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Kamikaze Kangaroos!: A trip around Oz in a van called Rusty
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Kamikaze Kangaroos!: A trip around Oz in a van called Rusty

(Humorous Travel Memoirs #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  747 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Tony James Slater knew nothing about Australia.
Except for the fact that he’d just arrived there.
The stage is set for an outrageous adventure: three people, one van, on an epic, 20,000 mile road trip around Australia.
What could possibly go wrong?

Of course, the van – nicknamed ‘Rusty’ – is a crumbling wreck, held together by the world’s most garish paint job.
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published February 12th 2014 by Various Things (ADT)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  747 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Tony's 3rd book. I had so many laughs. Reading his books is like being across the table from him at your local pub. And he's telling you about all his adventures. You are laughing so hard the beer is bubbling out your nose, you are holding your side and telling him.... "STOP" "STOP" You're killing me.!!

Needless to say I have so enjoyed his books. I read one reviewer say they were only interesting if you were a juvenile or some such nonsense like that. What a dork. I feel
George Mahood
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had been looking forward to reading Tony’s adventures in Australia since he left us hanging at the Arrivals hall at Perth airport at the end of his last book.
Kamikaze Kangaroos did not disappoint in the slightest. It’s bloody brilliant! In fact, I think it could be the best one yet. It still maintains all of the calamitous Tony James Slater situations that we have come to expect from him, and, of course, laughs by the bucket-load. But this book also has a level of emotion and sensitivity that
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Armchair travel has never been so fun

Being an Aussie I found some of this hysterical. It's interesting to see my culture observed from a different point of view.
As always it's inspiring and makes me want to get back out there to find my next adventure.
I can't help but wonder if Rusty has added yet another chapter to his life... As a Wicked Van.
Stefani Akins
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This came as a recommendation whilst I was actually looking for another book, but being on an Australian reading spree, I was sidetracked. With mostly good results. Firstly, let me say that I am grateful the actual title of Kamikaze Kangaroos!, as shown on the cover, does not include the word 'epic'. Along with 'ultimate', 'epic' is immediate grounds for dismissal from the to-read list. And although I was amused for most of the read and even laughed out loud quite a few times, I don't think that ...more
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tony's back and this time he has kangaroos to contend with. And falling in luuuurrve. I'm not sure what's more scary for him.

This book does exactly what it says on the cover. It's the tale of Tony, his sister Gill and Gill's best friend, Roo. Roo is Australian, so Gill goes to stay with her and Tony tags along. Problem is, Tony is 3 months late, so there's a bit of a rush for them to get some agricultural work done so they can extend their visas.

Rusty the van is the 4th character in this book
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

You know when you find the right book at the right time, how great that is? Well, that's what this was to me. I was travelling in China with my daughter for 10 days. I needed something to read that was going to keep my attention but not be heavy on storyline, as I predicted that I'd be tired after long days of travel and touring. It seemed fitting to give another travel story a try and I'm glad I did.

Right from the
Tara West
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You know what sucks worse than being starving and cold in the middle of the Australian outback? When it's also your birthday and a rodent eats your one and only birthday marshmallow. Now that blows!

Everyone, please purchase this book so the starving author can afford to upgrade to a birthday doughnut.

I've read all three of Tony James Slater's travel books, and I have to say this one is by far the best. It's still got all the required funny bits, but it's got a bit more heart than the others, so
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tony does not disappoint!
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As entertaining and funny and heartwarming (more so!) as his previous books. I will continue to buy Tony's books as soon as they come out. Can't wait for the next one :)
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having visited many of the same places that are described in Kamikaze Kangaroos, this book was a bit of a blast from the past. I had a whirlwind set of road trips in Australia which are quite different from camping and staying in areas working for long periods of time. However, I met many people like Roo and Tony and Gill and it was always fun to find out where they were from and what they were doing.

