Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Simpler Time” as Want to Read:
A Simpler Time
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Simpler Time

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Peter FitzSimons's account of growing up on the rural outskirts of Sydney in the 1960s is first and foremost a tribute to family. But it is also a salute to times and generations past. In this rollicking and often hilarious memoir, Peter describes a childhood of mischief, camaraderie, eccentric characters, drama. The childhood of a simpler time.
Kindle Edition
Published 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 09, 2011 Andrew rated it it was ok
I bought this book, thinking it would be about growing up in the 1960's and 70's (the era of my childhood), but instead it was mainly about FitzSimons and his family. I dislike his newspaper articles and especially is huge ego - and this book is a good example of how big his ego really is. I acknowledge, however, that he has written some good books and books that need writing, eg telling the story of Nancy Wake as well as the iconic Australian battles of Kokoda and Tobruk - although they positiv ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Brittany rated it did not like it
I tried really hard to like this book, but I just couldn't. Yeah, okay so I get it, the writer had a nice childhood. However it felt less like he was discussing his childhood and more saying his childhood was better than mine.

Its just a romanticism of days gone by. You didn't have a TV? Congratulations. I think the idea of a simpler time is pretty much bull. It wasn't that the time he grew up in was necessarily simpler, it was that he was a child and being a child seems more simple.

It also didn'
Ned Charles
Oct 26, 2015 Ned Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
FitzSimons has written some excellent books, that is why I read this one. But it was a struggle. To be fair it does avoid the bias manner of so many memoirs and autobiography's, so much so his considerably better than average adult life is mostly avoided.
The reader quickly discovers there are no regrets or skeletons, just a loving family that sees the best in everything and loves life in a simple existence.
Many readers will be envious or doubtful of the life of FitzSimons, but it is the story o
Jan 06, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
It was good, lots of wonderful stories and certainly the attitudes towards parenting are of great value. Peter FitzSimons, no matter how much you insist this isn't really a memoir, it is. Only one criticism, and that would be, how can one family be so... 'nice' and wonderfully together and, despite life's upheavals, always do exactly the right thing? A bit too sugar coated at times but still delightful enough to enjoy.
Allan Sparkes
Jun 12, 2013 Allan Sparkes rated it really liked it
This is not the first book I have read of Peter Fitzsimons. I have heard Peter speak at corporate events previously and always enjoyed hearing his 'yarns'. The prospect of reading a book about his life was one I looked forward to. I was not disappointed, although I was expecting to read a little more about the initiation and progression of his relationship, leading up to his marriage with his wife, Lisa Wilkinson. Peter and I are, like many other reviewers, of similar age. I also come from a cou ...more
Stella Kwamboka
Jul 21, 2014 Stella Kwamboka rated it it was amazing
Great nostalgic book, compellingly written.I liked some of the life lessons woven through the story.It does all seem impossibly wonderful though, the author could have given us a glimpse of certain challenges that they faced as a family, surely it wasn't just about the homestead being run on a shoestring budget.There was the bit about his father's depression which was quite sad but that came to light much later in their lives,if those 6 'Fitty' kids sailed through their earlier lives completely ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
Great book, especially if you were born in Australia around the early 60s. There were so many times I laughed in recognition. I really liked the way Peter introduced aspects of his family life as he would have recognize them growing up. His parents sound like brave and wonderful people. It is refreshing and heart warming to read a memoir where the writers parents are not only valued but loved.
Nov 14, 2010 Toni rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Know the family and Peats Ridge home featured in Peter's memoirs- but more than that it brought back all those similar childhood memories from my own semi-rural upbringing in Bossley Park albeit a decade and a half before Peter's time. The honesty and charm of his writing is irresistable.
Cathy Allington
Apr 09, 2013 Cathy Allington rated it really liked it
What a delightful beautifully written joy. Peter Fitzsimmons shares his life growing up in a way which makes you envious of the family, the thrift, the hard work but most of all the love and innocence of a well, simpler time. Peter writes with humour and credibility. beautifully constructed. A pleasure to read
Jan 16, 2014 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter FitzSimons is a true character from a truly beautiful family full of strong personalities like himself. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it had me laughing out loud, smiling to myself and in tears. He feels for his family what we all hope our children will feel for our own, once they are grown men. X
I loved this book - Peter and I of a similar age, and even though i grew up in the 'big smoke', much of what he writes about I related to - especially around the schoolyard. Sentimental without being cloying and a beautiful homage to great parents, loving siblings and growing up with adventures. A great Christmas read.
Jun 11, 2016 Grace rated it really liked it
I don't think I was expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I've never read a Peter FitzSimons' book before and, to be honest, a lot of his journalism has annoyed me in the past. However, this was a very touching read - most of it read in a house in the Barrington Tops, making it seem even more real. I loved it.
A touching, if somewhat sentimental, tribute to family and a celebration of what looks like a fairly idyllic childhood.

