A Fortunate Life

A Fortunate Life Albert Barnett Facey was born in in Maidstone Victoria grew up on the Kalgoorlie goldfields in the wheat belt of Western Australia His father died before he was two He was deserted by his mother

  • Title: A Fortunate Life
  • Author: Albert B. Facey Jan Carter Robert Juniper
  • ISBN: 9780143003540
  • Page: 385
  • Format: Paperback
  • Albert Barnett Facey was born in 1894 in Maidstone, Victoria grew up on the Kalgoorlie goldfields in the wheat belt of Western Australia His father died before he was two He was deserted by his mother soon afterwards He was looked after by his grandmother until he was eight, when he went out to work His many jobs included droving, hammering spikes on the raAlbert Barnett Facey was born in 1894 in Maidstone, Victoria grew up on the Kalgoorlie goldfields in the wheat belt of Western Australia His father died before he was two He was deserted by his mother soon afterwards He was looked after by his grandmother until he was eight, when he went out to work His many jobs included droving, hammering spikes on the railway line from Merredin to Wickepin boxing in a travelling troupe.He was in the 11th Battalion at the Gallipoli landing After the war, he became a farmer under the Soldier Settlement Scheme but was forced off the land during the Depression He joined the tramways was active in the Tramways Union Having no formal education, he taught himself to read write He made the first notes of his life soon after WWI, filling notebooks with accounts of his experiences Finally, on his children s urging, he submitted a hand written manuscript to the Fremantle Arts Centre Press He died in 1982, nine months after A Fortunate Life had been published to wide acclaim I have lived a very good life, it has been very rich full I have been very fortunate I am thrilled by it when I look back A.B Facey

    One thought on “A Fortunate Life”

    1. Firstly, I must say how much I enjoyed this book and what an extraordinary read it was. This story takes us on a journey of Albert Barnett Facey's life. Albert's mother deserted him when he was only two years old. From that day forward Albert would have to grow up rather quickly. Having to start work at an early age was only the start for Albert, but he made the most of each day and tackled whatever life threw at him whether it be working hard on a farm or going off to war. A beautifully written [...]

    2. And that’s the way it was.I would often go into the bush and watch the birds and think in some ways they were like me – they had to fend for themselves as soon as the mother bird thought that they were old enough.Abandoned by his mother at the tender age of two, Albert Facey lived with some of his siblings and his grandparents in Victoria until 1899 when his Grandma decided to take them all to Perth in Western Australia where they would reunite with family. Bert’s granddad had recently die [...]

    3. This is one of those amazing books where you just can't find enough superlatives to convey exactly how much you enjoyed it and/or the impact it had on you. As a school student and as an adult you often hear tales of how difficult life was for previous generations, but it is only through reading a first hand account like this one, that you really "get" it. Born in 1894 in Victoria, Albert Facey faced many and varied challenges right from the get go. Yet you get the sense that right from his earli [...]

    4. I finished this book with mixed feelings: the descriptions of the opening of the Western Australian Wheatbelt, and an Australia so foreign to us make the book wonderful; and yet, I felt it was too long in places and wondered when it would ever end. I am also very suspicious of the accurate dates and names of people recounted 70 years after the fact. Facey couldn’t write during the interesting aspects of his life, so there were no diaries to rely on.Books on areas being developed, by those that [...]

    5. While in the second hand store looking for books to read during my month in Costa Rica I came across the memoir, A Fortunate Life. My idea was to read books while traveling around CR and then leave them in whatever city I finished them thus making more room available in my suitcase to bring home souvineers. After reading this book, no, reading is the wrong word .um.ng experiencing empathizing mething like that, I have determined my life will have one less souvineer so that I might bring back hom [...]

    6. This book was given me by a woman of Italian ancestry who was raised in Australia. In handing it over she noted that it was a text familiar to most Australisns. Having the impression that it was fictional I wasn't sure I'd read it. Given our friendship, however, I resolved to give it a try.As it happens this is an autobiography of one Albert B. Facey, born just before the turn of one century and dead shortly before the beginning of the next. The focus of the work is on the first quarter of the t [...]