My favorite part about the book was the authors descriptions. I never wanted to climb Uluru
Nov 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
As much as I don't like finishing a book I have started, I just couldn't do it with this one. The fact I started it in March 2017 is probably a good indication how I feel about it. I read about a quarter of it, and a lot of that was skimming. The synopsis sounded great, and it should have been funny, it could have been funny.... but it just wasn't. Tony seemed lazy and at times ignorant rather than adventurous, and although it was meant to come off funny, his sense of humour mostly involved ...more
Geoff O'Donnell
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love Tony's style both of writing and general approach to life. Hilarious read, and another annoying book according to my wife, as I keep chuckling and and then quoting from the book. Keep up the good work mate, PS so funny that I've also read all of George Mahoods books. Have filled another space in my head, now onto the next book ...more
Marsha Mahla
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This was my first book I've read by Tony James Slater and it makes want to read more. I laughed out loud at places. It makes me want to sell everything and go off adventuring.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am unabashedly a fan of this author. This is the 2nd book I have read of his and I am on my way to reading them all.
I enjoy the humor and frankness of this simply told love story. Highly recommended.

Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A bit of a disappointment compared to Slater's earlier books. By the time he/they got to Melbourne I was ready to stop reading, but I'm that type of person who hates to stop ready a book before it is finished.
Christina williams
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny read, highly recommended

Well worth reading and good fun. Will make you want to up sticks and travel. Will try Tony's other books next!
Deorah Yoder
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Tony James Slater. I've listened to all his books. Some many, many times and I never get tired of them. He writes with humor about all of his adventures and gives the sense that all of life is an adventure. He is exactly what I need in my life to provide an escape from my real world and will certainly do the same for anyone who appreciates a cheeky sense of humor.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed Tony's earlier book That Bear Ate My Pants and wondered if Kamikaze Kangaroos would be just as good. I needn't have worried - it's even better! It's written in a very easy to read conversational style which totally engages the reader. He is a born raconteur and master of earthy language! He embarks on a year long round trip of Australia with his sister Gill and her friend Roo.They travelled in Rusty a battered technicolour, handprint painted old van. I liked the fact there ...more
Marie Shirley Griffin
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not his best

I've read all 4 of the author's books and ignoring the swearing, they are fairly entertaining.

From the "great adventure" described herein, I just couldn't grasp that Australia really came across as a country that has a great deal of desirable reasons to fly halfway around the world to visit.

It's sounds terribly expensive if one were to visit the larger cities (as an American, I could just go to NY, it wouldn't be as clean, but certainly closer) and the outback sounds like a
The Cats’ Mother
I think this was a recommendation from a friend who's a fellow traveller - I don't read many travel memoirs, but it was free, and sounded entertaining, so I gave it a go and quite enjoyed it. English backpacker Tony arrives in Oz from Thailand to meet up with his sister Gill and her Australian friend Roo, with a plan to travel around in a campervan called Rusty. This describes their adventures, initially up the West Coast, then across the Red Centre, then in Sydney, and finally in NZ, which of ...more
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kamikaze Kangaroos! by Tony James Slater is a travelogue about an extended backpacking trip taken by the author (who may actually be insane), Roo (his girlfriend/sister’s best friend), and Gill (his sister). They drove their trusty, and well decorated, van, Rusty, all over Australia (and then they went to New Zealand, but Rusty didn’t go with them for that part of the trip). In between sightseeing and hiking the Bibbulmun Track, they spent weeks to months working in various places in order to ...more
Jolene Nelson
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book has it all! Laughter, information, and adventure mixed in with heartfelt moments and an interesting view of self growth can all be found in this book. Honestly, I haven't laughed this hard while reading a book since the first time I read Bridget Jones. Tony's writing style is straight to the point while hitting punchlines perfectly. His undeniable ability to get involved in unfathomable situations while still making them relatable is priceless. His descriptions of Australia made me ...more
Robert Fear
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An amazing journey!

Being a lover of travel memoirs, I am always on the lookout for new experiences. This fantastic book lived up to all of my expectations.

It drew me in quickly and I was soon bouncing along in ‘Rusty’, sharing Tony, Gill and Roo’s many fascinating, and sometimes crazy, experiences. I felt their ups and downs, travelling those 20,000 tortuous miles around Australia, before being whisked away to New Zealand and another world.

