The Doubleman – C.J. Koch

Erenst Hemingway

This book had clearly done some mileage already: inside the cover were stamps from ‘Book Bonanza’ (Perth) and ‘Mr Books’ (Sydney). I bought it as a campsite in Maroochydore – Gold Coast, Australia and read it at home on the other side of the world in Spain.

I’ve long been a fan of Christopher Koch. This books lacks the drama of the classic ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’ (which became a fantastic film too with Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver), and the sheer guts-or-glory adrenalin buzz of ‘Highways to a War.’ But it is still a typically great page-turner and for someone with an interest for Tasmania and/or Sydney has added attraction in its ‘sense of place.’

Sydney in the ‘60s might have been a heady place for musicians but there is some fairly juvenile fiction about ‘tripping on hash’ (unlikely) and mushroom cookies (less unlikely but still slightly unrealistically written…maybe Koch needed a bit more in-depth research on some angles…).

I enjoyed this book though and would recommend anything written by this great Tasmanian writer.


I left this book in Heathrow Airport (terminal 5). I was flying to Rio – would be fun to hear one day that it followed me there.


Kitbaggers book project – travel literature on speed.

Have you ever handled a classic paperback and wondered where it’s been and whose hands it passed through? Do you love the well-handled look of a book that’s obviously seen decades of serious mileage through places you might only have imagined?

This project was conceived long ago through a conversation (in San Jose, Costa Rica) between a group of friends who’d wondered about these same things and thought it would be interesting to try to trace the history of just a few random books that we read on the road.

More than just a review – this is also the story of a single adventurous copy that’s probably still out there touring the world somewhere. Let us know if you find it.

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