have, the more you have to fear. Eventually you are living your life for things.” 20 likes
“Our words, our actions must constantly set the stage for the life we wish to lead.” 11 likes
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