Book Reviews

'A Swag of Memories' is an anthology of two previously published works, 'The Brumby Mare' and 'The Moonlight Stallion'.

Here's a selection from what readers had to say:


"Taylor recreates, warmly and affectionately, outback life in the 1950s and '60s, a world that was hard, but rich in simple pleasures and rewards; a world that has just about gone.  A man, his horse and dogs, a mob of catlle or sheep, endless horizons and the extraordinary silence of the plains.  Taylor brings it all to life beautifully and with plenty of humour."

-- Ian Livingstone, Maroondah Leader 23 May 2006.


"In these time of political correctness Brian continues to just be himself, in particular with regard to those Aboriginal people he has known well, loved and respected.  He has much to teach us, on both sides of the fence.  He is probably not aware that he is politically correct; he simply does what he has always done - which is to honour humanity, and believe the best in people. I found his story of his Aboriginal friend Ruby Bond particularly moving.....'

    '... And I can't leave off without congratulating Brian for his description of R M Williams in 'The Man with the Brown Hat'  - 'The old bushman sat there under his brown hat in a pose of concentration, peering through his low-slung glasses at the tail ends of some kangaroo-leather lace he held in his conrncob hands.  Those hands had done more than their share of hard rows and were knuckled, battle-scarred and strong, but, even so, they had a softness about them.'    RM has been described in many ways, but in my opinion no one has captured the essence of the man quite so succinctly..."

-- Jane Grieve, first Exexcutive Director of The Stockman's Hall of Fame


"Brian Taylor writes with understanding and empathy of subjects that are dear to his heart: the Queensland bush, its people and animals."    

--  Fiona Myers (The Weekly Times, April 20, 2005)


"All the stories in the book are short so can be read in a few minutes, but their images are ever-lasting.  It's an excellent and entertaining book.." 

-- Christopher Bantick (Weekly Times, June 2006)


"'..With no moon, and the stars on the blink, the landscape was as black as the inside of a cow..', -- it takes someone thoroughly familiar with the mighty National Trail and all it embodies as well as with a cow's interior to conjure up such an image, and we may be sure that Brian Taylor knows what he is talking about, the landscape, the stars, the moon, and the bovine interior.

Who else would say, on being presented to the Duke of Edinburgh, at the opening of the Stockman's Hall of Fame at Longreach, "Gidday, pleased to meet you, mister."?" 

--  Ralph Elliot, Professor of English, (Canberra Times, 4 June 2006)


"This book is an autobiography. It's a collection of Brian Taylor's experiences as a stockman in the outback of Queensland.  He writes about his way of life and the people he meets and I loved all the Aussie slang he uses.  Some chapters made me feel like crying.  I loved his tale of the 'Calf and the Dingoes' where he rescues a calf from the jaws of a vicious pack.  This book gave me an insight into what life is like in the outback and I'd recommend it to children aged 10 and up." 

--  C Young, 11 yrs, (Illawarra Mercury, September 2006)


"Taylor's collection of stories, reminiscences about a vanishing way of life in outback Australia, and readers, whether from the bush or the city, will be moved to laughter and to tears by these heartfelt stories." 

-- (from Country New Insert, 4 March 2006)