Reviews – small and casual

Just finished. I went through every emotion. Anger, Acceptance, Sadness, Envy, Understanding, Pride at knowing Jack the man. The list goes on and then I cried when I finished the book. I so wanted to have you sitting next to me as I read the book. Thank you, Jon, for opening my eyes.  

Such a journey: individual and collective. Through the histories of many nations and reminding us of the precious indigenous history of Australia. And the humour throughout the painful narratives. The importance of forgiveness. And the poignant farewells to parents. A brilliant story! 

Since I have read your book, I am washing dishes with a new sense of passion. It has become a sacred ritual. Thanks Jon for an absorbing book which made me reflect more….even on mundane tasks like washing the dishes!

Yes … and a similar effect on me. The kitchen sink is a wonderful place to express one’s inner desires for order.

I can recommend this book! Jon, you managed to describe South Africa so accurately that I could ‘smell’ the streets of Durban. The story line moved almost unnoticeable and smoothly across countries. South Africa, Israel, Western Australia revealing the heart of each place and its people. This is a masterpiece and a MUST read. Funny, eloquently written, and insightful. Thank you for a work of ART!

Jon, I really enjoyed Return Ticket. Did not put it down once started. A deeply emotional experience.

Well done, Jon. I have read the book. Sensational.

Just finished and loved your book. Feel I know you a little more and liked the Noongar words peppered through. What’s next?

I’m 65, was taught the order of washing dishes during Home Economics in the same “small south-western village” as Jack Muir. I am now questioning if Mrs Diddley Squat had any idea about what she was teaching us on said subject!

It’s good. Worth the time (and too many books are not). You will laugh, you will cry, you will marvel at the strangeness and wonder of life, and at the complications humans can create. Buy this book. Oh, and do read it.

It’s wonderful. I’ve loved them all, but meeting Jack at this stage of his life was really special. A glorious series. I think Return Ticket is my favourite but not 100% sure on that. Might have to read the others again.

I read Return Ticket in one sitting, I couldn’t stop, engrossed and emotional in the unfolding of a life amongst a plethora of interesting characters. The book caused me to reflect on my own journey at a similar time to Jack’s. Feeling the constrictions of Australia disappearing as the Orsova breached the heads at Fremantle and our experiences of apartheid in Durban and Cape Town.  Shocked to our core. Then in 1973 it seemed half my Oxford College flew to Israel to fight when the war broke out. Our lives so sheltered compared to Jack. The trilogy has ended, and it feels as if I’ve been privileged to be a silent onlooker of a life unfolding through so many challenges and pitfalls to where Jack reaches a place of grace.

A rollicking good read by my mate from Albany, Jon Doust, in which his alter ego, Jack Muir, goes on adventures to South Africa and Israel during the 70s and finds meaning in the kitchen sink.

Enjoyed your book Jon – a lot. That’s the 3rd of yours I’ve bought which for someone who used to work in libraries is quite an achievement.

I went from laughing to sombre tears in today’s beach reading….almost finished Return Ticket and I don’t want it to end.

Jon your book is fabulous, wonderful fascinating insightful and a jolly excellent read all round.  I’m loving it (can you tell?)   But I am challenged knowing whether to read it as memoir or novel!!! And I know how you’ll answer that. Just read, silly, I know you’ll say. Yet still .., (its awesome.)

Congrats on book jon. Great read and informative on Mid East history and politics. Bit jealous haven’t experienced working and just being in a kibbutz environment. Hope you sell lots. I will ad, as by far best of the 3. Nice day for a boltz or whatever the spelling is.

Loved…loved….loved the book Jon. You certainly had a wild ride! Our memories of Israel are so different.  I guess i was just a naive 23yo having the time of my life with no political awareness or agendas.  I certainly recognize some of the characters though. Sad to know the kibbutz has been capitalized….really?? A plastics industry. How heart breaking if that is true. I’d be glad to know the children’s houses no longer exist. I never liked the idea. Anyway. ..congratulations on a remarkable book 

Hey Jon, just finished your book and really enjoyed it – well done!  I know it was a long journey.

Return Ticket a gem! Congratulations.



It flowed beautifully and pulled you along the story very well.  I liked the ‘characters’, I though you built them credibly and sympathetically.  The movement from past to present, Australia to Israel etc. was seamless and added depth.  Great achievement Jon, congratulations.



All the heroes in Return Ticket are women.

As an avid reader, I enjoyed your book immensely. I loved the adventures, characters and travel but what I enjoyed most was the raw honesty of struggle.

We appear to have been inundated for many years with horrid American ‘false perfection’ throughout all our media and literature and it was so refreshing to read of an honest journey.

My favourite genre is Australian crime authors however I very much enjoyed the deviation to Return Ticket!

Many thanks for the travel and insights into overseas realms and humanity over the ages, Jon.

Reading Return Ticket in my local. Congratulations man! You did it. As a former kibbutznik I salute you.

Hi Jon, almost finished your new novel. Since I have previously seen a manuscript from you about the South African episodes, I skimmed that bit, noting with dismay that quite a lot of it was about shit and the washing up. I thought, Ullo ullo, a cranky, unreliable narrator. Then we got to kibbutz life. As you know, I spent two months on Kfar Ruppin in the Beit She’an Valley. I was already married to Vivian, a Jewish princess from Wollongong. Your narrative about the communal life, the orchard, the enemy without and within and everything else have been enlivening for me, bringing into sharp focus those crazy innocent times. I used to play the guitar. In Jerusalem, we visited the Winterfelds, survivors from Germany. I played what I thought was “Wooden Heart”, as sung by Elvis. It turned out to be a Hitler Youth marching song. Oi vey.

We’re back home again and Jack Muir seems to be almost sane. I’m a bit disappointed. He was such an interesting mad man! Which of course reminded me of my own madness, my own promiscuity, by own comings and goings.

I don’t know why you did it, Jon, but in Return Ticket I liked that in the place that is clearly Albany, you only use the Noongar Menang place names. There’s Binalup, Yakinup and, of course, Kincinnup. It was subtle and meaningful way of honouring the original people.

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