The author has a wonderful style of writing, laced with
Chris Gregory
Free range life!

Wow, I wish that I was like Tony Slater - no shirt, no shoes, no worries, no problems. Well, maybe some problems...

How can this guy do so much, have no responsibilities, do just about anything he wants and suffer no consequences. I barely leave my house and can still get injured almost monthly. Slater travels everywhere and does everything exciting and never gets injured.

In this third of Slater's books he travels from Southeast Asia to Australia then proceeds to tour all of The
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book of Tony's that I read (I just finished That Bear Ate My Pants last night). I don't read much non-fiction, and never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined reading the memoirs of a guy traveling through Australia.... BUT OH MY WORD!!!!! My family routinely caught me snort-laughing, casting me questioning glances as I did so, in the couple of days it took me to fly through this book. I learned a few things about the Western Australia (I have a friend from Perth but knew ...more
Lois Tuffield
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good escapist read!
I'm a big fan of Tony - it began when I read That Bear Ate My Pants, which I loved - then I followed up with the headless dog - not quite so good - and now this one.
He's a man with a mission - to travel the world and at the same time try out as many dare-devil experiences as he can find. In this book, he finds his soulmate and promises to get married. I don't think it means he'll settle down however. His partner is as mad as Tony. I'm looking forward to the
Irene Marie Dawson
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ever wish our could explore the world?

Fun romp in the life of Tony when he takes his wanderlust to Australia and meets his sister and her best friend,Too,for an adventure in the outback. Mishaps abound,yet the trio show a remarkable ability to survive at all costs as the move from adventure to adventure. Ending with a stint in a ski resort in New Zealand, and having the time of their lives, we wonder what their next foray into exploration will lead,and how on earth our accident prone pair will
J. A.  Lewis
Jun 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
I've read another of Mr. Slater's books and approached this one with caution as I knew the language was probably not going to be great. The use of the F word is such a turn off and it's used frequently in this one as is S_ _ _. I can't see any advancement in a story line by the use of the F word. Seems a bit on the immature side. I'm far from being a prude, but really had no interest in the sexual escapades between he and his girlfriend. When the language turned to MF, I was sorry I had started ...more
Jack Thompson
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a hoot.

I'm not much of a traveler - pretty much suck at it, in fact. Which is precisely what I dig about this and the rest of Mr. Slater's books. While I don't really like leaving home, it's important to me that someone does. As long as someone's out there fighting the good fight, working temporary jobs, getting in and out of scrapes and living the hell out of life - well, that just makes me happy. As long as he continues to report back to me in the manner to which I've become
Teri Gillen
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Not as funny as prior books

Kudos to the author and publisher for the major improvement in editing/proofreading. Slater needs to revisit the ending of the last book. The beginning of this one offers some inconsistencies. (more evident because I jumped into this one immediately upon finishing the second one) Although I did enjoy this book, it wasn't nearly as funny as his first two. Still, he leads quite an interesting lifestyle that I know I could never do.
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Tony James Slater is a very, very strange man. He believes himself to be indestructible, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. He sometimes makes strange faces whilst pretending to be attacked by inanimate objects. But perhaps his single biggest problem is this; he has a mouth so big he is in danger of swallowing his own head. As a result he often ends up far from mainstream civilization, ...more

Other books in the series

Humorous Travel Memoirs (5 books)
  • That Bear Ate My Pants!
  • Don't Need The Whole Dog!
  • Can I Kiss Her Yet?: A True Tale of Love, Marriage... and Camels
  • Shave My Spider! A six-month adventure around Borneo, Vietnam, Mongolia, China, Laos and Cambodia
“I’ve read books where someone is described as a ‘bear of a man’. I always picture an excessively hairy, thick-bearded fella dressed in a full-length pelt like a Viking.” 0 likes
“5:30am is a fairly magical time the world over; almost everything is quiet, like the calm before the storm; nothing seems the same, caught in the half-light of dawn, and devoid of the chaos normally associated with the waking world. But I’ve seen all that shit. And I’d still rather be in bed.” 0 likes
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