The Changi Camera – includes an account of the exploits of George Aspinall who succeeded in taking clandestine photographs while a POW in Changi and while working as a slave labourer on the Thai/Burma Railway in World War Two. The shadowy images taken and processed at great personal risk by this teenaged Australian soldier on the railway remain the only photographic evidence of the skeletal condition of the starved and sick Australians forced to work by their Japanese captors until they dropped and died. Originally published by William Collins and the ABC in 1984 as Changi Photographer, The Changi Camera has been re-published by Hachette Australia with a new essay by author Tim Bowden on the experiences of Australian prisoners of war of the Japanese who passed through Changi on their way to work camps in Thailand, Burma, Borneo and Japan over three-and-a-half excruciatingly difficult years. The Changi Camera will be published on 1 October 2012, and will be available in all good bookstores.
The Changi Camera is available on this website for the discount price of $31.00 PLUS $12 postage and handling within Australia. See order form below.
One Crowded Hour- Neil Davis, Combat Cameraman. This best selling biography of Neil Davis was first published in 1987 by William Collins and is still in print. Neil Davis covered front line combat in the Indo Chinia War for an action-packed eleven years. Davis brought enduring images of the horror of modern war directly from the battlefront to the world’s television screens. He was the only western cameraman to film with the South Vietnamese army and once actually managed to cross over battle lines to film with the Viet Cong. Davis also covered the war in Cambodia and Laos. His most memorable scoop was to take the only film of the North Vietbnamese Tank 843 smashing down the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon – the symbolic moment of the end of the war. Ironically in September 1985, having survived so much war, Neil Davis was killed while filming an attempted coup in the streets of Bangkok. Incredibly his still-running camera captured his own death. This book tells the life story of this remarkable and complex man – a legendary gambler who often relied on his intuitive sixth sense to stay alive, and who was equally at home with presidents and street beggars.
There are a limited number of these books available from this website for $25.00 including postage. See order form at the bottom of this page.
The Way My Father Tells It – The Story of an Australian Life. This engaging family story describes my father John Bowden’s growing up in the Hobart of 1910 – 1920, with the enthusiasms, joys and sorrows of childhood and adolescence, and follows the fortunes of a young man setting up in business for himself, falling in love and marrying, going to war and returning to Tasmania to establish a family life. It is filled with wry charm and self-effacing humour and is a wonderful evocation of an Australia now changed beyond recognition. Author Tim Bowden commented: ‘It isn’t easy to reminisce, alone, into a tape reorder. Yet that is what I asked my father, John Bowden to do in the late 1980s. I suggested that he should not only record our family history, but reflect on a life that embraced almost the entire twentieth century. Then in 1998, father ‘woke up dead’ in his own bed, in his own house (which he never wanted to leave), not long after adding a postscript – a final chapter on his long life.’ First published by ABC Books 1989.
Available through this website for $35.00 including postage. See order form at the bottom of this page.
The Backchat Book, summarising the best of five years of BACKCHAT from listeners letters, illustrated by the original cartoons for the program by John Paice and Verdun Morcomb. Published by ABC Books in 1990.
Out of print
Antarctica And Back In Sixty Days. Tim Bowden first visited and fell in love with Antarctica in January-February 1989 for the first time. This very personal account of that first trip south is tempered with a well-honed sense of the absurd, as he introduced his readers to the varied personalities and eccentricities of life on board the resupply ship Icebird. He describes the danger and excitement of travel to this continent of vast and overwhelming beauty. And coaxes frank and often moving memories from the most recident of his fellow travellers. Since that first voyage, Tim Bowden has visited Antyarctica a total of eight times. His six-part television series Breaking the Ice continues to receive accolades. His account of the voyage was first published by ABC Books in September, 1991, and later by Allen & Unwin in 1999.
Antarctica And Back In Sixty Days is now reprinted and available from this website for $30.00 including postage.
The Silence Calling – Australians in Antarctica, 1947-97. This jubilee history of ANARE (Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions) took four years to research and write. Published in June 1997 by Allen & Unwin, this history of Australian achievements in Antarctica became a best-seller.
