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The Land Before Avocado

The Land Before Avocado 5

by Richard Glover
Publication Date: 22/10/2018
5/5 Rating 5 Reviews
RRP  $29.99 $24.25

The new book from the bestselling author of Flesh Wounds.

A funny and frank look at the way Australia used to be - and just how far we have come.

"It was simpler time". We had more fun back then". "Everyone could afford a house".

There's plenty of nostalgia right now for the Australia of the past, but what was it really like? In The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover takes a journey to an almost unrecognisable Australia. It's a vivid portrait of a quite peculiar land: a place that is scary and weird, dangerous and incomprehensible, and, now and then, surprisingly appealing. It's the Australia of his childhood.

The Australia of the late 60's and early '70s. Let's break the news now: they didn't have avocado. It's a place of funny clothing and food that was appalling, but amusingly so. It also the land of staggeringly awful attitudes - often enshrined in law - towards anybody who didn't fit in.

The Land Before Avocado will make you laugh and cry, be angry and inspired. And leave you wondering how bizarre things were, not so long ago.

Most of all it will make you realise how far we've come - and how much further we can go.

Publication Date:
ABC Books
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Richard Glover

Richard Glover has written a number of bestselling books, including Flesh Wounds, The Mud House, In Bed with Jocasta, and George Clooney's Haircut and Other Cries for Help.

He writes a weekly column for the Sydney Morning Herald and presents the comedy program Thank God It's Friday on ABC Local Radio.

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Customer Reviews

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  • A hugely entertaining read.

    by on

    “We didn’t even have iceberg lettuce. Well, we did – but it wasn’t called iceberg lettuce. It was just called lettuce. The reason? There were no other kinds.”

    The Land Before Avocado is a book by Australian radio presenter and best-selling author, Richard Glover. In it he explores life in Australia during the time in which he grew up, the mid-sixties through to the mid-seventies. He explains that recent conversations with incredulous millennials about things both common and rare during that time led him to research the accuracy of his memories.

    He starts with a clever little warning in the Smart Traveller website style which neatly summarises the land before avocado. And then he goes into detail. He “surfs the sea of happy nostalgia” but wonders if it was really all so great. Apparently, older Australians are particularly likely to say the past was paradise, but maybe that’s because they themselves were then younger, fitter, more attractive, with knees that didn’t creak.

    There's plenty in this book that will raise millennial eye brows and stimulate their scepticism, not the least of which being parenting and teaching philosophies that relied on corporal punishment, and the illegality of outdoor tables at cafes. Meanwhile, readers over fifty sagely nod in agreement that yes, they remember it well (if not always fondly), and mentally add their own experiences.

    In telling us what there was and wasn’t in the land before avocado, Glover cites many examples about food, clothing, leisure activities, cost of living, and transport, and details some of the hilarious aspects of life in those years. In fact, he lists fifteen things worth reclaiming from the 70s, and many of that vintage will agree.

    But, lest we “indulge in deluded nostalgia” Glover also reminds us of the downside: the horrendous road carnage, archaic divorce laws, gender inequality, censorship, alcohol laws that virtually encouraged drink driving and binge drinking, people smoking everywhere, and an attitude to believing adults over children that gave paedophiles free reign. Certainly, if you were homosexual, Aboriginal, a migrant or Catholic, the late 60’s/early 70’s wasn’t such a brilliant place to live.

    Glover challenges the belief that things are getting worse, more difficult, and more violent with hard facts, and he ends on a very optimistic note. But this book should definitely come with a warning: Do Not Read This Book whilst consuming food or drink, whilst travelling in the quiet carriage on public transport (as your guffaws may disturb other travellers), and, for readers of a certain vintage, with a full bladder. A hugely entertaining read.

  • The Land Before Avocado

    by on

    Richard Glover has hit the nail on the head! So much of what life was like growing up and entering the workforce at the end of the sixties.So much for the ' good old days'.

  • A trip down Memory Lane

    by on

    Enjoyable and light-weight review about how things were in my growing up years. Recommend this for the baby boomers who are starting to fade out.

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