Review: Me of the Never Never by Fiona O’Loughlin

Title: Me of the Never Never

Author: Fiona O’Loughlin

Synopsis: Fiona O Loughlin is certainly the funniest (and possibly one of the busiest) working mothers in Australia today: a stand-up comedian based in Alice Springs and Adelaide, she is on the road for most of the year, doing live performances, plus regular television appearances. Fiona has also had successful shows at the Edinburgh and Adelaide fringe festivals, the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This book contains her stories – funny and sometimes sad stories about her upbringing as part of a large Irish-Catholic family on a wheat farm in South Australia, her chaotic and disorganised family life ever since, living in Alice Springs and making it as a stand-up comedian. She also talks of a darker side of the life of many performers – alcohol.  This book is for anyone who likes to laugh (and cry), who wants to read about a woman living her life on her terms.

Status: Read on January 21, 2012

My Thoughts:

What better time is there to post a review for an Australian celebrity than today, Australian Day! Fiona O’Loughlin is my favourite Australian comedienne and I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for quite some time.  She never fails to make me laugh, mostly I think because she is so candid about the challenges she faces as a wife and as a mother on stage.

Me of the Never Never is an honest reflection on how Fiona came to be who she is. Her family features heavily in the memoir, just as it does in her comedy routines. As one of seven children in a three bedroom house, Fiona’s upbringing may have been slightly chaotic but she was well-loved and cared for. There is genuine affection as she writes of family gatherings, eccentric aunts and annoying siblings. Many of the recollections are amusing, some, like the loss of her favourite cousin in a tragic road accident, and her recent boutwith alcoholism are sad but they are experiences that have shaped her life.
We follow Fiona from her reminisces of her Catholic school days to her courtship with husband Chris, and then to her life as a young wife and mother in Australia’s outback. Fiona has five children all born quite close together and raising them was, and still is, a challenge. Fiona is candid about the mistakes she has made as a mother and the chaos a large family entails, but her love for her children is never in doubt. Fiona has faced many obstacles to build her career, her frequent absences from her home has resulted in some social criticism but I think this memoir makes clear why Fiona has pursued it and how hard she tries to ensure her family isn’t penalised for it.

Me of the Never Never isn’t a collection of jokes and one liners, it is a story of a life lived, for better and worse. That’s not to say it isn’t funny, I found myself giggling quite a lot. The book does tend to wander down a dirt track that leads no where in particular here and there but it is an easy and interesting read. If you are a fan of Fiona O’Loughlin then you are sure to enjoy this memoir.

Here is a clip of Fiona at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 2007.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mareelouise
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:31:37

    I love Fiona. I had no idea she had a book out- great. Sounds like a nice breezy read- I love how real she is.
    Thanks for the review!

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  2. Denise Imwold
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 20:29:00

    Hi Shellyrae, Enjoyed your review! I’d really like to read this one too.

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  3. shambolicliving
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 17:33:38

    She’s my favourite comedian too, I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, you’ve inspired me to go and get it next week.

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  4. bernadetteinoz
    Jan 29, 2012 @ 16:21:02

    Great to know it is a good read. It always annoyed me how she is treated by media – been drunk once or twice on tv and slammed for it – but if she had been a bloke this would have been chalked up to being a great Aussie. So unfair.

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  5. Jenny Schwartz (@Jenny_Schwartz)
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 13:31:29

    I didn’t know this book existed. I like Fiona’s humour. I’ll have look out for this! Thx ShelleyRae

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  6. Trackback: 2012 AWW Challenge Wrap-up: History, Biography, Memoir « Australian Women Writers Challenge
  7. Violet
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 14:14:13

    I read this book and was absolutely disgusted with it. Fiona O’Loughlin is no writer nor is she a comedienne. She stretches the truth to suit herself and all in all she proves herself to be a bully, a smartarse and a nasty piece of work. I wasted my hard earned money of this piece of crap she calls a book. 😦 grrrrr!!!

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  8. Trackback: 2012 AWW Challenge Wrap-up: History, Biography, Memoir | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog
  9. Trackback: Review: Truths from an Unreliable Witness by Fiona O’Loughlin | book'd out
  10. Trackback: History Memoir and Biography Round Up: November 2020 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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