    7. A Fortunate Life is the only book written by Australian author, Albert Bernard Facey. The author recounts the events of his life from the late 19th century through to 1976. There are no literary devices employed: this is simple narration, the honest telling of a tale by a marvellous storyteller. What makes it such a great read is that it contains so many details of everyday life in an era devoid of the convenience of electronics, modern day appliances and fast, convenient travel and communicatio [...]

    8. I can't be enthusiastic enough about this autobiography by Albert Facey. This is the kind of book that you read aloud to your kids when they are beginning to be bored with you reading to them. Albert Facey was born in 1894 in Australia. Abandoned by his mother at age 4, he was raised by his grandmother in the goldfields of western Australia. He was let out to work at age 8. Completely self taught, he was unflinchingly hard working. He escaped from drunken employers after they beat him with a bul [...]

    9. This moving memoir, in plain, early 20th century Australian vernacular, was written by a man who was illiterate until his late teens, published when the author was in his eighties, and instantly acclaimed, bringing him national fame in the very last months of his life. It covers in detail an almost Dickensian childhood of poverty and enslavement across southern and western Australia from around the turn of the 20th century. Abandoned in infancy by his widowed mother to his grandmother, young Ber [...]

    10. In Australia this is a famous autobiography and I remember first reading it in high school and when I was done I was glad it had been on the reading list. It opened my eyes to how hard life had been for earlier generations in Australia. Albert Facey was the type of man I remember among my older rural relatives from when I was young: Resilient, a real handyman with only basic tools, never complains and always finish what they start. However, Facey's life was one of extremes from the early land cl [...]

    11. I was surprised at how much I like this book. It is not what I would typically read: an Australian biography of an "ordinary" man, but his simple, humble writing really captivated me. He leads an amazing life filled with problems (wars, poverty, abuse, the depression) yet always seem to find the bright side and come out of it okay. An engaging read and quite the history lesson.

    12. One of the BEST books I have EVER read in my LIFE I thoroughly recommend reading this novel!! It completely changed my perspective on life truly TRULY well worth the read Tells the true story of the life of Albert. B. Facey (who will forever be in my heart and mind) It paints a picture of Australia, from the 1900's, at the turn of the century, (when he was born), and further on throughout his life, and details the struggles he faced from a very very young age (and there were many) It gives you a [...]

    13. Albert Facey was born around the time of Australia's Federation. If the author had been more aware of the conventions and devices of writing and a great deal more literate he might have made more of this and perhaps even changed the date of his birth to get a perfect fit. But neither Facey nor his country (and let's face it, Australia is the other main character in this book) was sophisticated or learned. Facey is born poverty in rural Victoria. Things go from bad to worse for his family and ove [...]

    14. A truly riveting story of survival of a poor, abandoned, motherless child who is left to fend for himself. An epic tale of adventure with a reluctant, humble, intelligent and likeable hero who survives exploitation and harsh-treatment equating to child abuse, then escapes and eventually embarks on an epic wild cross-country droving adventure where he gets lost in the bush is rescued by a local tribe.In an era before occupational health and safety standards were established he falls down a hazard [...]

    15. Albert Facey was a storyteller. Australian born in the late 1800's, his mother abandoned him at just two years of age. From then on, he led a remarkable life from being farmed out at a young age (to cruel and kind families alike), working in agriculture and lifestock, serving during World War I at Gallipoli, surviving the Depression and the loss of a son during World War II. Facey often told these stories to his children, who begged him to write them down for future generations. As it happened, [...]

    16. An old boyfriend, when I lived in Sydney, told me that if I wanted to really understand the Australian culture, I should read this.Of course, I was much to busy living to pick up a book that I assumed was boring and "historical". When I was forced to leave the country (visa expiration), I actually bought the book at the Sydney Airport, and started to read it on my way to Hong Kong on the plane, after I dried the tears from my departure and goodbyes.I finished the entire thing within a few days b [...]

