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Forty and flabby, Michael McGirr hits the Hume Highway on a cheap bicycle. Having stopped working as a Jesuit priest, he is on a quest to find heaven knows what. Along the way, he is joined by Jenny.

Bypass is the story of Australia’s main street, the much-unloved highway between Sydney and Melbourne. The Hume has plenty of tales to tell—of bushrangers and bus drivers, publicans and poets, runners and refugees—and McGirr discovers he has one to add to the swag. The road is a source of wisdom and comedy, and maybe even a fine romance.

One of the most popular books by the author of Things You Get For Free and Books that Saved My Life, Bypass is both a personal memoir and an unconventional biography of the road most travelled. This edition includes ‘Passing By’, a new afterword bringing the story up to date.


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Michael McGirr
About the Author

Michael McGirr is the bestselling author of Books that Saved My Life, Snooze, Bypass and Things You Get for Free. He has reviewed almost one thousand books, his short fiction has appeared in publications in Australia and overseas, and he has been publisher of Eureka Street and fiction editor of Meanjin. He works in international aid and...

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Text publication date:
5 January 2022
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Praise for Michael McGirr

‘Sprinkled with insight, wisdom and keen observation, and spiked with sadness like bits of broken glass. [McGirr] can wring a story out of a rusty hubcap.’

‘Peppered with lively historical stories and told with great eloquence, honesty and humour…Heartwarming.’

‘Funny, quirky, ironic, witty and intelligent. It will make you laugh out loud.’

‘For those of us similarly saved by, shaped by, the books we have loved, McGirr’s beautiful essays will be deeply fortifying. The sensibility that ties them all together is both edifying and intimate; this, too, is a book that will save.’

‘Sweet, wise and funny…I recommend the new edition, which tells you what happened next.’

Other editions ofBypass
  • Bypass
    ISBN: 9781922459336
    5 January 2022
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