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To Hell and High Water

Walking in the Footsteps of Henry Lawson

(9 customer reviews)
Authors: Gregory Bryan
Outback Australia, Mateship, Overcoming Obstacles, Henry Lawson

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To Hell and High Water tells the story of the quest of two brothers to conquer the extreme conditions of outback Australia, recreating the Bourke to Hungerford ‘tramp’ that influenced some of Australian literary legend Henry Lawson’s greatest works.

The book is part autobiography and part biography. It is an autobiography of the author’s experiences with his brother overcoming significant obstacles to achieve his dream of walking in Lawson’s footsteps. It paints a vivid picture of some of Australia’s most remote country, the challenges and dangers, the heat, the distance, mosquitoes, blisters and thirst.

At the same time it blends in the biography of Henry Lawson’s captivating life including his marriage, struggles with alcoholism, his suicide attempt, influences upon his writing and his ideals of mateship. Extracts of Lawson’s own writing have been carefully selected and woven into the narrative in a manner that draws parallels between the two experiences and offers fresh insights into his life.

It is a story both of Australia’s past and Australia’s present—in fact a relatively little known past and present. As Henry Lawson wrote:

“And in the land of Lord-knows-where— Right up and furthest out—
You find a new Australia there
That we know nought about.”

This is an opportunity for readers to find out about an Australia that they know “nought about.” This book is also the story of an ordinary person achieving extraordinary things through unwavering mateship and a dogged determination never to give up.

Gregory Bryan

Gregory Bryan

Gregory Bryan is a professor in literacy education who has co-authored a number of books and articles and presented at conferences across Australia and the world. His knowledge of Henry Lawson’s life and appreciation of the quality and significance of his writing are borne of a lifetime of study of his life and works. Bryan […]

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9 reviews for To Hell and High Water

  1. anyone looking for an awesome and inspirational read should head on down to Collins books and buy a copy of ‘To hell and high water’ by local author Gregory Bryan. I can only put it down to quickly pop in to fb and check up on you good folk 🙂 . I won’t be stopping him in 18 months, I’ll be asking him to let me tag along!!

  2. It is brilliant, written exactly how you would imagine an amazing trek like this to be. I can really relate to the feelings he has even though I can’t begin to understand not having attempted something like it. Greg grew up inspired by the life and writings of Henry Lawson, so he decided to do the walk from Bourke to Hungerford and back. A mere 450 kilometres in 40+ degree heat…in 15 days!!! This is his story and it also tells Henrys story. Brilliant!!

  3. just attended the most inspiring book launch. I was told by a customer that maybe it would encourage me to write a book, i laughed because there is absolutely no way I could ever do that. What it has done though is build on my desire to just put a pack on my back and walk! I will do it one of these days. Poppa laughed when i said it as a child, he would be proud if i achieved it 🙂

  4. Reading a great new book atm titled ‘To Hell & High Water-Walking in the Footsteps of Henry Lawson’ by Gregory Bryan. Published by Big Sky Publishing. Want to know what it is to be Australian? What makes us who we should be? Read Lawson and this book and learn a large slice of what we should all strive for!

  5. Enjoyed your book launch last night and have a new found respect for henry Lawson. Maybe next time you could retrace Lawson’s pub crawls. Might save your feet but no guarantees about your liver. Well done and looking forward to reading your book.

  6. Well i was a bit unsure at first to attend the book launch at the library tonight as could’nt find a friend to go with me but i am so glad that i did go to support my old friend Gregory Bryan. I have to say that it was very interesting and you did a great job Greg. I cant wait to read your book “To hell and high water”. Also thank you very much for signing my book and the lovely personal message you wrote….

  7. All the very best for the next book launch Greg, you were so inspiring here with your story and Henry ‘s, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The book is a great read too. Well done.

  8. Congratulations! You have accomplished an achievement few of us will ever have the courage to pursue. You have tested your physical and mental limits, willingly, and survived a brutal, hellish tramp in punishing conditions. Not only have you achieved this but you have also breathed new life into a great Australian writer and, at least for me, made him relevant again. I will definitely introduce his works to my children and ensure his legacy lives on in this household. Thank you for sharing your journey and allowing us to hitch a ride to your pain, doubts, fears, joy and ultimate success. To have inspired a man to walk in his shoes and endure the demons and insecurities that ruminate in us all, is perhaps Henry Lawson’s greatest achievement. Well done,

  9. 651728 891343very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it 431949

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