Beaten by a Blow

Beaten by a Blow

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'The genuine article- gritty and honest and harsh as a crow's cry.' ROBERT DREWE Growing up, Dennis McIntosh was determined not to get stuck in a factory like his father. And when he takes a job as a roustabout he discovers what he really wants to be- a shearer, the king of the sheds. But it soon turns out this legendary occupation isn't everything it seems. Dennis discovers what it feels like when your eyelids are the only bit of you that doesn't hurt. When the heat in the sheds kills the sheep before you're done shearing them. When the road isn't taking you towards adventure, it's taking you away from your family, and you drink to forget. Beaten by a Blow tells the story of a boy full of hope crashing headlong into life - into work, into drink, into responsibilities he isn't ready for, which come closer to breaking his back than shearing ever did. 'Holds the reader in the grip of its merciless narrative from beginning to end . . . A work of art.' Roger McDonald, THE AUSTRALIAN 'Fascinating. The story could have been told by Henry Lawson in the 1890s. A remarkably good writer.' Bruce Elder, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 131 x 198 x 22mm | 268g
  • Penguin Books Australia
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • 0143010689
  • 9780143010685

About Dennis McIntosh

Dennis McIntosh was born in Townsville in 1958 and grew up in Newcastle and Melbourne's outer west. After leaving school, Dennis worked as an itinerant shearer until the Wide Comb Dispute in 1984. In 1985 he started working as a tunneller on the Western Trunk Sewer project. He calls it his Jungian tunnel because he went into the tunnel as a shearer and emerged seven year later as a swimming coach. He started out coaching by taking his daughter to the pool as part of her therapy for a brain injury. Dennis taught swimming professionally from 1992 to 2006. In 1999 Dennis went to university to see if he could learn to write- he wanted to pen his daughter's life story and give it to her on her twenty-first birthday. His studies fit nicely with the philosophy, If you can't do it, do it. If you don't think you fit in, you're in the right place. If you don't think you belong, you're home. If you have an empty page in front of you, and you don't know what comes next, you're in the starter's hands. Dennis says these feelings and experiences are necessary for transformative learning to occur. If you know where you are going, you're going nowhere. In December 2013 Dennis was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy. He is currently working in a remote bush school trying to implement his physical approach to learning, but no one is listening. His first book, Beaten by a Blow, was
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