Select one of the keywords
Mutant Message Down Under    by Marlo Morgan order for
Mutant Message Down Under
by Marlo Morgan
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (1995)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by G. Hall

Mutant Message Down Under is a truly unusual book that, the title notwithstanding, is not science fiction. Rather it is a unique novel that is hard to categorize, and libraries today are not sure whether to catalog it as fiction or non-fiction. The book purports to be a true life account of Dr. Marlo Morgan's several month journey into the Australian Outback with the Real People, an Aboriginal tribe. Morgan is a middle-aged American doctor from the mid-West working in Australia on a several year project training local physicians on preventitive health medicine.

After she has been in Australia for many months Morgan is invited to a distant city for a meeting. Since her work has been very successful, she is expecting to be given an award or other type of honor at the conference. However, she is instead asked to meet with some local Aborginal people and taken by jeep to the meeting. At this point she is whisked away, albeit willingly, on a several month walkabout that proves to be a turning point in her life and an incredible learning experience.

Morgan is the Mutant of the title - an Outsider, not one of the Real People. During the time she spends with them, Morgan learns the ways of the Real People and comes to respect many features of their lives that appear as improvements over our frenetic and competitive modern world. The reader may question Morgan's rather facile transition to the initial rigors of travelling totally unprepared through the bush with no shoes or proper clothing. However, given what we have learned of Morgan's previous life and holistic views of health and medicine, it seems in character.

The book is an excellent primer on Aboriginal life and on how the earlier indigenous peoples of the Earth lived in harmony and balance with nature, with a respect for each creature's place in the environment. Other features of their life, such as lack of competition and the recognition of the value of each person's unique abilities, are qualities that the Western World has unfortunately lost. Morgan also relates aspects of the Real Peoples' lives that are harder to believe, but nevertheless quite interesting such as mental telepathy. Also fascinating is the description of their spiritual belief in the 'Oneness' of everything in the ecosystem and how it all recycles into the environment over time.

It is not until late in the book that the reason for Morgan's sojourn and call to the Outback is revealed. The reader will have to decide for herself whether to believe all the details of the book. At the very least, Morgan had Aboriginal sources and learned much about their lifestyles. Whether her journey happened as related in the book does not in the end seem that important. The information related is so meaningful and thought-provoking, it will really make the reader think about our modern world and what we have lost in becoming civilized. The mutant message will remain with us long after the book is finished.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Travel books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews