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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 a new afterword about Jenny’s encounter with the serial killer Ivan Milat.
‘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.’