!!> KINDLE ❤ The Cattle King ❧ Author Ion L. Idriess – Loans-2006.info
One of my all time favourite books, so it was lovely to re read after so many years The Cattle King tells the classic Australian story of Sir Sidney Kidman who runs away from home at the age of 13 on a one eyed horse His life story gives us an insight into the hardships and adventures of the pioneering cattle men and women of Australia and reminds the reader of how the early settlers once lived A story from another time and place about a man whose legacy still lives on today. I had over the years heard a great deal about Ion Idriess but had never come across any of his works Apparently some of his first editions are highly collectable So I was really pleased to locate a copy of the Cattle King Finally I could see what all the fuss was about The Cattle King is a somewhat fictionalised account of Sidney Kidman s life from young man to significant land owner in Australia We meet Kidman as a teenager, learning the craft of being a bushman and the craft of business Kidman traverses Australia so many times, for so long, that the recounting of the journeys wanted me to pull out a map and mark where he was going Idriess is quite adept at capturing the lingo of the time and the ambience of the bush It should be noted that the lingo, includes words that are now out of favour and for good reason After a while I found his writing style of recounting every town, how many head of cattle, how many acres of land a bit monotonous after awhile Kidman is portrayed as almost a saint, who was generous, hard working and successful There is not a negative word said against him I do not know enough about Kidman to confirm or dispute this This really is a book of it s time and I enjoyed the read I am surprised that this has not been turned into a mini series or a movie. This is a rather old style biography, complete with some artistic licence on the dialogue and descriptions and some sections especially regarding Indigenous Australians that would be phrased quite differently today.But, despite all that, assuming you can wade through an awful lot of descriptions of cattle stations, at its heart, The Cattle King, is a tale of an early Australian entrepreneur, Sidney Kidman.Kidman became famous in the late 19th early 20th century for his astounding knack of knowing the Australian countryside well enough to move vast herds of cattle across some pretty uninhabitable areas, while having a brilliant head for business.At the height of his career and he never really had a downside , he owned chains of cattle stations that allowed him to shift cattle over such vast distances as Queensland to South Australia.Ion Idriess is a bit of a yarn spinner, so Kidman comes across as a wonderful guy who did right by everyone and never put a foot wrong in his entire career I feel today we might view him a bit objectively, but part of the charm of the book is how much this sort of story would have appealed to a young country in the 1930s, looking for heroes to worship. I purchased this paperback on the 4th July at the Australian Stockman s Hall of Fame at Longreach.When we entered the museum we watched a documentary and Sir Sid Kidman was mentioned I thought wow he sounds like an interesting fella So when we got to the gift sourvenieer shop and there was a book about him, I just had to buy it.Once we got back to our camp that afternoon I immediately started reading it The first few pages gives us a brief history of Angus and Robertson, then a brief history on the author, followed by the author s note I was buzzing by this point as I d already found these first pages fascinating and I hadn t even started to really read about Sir Sid Kidman yet.Kidman s life was truly amazing I read this while we were travelling through some of the places mentioned in the book, so that added an extra special kick to my experience The Silver City aka Broken Hill was mentioned quite a lot and it gave me the extreme urge to go there, but alas it didn t work out with the rest of our camping trip.Some times when I read a YA dystopian or fantasy novel I get a bit Oh yeah right, as if a 16 year old could do that But the thought struck me while reading this book, that if thirteen year old Kidman could do the things he did, than they probably aren t that far fetched Go back 100 years or and you were a child, than an adult None of this teenager crap You had a job at thirteen and where out working with the men At Thirteen Sid had saved up a years worth of earrings and ran away from home.Sid, a thirteen year old, in unfamiliar bush saved himself and a fellow drover from dehydration and starvation He had a kind heart and a brilliant mind The man was a genius His brain was a sponge He traveled all over the place listening to and learning from anyone who would talk to him, from anyone who would show him At a time when Whiteman feared and hared the Blackman, Sid was leaning all they were willing to teach him about the land Thirteen year old Sid was able to do things that a thirteen year old today couldn t even contemplate.So yes, Kidman s life was fascinating The book was a bit dry at times, a bit like a high school history textbook and I felt like I was going to choke on all the statistics But still Kidman shined.Kidman grew to own Australian land then the British Empire at one point He was growing his empire while the Kelly boys were raising hell He put an enormous amount of his own resources into Australia s WW2 efforts The man was a true blue Australian legend and sadly one I don t remember ever hearing about in school I think his story is inspiring Someone today s little spoilt teenagers should aspire to be like.During his life time Idriess wrote a large number of Aussie themed books and I intend to somehow get my hands on a few of them. An all time favourite which I have recently read again after a number of years Must say that I am an Ion Idriess fan and his treatment of the life of Sidney Kidman with all the ups and downs of his life is well done This book is a must read for all those who want to know what life in the early days of Australia s grazing industry was all about From the hardships endured to the good times, it s all there in this book. I recently travelled through Central Australia and read this upon returning home to NSW I don t think this book has aged well and struggled to get to the end Having seen the land upon which this man decided to raise his cattle empire, I question his being labelled a bush legend The impact on the native flora, fauna and local people that he and his ilk caused were always on my mind as I read this I felt sorry for the cattle mentioned in the book and that I witnessed on my trip The book and my trip have left me with concerns about our beef industry and my eating habits. An interesting read giving you an insight into the lives of the Australian bushman of the 19th century. At The Age Of , Sidney Kidman Ran Away From Home With Only Five Shillings In His Pocket He Went On To Become A Horse Dealer, Drover, Cattle Buyer And Bush Jockey And He Also Ran A Coach Business Above All, Kidman Created A Mighty Cattle Empire Of Than A Hundred Stations, Fighting Droughts, Bushfires, Floods And Plagues Of Vermin To Do So His Enterprise And Courage Won Him A Huge Fortune And Made Him A Legend This Book Is An Inspiring Tribute To The Remarkable Life Of Sir Sidney Kidman The Cattle King Sidney Kidman may have run away from home aged merely 13 with only five shillings in his pocket, but his foolishness ended there This story of his life is amazing He was clearly intelligent, ambitious, tough and calculated, but also demonstrated a very kind heart Some of today s most successful businessmen could learn a thing or two from Kidman s legacy I must pick up another of the fifty books Idriess wrote in his lifetime This one was excellent. It s interesting to have descriptions of the way of life when Australia was really only just getting a sense of itself But it became a series of transactions which distracted me from engaging with S.K as a person In the end I started to think of him as a bit of a know it all and got bored Disappointed that I didn t enjoy it.