Digger Kookynie Max Anderson Gold

Email: shoveller@internode.on.net




New edition of Digger out now!

In 2002 I spent six months in the West Australian goldfields learning to be a prospector. I did it the hard way, turning up in an outback town of 12 people and telling the local publican, 'I'd like to find some gold'.

I had a tent, a truck and a dog. And not a lot else. 

It was the most insane, most satisfying chapter of my life, and writing about it was an unalloyed pleasure. I'm pleased to say people who finish it are left rather more feverish than when they started. I also take some pride in the fact that Reader's Digest condensed it in four languages. Seeing the like of Truckie Ron and Lazy Les swearing in Portuguese, French and German gives me great satisfaction.

Digger is being reprinted in its Third Edition complete with 16 pages of photos and a new cover.

It's available for $30, which includes free postage within Australia. (If you're overseas, please email me at the address abovefor postage costs.) 


Reviews for Digger

“A classic adventure travel story… Anderson is an excellent writer, and brings his auriferous odyssey, with its final, almost incredible twist, to an artful conclusion.”

South China Morning Post

“An outstanding first – a compelling, effortless read, where nothing grate

s. The text builds on total immersion in a culture, and comprehensive research into its evolution… As interestingly informative as it is entertaining.”

Wanderlust, UK

“Absorbing history of an obsession.”

Publishing News, UK

“Rich with historical detail.”

Good Taste Magazine, Australia

“As much an affectionate tribute to the people Anderson met in Kookynie as it is a record of his blundering about the bush… [Anderson] has produced a warmly glowing little nugget in this good-humoured and finely observed book.”

Literary Review, UK

“A boy’s own adventure story played out on the dusty, pitted remnants of the West Australian goldfields… [Anderson] does a good line in self-deprecation, is cheerfully wry and has diligently researched Australian gold-rush history.”

Times Literary Supplement, UK

“Making real a childhood fantasy puts an almost whimsical seal on a book that is anchored in desert heat, red dust and notions of Outback.”

Canberra Times

“A remarkable story.”

Summer Days, RTE Radio 1, Ireland 

“The real motherlode he found was in chronicling the colourful characters of Kookynie – all 13 of them… A rollicking diary.”

Breakfast with Peter Thompson, ABC Radio National

“As entertaining a book as I’ve read this year. Anderson is a good listener, a keen observer, an avid researcher and a fine writer... He writes best of the complex webs of rules and etiquettes between diggers and the compulsion that drives them… The resulting account is informative, amusing and sometimes moving. You can hardly ask for more than that.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

“An engrossing tale of a one-man gold rush, with frustration and elation in roughly equal parts…”

Herald Sun, Australia






For fans of the dog, I'm sad to say she wagged her last in August 2013. Me best mate during golden days -- sorely missed.