This book certainly isn't earth-shattering but it's an enjoyable read. A happy childhood is a wonderful thing and the author does well to capture this wonder.

3.5 stars.

Aug 23, 2012 Janette rated it liked it
It was an easy book to read. I was able to put it down and come back to it easily and because I am not a fast reader this was a plus for me.
There were many stories of Peter's growing up which reminded me of my own childhood :)
Dave Guia
Oct 25, 2016 Dave Guia rated it really liked it
What's not to like about this look back at the 60's on the Central Coast of NSW.

Thanks for sharing and thanks for such kind and meaningful words about your mother and father...two exceptional people!
Emma Astill
Oct 06, 2016 Emma Astill rated it it was amazing
I haven't read any of his other books. Some got me this for Christmas one year and I had it read before new year. Which for me is very quick
Judith Symonds
Feb 25, 2011 Judith Symonds rated it liked it
Nice book about country life especially related to living off the land. The most fascinating thing that I took from this book was that TV stands for time vaporizer.
Cheryl Toohey
Memories of growing up, no iPad, iPhone or PC justSunday roast dinners, holidays at the beach and words of wisdom from dad Peter F nailed it!
Conor Buckley
Sep 27, 2016 Conor Buckley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really wonderful memoir of an Australia long gone.
May 07, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it
I found this book really interesting, especially as I know some of the author's extended family and recognise the era the book covers.
Jenny Johnson
Sep 08, 2014 Jenny Johnson rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. So many things similar to my childhood. Though it did seem a bit too good to be true in parts.
Richard Warlow
Apr 27, 2013 Richard Warlow rated it liked it
Pretty good book, I found the first third to be hard going, just about gave up a few times, but the book improved and I was glad I finished it.
Robin Humphries
Jan 23, 2013 Robin Humphries rated it it was amazing
I loved it as it was the time I was growing up in the country and it rang some memory bells.
Tanya rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
Peter Aurd
Peter Aurd rated it really liked it
May 05, 2017
gaz manic
gaz manic rated it it was ok
Jan 08, 2017
Stan Armiger
Stan Armiger rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2012
Ian Andrews
Ian Andrews rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2016
Shaun Sullivan
Shaun Sullivan rated it it was ok
Sep 03, 2016
Oliver York
Oliver York rated it it was ok
Aug 14, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Salvation Creek
  • Being Jade
  • Ronan's Echo
  • Bereft
  • Heritage
  • The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots
  • Palace of Tears
  • Red Queen
  • At Home With the Templetons
  • Red Dog
  • The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir
  • Remembering Babylon
  • Journey to the Stone Country
  • The Tin Ticket: The Heroic Journey of Australia's Convict Women
  • Rhubarb
  • We of the Never Never
  • When the Singing Stops
  • The French Promise (Luc & Lisette #2)
Peter FitzSimons is one of Australia’s most prominent and successful media and publishing identities. His busy professional life involves co-hosting the breakfast program on Sydney's Radio 2UE, writing weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, appearing on Foxtel's Back Page television show and, when time permits, authoring best-selling books. A correspondent for Lond ...more
More about Peter FitzSimons...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »