Laurie Steed's Reviews > The Last Free Man and Other Stories

The Last Free Man and Other Stories by Lewis Woolston
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read March 22, 2020 to March 30, 2020.

The Last Free Man and other stories introduces us to a variety of transients, travellers and roadhouse workers in its 160 or so pages. While the characters in these stories at times venture back to the city, it's in the outback where they find freedom, sex, and occasional companionship. There are rarely happy endings in these stories; there is, however, a lot of heart, fair doses of brutal honesty, and the remnants of dreams of a better life, or, at times, just the hopes of survival, away from threats, trauma, and dysfunctional families.

If there's a man better made to explore roadhouse life than Lewis Woolston then I have yet to meet him. His stories are suitably laconic given the landscape, and he's more willing than most to tackle uncomfortable truths, particularly for his protagonists. His characters are not so much types as the ephemera of Australia: the lost, lonely and resilient making a go of things away from the famous, the flashy, or the entitled.

I enjoyed this book and found its lack of pretence particularly refreshing. It deserves, in time, to be shelved alongside many of the more understated, underrated but undeniably influential takes on modern life in regional Australia.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 22, 2020 – Started Reading
March 30, 2020 – Shelved
March 30, 2020 – Finished Reading

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