Return to Uluru

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Return to Uluru:

Australians can be racist, too!

Quick synopsis:

The story of a murder(?) in the Australian Outback.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

There is a center of Australia. There is even a site in the middle of nowhere to commemorate it. Just kidding, it’s not considered the center anymore.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

The murder takes place at a place called Uluru. Google a picture. The sand dunes in the center haven’t changed much in 30,000 years.

My Take on Return to Uluru:

This is one of the hardest reviews I have ever had to write. The reason is because Mark McKenna is a good writer and there are at least 3 plot threads which are absolute dynamite, The problem is none of these threads are expounded upon enough to leave the reader feeling satisfied.

Return to Uluru is about Australian Policeman Bill McKinnon and his killing (or murder?) of an Aboriginal man named Yokununna. Ultimately, I think McKenna wanted to shine a light on this killing and prove it was a murder. However, there is not enough material here to make that statement. There is a plot line about the extreme racism Aborigines face in Australia. As an American, I knew very little about the subject. Unfortunately, I don’t feel much more enlightened.

Another example is McKenna’s interviews with the descendants of McKinnon. His way of talking with them shows he is both committed to his work but compassionate at the same time. I could have read a whole book by McKenna on just these meetings but here we just get a chapter and then it’s over. I was left wanting so much more. Unfortunately, in a bad way, not a good way.

I would read another book by McKenna because I can see a skilled writer with a keen eye. However, Return to Uluru is not focused enough to be a must read.

(Note: This book was provided to me as an advance copy by Netgalley.)

Verdict:

Not bad, but could have been a lot better with some changes. Buy it here!

If You Liked This Try:

Return to Uluru by Mark McKenna