It’s 1964 and a remote dot of a north Western Australian town has become the clandestine home to an enormous radio satellite dish, a mission-critical piece of NASA hardware that will be a lifeline between Houston and the moon-bound Apollo rockets. This dish beams communications directly into the mind of this novel’s narrator. That narrator is a pet galah named Lucky.
This is the refreshingly unique set-up of The Lucky Galah, an utterly engaging and beguiling new novel from Tracy Sorensen. Her screeching pink bird is the reader’s portal into a red dust town where the social/political revolution of the 1960s is a long way away and the ideas expressed within the pages of Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country don’t really feel within grasp. It’s a book that doesn’t just evoke nostalgia but asks us to question the way we live today. I won’t sift through the ins and outs of this story because I want you to enjoy its subtleties as I have.
This book is a bundle of Australian kook ready to disarm, charm and move its readers. Embrace it. Learn more.
The Lucky Galah
It's 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Crouched around a single grainy set, radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare at the screen, transfixed, as Armstrong takes that first small step.
I was in my cage of course, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson's story is about to end (and perhaps with a giant leap), my story prepares to take flight...
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Ben is a bookseller at Booktopia HQ. He reads a lot and writes a little. Cows are his spirit animal. He is an optimist. He loves pastry.