02 March 2007 1 comment Books
I've just finished Dylan Nichols book called "What Are You Doing Here" which is a funny little book about Australians in England (London especially), why they came, what they do here, what influences they bring with them and why they keep coming and last but not least what gets them to go back home.
Dylan is a good friend of mine and I book my signed copy at his book launch a couple of weeks ago. A lot of my friends here in London are aussies and reading this book will only help me understand them and possibly whats going on in their head. Reading this book has given me some profound understanding about Australians' feelings about coming here that I didn't understand before.
The only bad thing I can say about the book is that it wasn't meant for me. It's got a very strong Australian taste to it and I don't think Dylan and his aussie reviewers even noticed that it could be accepted as almost a bit condescending towards the britons.
The first couple of chapters are about the history of arriving aussies and the responses on that. I love the way Dylan has plenty of little facts about very small things such as quotes from old Australian prime ministers and certain celebrities and what they added to British culture.
As the story is told Dylan often pops back to himself and his feelings and actions when he came here and this happens throughout the book which gives it a nice personal touch to it and not just history lesson.
There were also some interesting sections about "brain-drain" and how it might not be a brain-drain since a lot of these brains actually come back enriched. This I think applies very much to Swedes too.