By Christine Salins
Walking the Gallipoli Peninsula
By Tony Wright. (Allen & Unwin, $24.99, paperback, 287 pages)
In 2000, journalist Tony Wright accompanied John Howard and Kim Beazley on their visit to Gallipoli for Anzac Day, when more than 15,000 Australians and New Zealanders were there. Intrigued by the swelling crowds of mainly young people, he has returned numerous times over the past decade, taking with him his great uncle’s Gallipoli diary.
†† In 2003, Wright produced a book called Turn Right At Istanbul. This latest book, Walking the Gallipoli Peninsula, is a completely revised and updated edition of the earlier book, enhanced with all the lessons and adventures he has had in the intervening years.
As well as being a practical guide to the Gallipoli experience, the book is an entertaining and informative travelogue. Wright meets many colourful and memorable characters as he falls in love with Istanbul and explores the underground cities of Cappadocia, but it is his account of visiting the battlefields that is particularly inspiring.
The inclusion of lines from his great uncle’s diary adds a poignant note. There’s also a very nice personal touch in that on a couple of occasions, he travelled with his daughters so the book is both a moving and a happy account of their shared experiences.
With his journalist’s eye for detail and capacity to bring ordinary conversations to life, this is an engrossing read for anyone planning to put Gallipoli on their travel itinerary.
To find out more about Christine Salins click here.