The Land Before Avocado, Book Review


A funny and frank look at the way Australia used to be – and just how far we have come.

‘It was simpler time’. We had more fun back then’. ‘Everyone could afford a house’.

There’s plenty of nostalgia right now for the Australia of the past, but what was it really like?

In The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover takes a journey to an almost unrecognisable Australia. It’s a vivid portrait of a quite peculiar land: a place that is scary and weird, dangerous and incomprehensible, and, now and then, surprisingly appealing.

It’s the Australia of his childhood. The Australia of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Let’s break the news now: they didn’t have avocado.

It’s a place of funny clothing and food that was appalling, but amusingly so. It is also the land of staggeringly awful attitudes – often enshrined in law – towards anybody who didn’t fit in.

The Land Before Avocado will make you laugh and cry, feel angry and inspired. And leave you wondering how bizarre things were, not so long ago.

Most of all, it will make you realise how far we’ve come – and how much further we can go.


This book started out well, reminding us a little of our childhoods.  A time when our parents wouldn’t let us leave the dinner table or have dessert till we’d eaten ALL our vegetables!  However, it started to lose our attention a little in the middle. 

It is a very well researched book, with lots of interesting facts and knowledge and even laws that have been introduced within our lifetimes that we had assumed had always been; like millennial’s who believe there was always avocado and outdoor seating at cafes. 

An interesting read that we would recommend for those who have listened to Richard Glover on the radio or read his previous books.

Read by Cultcha Club, 6/10