Out of print
Penelope Goes West – On the Road from Sydney to Margaret River and Back. The first of four Penelope books (Penelope is the name of the Bowdens’ Series 80 Landcruiser 4WD ‘as to travel in her was to be truly to the manor born’). Tim and Ros share their travels to the south-west region of Western Australia in high summer. It was only natural that their journey would be as much about the rich history of the early explorers as the travels and joys of the gypsy nomatic life. Crossing the Nullarbor on roughly the same track taken by the courageous young explorer Edward John Eyre, and following the coast in the wake of the admirable Matthew Flinders, Tim kept a diary of his and Ros’ two month journey. The result is an engrossing travel tale that takes you from Sydney to the far southwest of Western Australia and back. Told with Tim Bowden’s wry humour and love of a good yarn, Penelope Goes West brings vividly to life the dramatic stories of pioneer explorers, tales of bush life today, and the many ups (and occasional down) of life on the road. Published by Allen & Unwin in 1998 and 2000.
Happily this book is now back in print and can be ordered on this website. Follow the Continue Reading link above and scroll down to the Order Form.
Penelope Bungles to Broome.
We were completely unprepared for the magnificence of the gallery suddenly revealed. A shiver ran up my spine as I saw for the first time the great white Wandjina spirit figures, two and three times larter than human scale.
So begins Tim Bowden’s fascination with rarely seen Aboriginal rock art, a major theme in this book detailing the Bowdens’ continuing love affair with Australia. On this journey Tim & Ros Bowden explore the Kimberley by land and sea, where dramatic twelve-metre tides guard coastal ocations unchanged by time – still as the seventeenth century buccaneer William Dampier first desribed them. For three months, Tim and Ros and their trusty four-wheel-drive, Penelope, travelled from the improbably sculptured Bungle Bungles to the Pilbara and the wildflower-filled Mid West. Bowden’s enthusiasm for history is infectious, and this book is peppered with great stories of present and past, ill-fated setllements and expeditions, tragic tourist deaths and the grandeur of Australia’s intriquing, spectacular north-west. Published by Allen & Unwin in 2001 and 2002.
This book now back in print and can be ordered from this website.
Spooling Through – An Irreverent Memoir. In this autobiography, published in 2003, Tim Bowden – never one to take himself too seriously – writes about a career in radio and television that took him overseas to work with the BBC, and later as a foreign correspondent for the ABC in South-east Asia (during the Vietnam war) and in North America. From playing tunes on his teeth live on national radio, to his days on the ground-breaking This Day Tonight and his regular encounters with Mavis Frizzletit on the much loved ABC-TV program Backchat, he has lived by the golden rule of broadcasting – thou shalt not bore. In this cheeky, larrikin and gloriously irreverent memoir, Tim Bowden spins the yarn of his life. Just how did the eater young cadet journalist from Tasmania take on the world to become a foreign correspondent in Southeast Asia and North America and one of the ABC’s most distinguished television and radio producers? Spooling Through has it all: romance, high adventure and a wonderfully eccentric cast of characters, but most of all it has Tim Bowden’s wry, infectious humour. He will, of course, leave you wanting more. First published by Allen & Unwin in 2003 and 2004.
Available through this website for $35.00 including postage. See order details at the bottom of this page.
No Tern Unstoned – Musings at Breakfast. When Peter Thompson compered Radio National’s Breakfast Program in the early 1990s he regarded Tim Bowden as ‘a larrikin… an endangered species… Tim makes me laugh out loud’. This book is compiled from Tim’s Friday morning musings on a variety of topics or pet hates, like over-loud music in restaurants and pubs, to beach fishing, bad poetry, vexations letters, demented pigeons and management jargon. Published in 2004.
Available through this website for $25.00 including postage. See order details at the bottom of this page.
The Devil In Tim – Penelope’s Travels in Tasmania. Ros and Tim Bowden took to the road in the late summer of 2004 in their trusty 4WD Penelope, towing their camper The Manor, to explore Tim’s home state of Tasmania and meet some fascinating Tasmanians. In this cheeky and warm rediscovery of Tasmania and its at-times dark history, Tim and his wife Ros explore some of the quirkier outposts of island civilisation (stopping at a winery or three along the way) and travel through landscapes of incomparable beauty and devastating desolation. With a cast of characters as memorable as they are eccentric, The Devil in Tim is a generous portrait of the island and its fiercely proud people. First published in 2005 and 2008 by Allen & Unwin.
Available through this website for $30.00 including postage. See order details at the bottom of this page.
