So after reading Mutant Message Down Under many years ago and enjoying it again recently I thought it deserved a well earned mention.
The book is written as a work of fiction in order to protect the aboriginal tribe concerned, but based on their real life experiences.
An American white caucasian physician lands a contract in Australia to trial a new preventative health care programme. Amidst this, she finds herself spending three months going walkabout in the Australian outback with a tribe of Aborigine /bush people – referred to as the ‘Real People’, who in turn refer to her as a ‘Mutant’.
The book provides interesting snapshots on aspects of aboriginal lifestyle, relationships with the world/universe, spirituality and value systems, providing a sharp contrast to western ‘developed’ world values.
Discrimination faced by Aborigines is also touched upon in terms of their access to valuable land and their alleged declining populations; racial tensions, stereotypes and derogatory opinions.
“These people believe everything exists on the planet for a reason. Everything has a purpose. There are no freaks, misfits or accidents. There are only misunderstandings and mysteries not yet revealed to mortal man.” Pg 51
If nothing more, this book will stretch a mature mind to reflect on your own world view and perhaps question whether it has the right balance. Are we too immersed in artificial lifestyles, artificial foods, artificial medicines, artificial entertainments, artificial goals (money making, possessions) to the point where we have lost deeper parts of our real selves?