    17. Oh my goodness! Truly one of the BEST books I have ever read. What a crazy, sad, happy, unfortunate, lonely, blessed, wonderful, adventurous, FORTUNATE life this amazing man had. There were many occasions when I smiled, cringed, cried and laughed in this book. It is truly such a beautiful book/ recount of this man's life. I cannot begin to express how much I simply adored it. I would recommend this book to anyone, Australian or not, it is truly a masterpiece and really makes you think about life [...]

    18. Wow! I am a mess of emotions at the moment.Real Rating: 4.75.Albert Facey is a true hero, one who even throughout the hardships of life believes that his life is fortunate.For some reason I was going to DNF this book. WHY? There was a slump in the middle, but as soon as he goes to war everything picks up and just keeps going.If you want a good biography - even if you aren't Australian - I recommend this to you.

    19. A simple book about the simple life of a simple man. Simply perfect. Gorgeous and immersive, this little treasure about the importance of kindness and friendship was a powerful book to read in the lead up to the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. As with 7 Little Australians, gets bonus points for mentioning my home town.

    20. A Fortunate Life is an indescribable reading experience. In this book, we follow a young boy as he works for every single step of his life after many early tragedies force him into going out on his own for work before he even hits the age of ten. Today I could not imagine the young children I know packing up and moving along to farms asking for work and so on for short times and hard labour but for many children and the writer of this book it is the only choice they have. I feel like by reading [...]

    21. Simply written indeed, do not expect a literary experience. I found the book compelling however, as a means of glimpsing the experiences of battlers in the early 20th century. If the facts are correct, Facey's memory is astounding, especially given the inability to record details of earlier life in writing.

    22. Not a literary masterpiece but a simple record of his life and the trials and tribulations he endured. A reminder as to the debt of gratitude we owe to the author and his fellow settlers. It's not surprising that so many copies have been sold.

    23. There are so many detailed GR reviews, I won't reinvent the wheel by saying too much about the plot or characters, and instead just focus on why I belong in the camp of Facey fans.I loved this book -- or rather the story, which I read in print more than 30 years ago and have just now listened to in audio book format -- a format that I have found highly problematic with many books. For example, I just could not finish listening to The Book Thief as the reader irritated me so much with his voice a [...]

    24. Albert Facey’s ‘A Fortunate Life’ has, in my opinion, been unfairly criticised for its simple prose. I am not sure why people would make this defunct argument considering the memoir was written by someone who was not a writer, and, until his teens, completely illiterate. If you’re looking for a well written book, do not read this. In saying that, I enjoyed the sparseness of the language – he simply told things in an economical and modest way. However, there were moments when I cringed [...]

    25. My father recommended this. Nervously, I embarked on reading it - my father and I have little common taste in literature. I think the fact that Dad and I both enjoyed this book so much is a reflection of the broad appeal of the story. Facey was born the same year as my grandfather, and he died the same year. Like my own grandfather, he was raised in extreme poverty, and served in World War One. The story is fascinating reading; not only does it detail Facey's childhood and adulthood, it probably [...]

    26. This was the best book about Australia and what it means to be Australian that I have ever read. Mr Facey was not an author. He wrote this book to leave his story behind for his children and we are so lucky that he did. I felt like I was having a conversation with my grandad who died a long time ago and had a hard life working on the railways. This book covered his hard childhood (he started working at 8!), life on the land, Gallipolli and The Depression. I am so glad I read this near Anzac Day [...]

    27. What an amazing, inspirational story. It certainly puts things into perspective in our own lives. Obviously, this story couldn't be written in today's society - a nine year old not wanted by his mother goes out to start his working life. Of course in this day and age he'd be put into foster care. Ranging over an 80 year period, "A Fortunate Life" is the true story of Albert (Bert) Facey. Set in Western Australia starting in the early 1900's, it is written in the most honest, least technical writ [...]

    28. This book is told is such a matter-of-fact tone that you can also hear the old guy telling it from a rocking chair on a front porch somewhere (maybe Melbourne).AB Facey believes he lived a "fortunate" life but I think everyone who reads this book will find other ways to describe it, such as "amazing" or "miraculous" or "courageous" or "grim."It starts when he is a boy and his father dies and his mom ships him off to work for a family he does't know or like and goes downhill from there. What happ [...]

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