This Can’t Happen To Me! – Tackling Type 2 Diabetes.
Diabetes is out of control – it’s the world’s fastest growing chronic disease. In Australia alone, more than 1500 people are diagnosed every week and diabetes is the sixth highest contributing cause of death. The majority of Australians with diabetes – 90 per cent – have Type 2 diabetes. That’s the bad hews but, as author, broadcaster and raconteur Tim Bowden found, there is also good news. Eating healthy foods which are low in saturated fats, having more fruit and vegetables, being physically more active and cutting down on alcohol can help to delay or prevent the onset of debilitating complications and a premature death. This Can’t Happen to Me! was Tim’s incredulous reaction when his doctor diagnosed him with Type 2 diabetes during a routine medical check up. Diabetes was something that other people had, not him. But Tim had to get used to it, and quickly. Here he shares everything he learnt, from mastering the daily blood glucose level testing to ways of changing diet and lifestyle. Tim speaks to other people with Type 2 diabetes, both well-known names and ordinary people, and their stories are included. Some are managing well but others have their heads in the sand where their health is concerned. Tim also interviews doctors, dieticians and specialists to pass on as much information and support as possible. Written in Tim Bowden’s friendly, informative and accessible style, This Can’t Happen to Me! is invaluable not only for those with Type 2 diabetes,’ their families, carers and health professionals, but for all of us at risk of developing this insidious, deadly disease. Published by Allen & Unwin in July 2004.
Available through this website for $25.00 including postage. See order details at the bottom of this page.
Aunty’s Jubilee! – Celebrating 50 Years of ABC-TV. Written in collaboration with television archivist and researcher Wendy Borchers, this illustrated hard-cover book surveys the programs, personalities and politics – ABC and Federal – of fifty years of television on the national broadcaster from its opening from temporary studios in Sydney on 5 November 1956. Published in October 2006 by ABC Books.
Out of print
Down Under in the Top End – Penelope Heads North. This fourth book in the ‘Penelope’ series details a journey from New South Wales, Queensland and the Gulf Country and on to Darwin via Kakadu. The return journey includes Kings Canyon, Uluru and the Olgas, Alice Springs, Cooper Pedy, Maree, Arkaroola and Broken Hill. Tim Bowden loves a good yarn. He also loves travelling with his wife Ros, their four-wheel drive Penelope and camping trailer, and setting up camp under bush skies. In Down Under in the Top End, Tim he combines all three to take us on one of the world’s great road trips, from Australia’s east coast to the Top End and into the heart of the outback. Told with wry humour, an infectious enthusiasm for history and a nose for finding great storties, Tim lays bare the hardships of bush life and celebrates the freedoms of being on the road. He takes us to a pub with no beer at Gregory Downs, has us paddling a kayak between the red granit cliffs of Lawn Hill Gorge, teases us with the pleasures of being an overnight guest in Darwin’s Government House and leaves us wondering what a statuesque and topless German tourist was doing striding down the Stuart Highway. And all along the way, he introduces us to characters only the outback could throw up, fellow travellers and extroadinary tales of exploration and unexpected immigration. With Tim Bowden as your guide, Down Under in the Top End will have you packing your bags, putting your belongings into storage and taking to the road. Published by Allan & Unwin in 2008.
Available through this website for $35.00 including postage. See order details below.
- ABANDONED AT FOSSIL BLUFF – A remarkable account of Antarctic survival
- OBITUARIES – MY, HOW THEY’VE CHANGED…
- SCRABBLE – OBSESSION OR NECESSITY?
- STUBBORN BUGGERS – The survivors of the infamous POW gaol that made Changi look like heaven
- PART ONE – NAGASE TAKASHI, A SINGULAR JAPANESE
- PART TWO – ERIC LOMAX & NAGASE TAKASHI
- PART THREE – THE MEETING WITH NAGASE
- PART FOUR – SEEING THE MOVIE ‘THE RAILWAY MAN’
- ODDMENTS 1
- Dame Edna’s Last Fond Farewell Tour
- Antarctica And Back in Sixty Days
- Bashing The Poor Old ABC
- BackChat Remembered
- Amundsen Centenary Celebrations 2
- Quaking and Shaking in En Zed
- Amundsen Centenary Celebrations 1
- Scott the Clot?
- Conversation With Richard Hughes
- No Tern Unstoned
- Down Under In The Top End