Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Same Red Dirt by Pat Conrad, follow the adventures of one man as he gives up his career and life in the United States, and travels to Australia. He has no definite plan when he arrives. He takes everything in his stride and recounts his adventures with a dark humour and an honesty that is simply entertaining. Pat has some extraordinary jobs, spending eight months working in a mental hospital in Sydney and caring for Australia’s most dangerous patients. He meets some disturbing and troubled characters, and has some hair-raising moments. From there, follow his exciting road trip with his friend across Australia and Tasmania. Pat’s road trip is cut short with news from home. He decides to return to the US, but is still trying to find that missing piece in his life. Explore this brutally honest account filled with daring exploits, memorable characters, and thought provoking life lessons. Back in the US, he makes an acquaintance that will change his life in a remarkable way.
Same Red Dirt by Pat Conrad will make you want to give up the daily grind of your 9-5 routine and embark on your own adventure. His experiences in Callan Park Mental Hospital were compelling and amusing. The descriptions of the patients, especially Bart, were told with compassion and humour. The stories of corruption and bribery from the nurses on D Ward were horrific and quite disturbing. I admired his openness and honesty throughout this book. He didn’t paint himself to be anything but a man who was searching for a life purpose, but found adventure and eternal memories instead. He has proven that life is to be lived and I was glad when he finally found meaning in his life at the end. It came in the most unusual form, but I feel it was his destiny to finally find peace. A thoroughly well written and candid book.