The Tunnel: Penguin Special

The Tunnel: Penguin Special

4 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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When Dennis McIntosh went to work on an underground construction site in Melbourne's west, he was twenty-seven and starting over. His years as a shearer had ended badly, he was an alcoholic, and his eldest daughter had a brain injury. Having been kicked out of school in ninth grade, he had no prospects. He'd been through four jobs in as many months. The tunnel was his last chance. That was in 1985, and when he resurfaced seven years later Dennis was a changed man. He had endured bitter clashes with his crew and management, lonely nightshifts and a marriage breakup, but had overcome his claustrophobia and drinking. His turning point was the realisation that, like his daughter, he could retrain his brain - by getting an education. 'A haunting picture of life underground reminiscent of Orwell's descriptions of going down the mine ... A gritty portrait of a different universe.' Steven Carroll, The Age
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 117 x 183 x 8mm | 86g
  • Penguin Books Australia
  • Hawthorn, Australia
  • 0143572229
  • 9780143572220
  • 1,515,441

Review quote

Praise for Beaten By a Blow: 'Destined to take its place alongside the survival classics of Australian literature.' - Sunday Herald Sun 'The genuine article: gritty and honest and harsh as a crow's cry.' - Robert Drewe
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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 published to acclaim in 2008. The Tunnel is his second book.
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Rating details

16 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 31% (5)
4 38% (6)
3 31% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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