The Eyeball End
‘I lit another cigarette and murmured m’rock’m m’roll.’
So begins a decade-long descent into worlds far removed from the comfort of middle-class Australia. Beginning with an acid-fuelled night in the Kimberley, the first decade of the 21st century sees Ali MC travelling the globe in an attempt to understand the forgotten corners of the world.
Although he is beaten and shot at along the way, Ali encounters some of the most enduring stories the so-called Third World can produce. The Eyeball End steps away from the safety net of well-worn travel guides, taking the reader on a unique and challenging journey into the human condition.
The cover of The Eyeball End features the iconic image of a Biafran soldier taken in 1968 by legendary British photojournalist Don McCullin.
Praise for The Eyeball End by Ali MC
‘An account of about 10 years of travel all around the world, [The Eyeball End] belongs to the genre of travel writing but is much else besides. Ali MC was not the sort of twenty-something to go to the regular destinations favoured by young people looking to stretch their boundaries. Instead, feeling pretty downcast about his humdrum middle-class life in Melbourne, Ali’s awareness that the great majority of humanity was doing it far worse set him on a journey towards greater understanding.
‘Each of the chapters looks at a different and challenged (politically, economically, and usually spiritually as well) part of the world: Rwanda, Burma, Lebanon, and Haiti, to name a few. There’s also a decidedly unsettling chapter set in the backstreets of Derby in the Kimberley region which brings issues closer to home to light.
‘I was really impressed by Ali’s courage, often putting himself in quite uncomfortable (and sometimes hair-raising) situations in his hunger for knowledge. His reportage is invariably involving and moving, and conveys some pretty uncomfortable truths about the way a large portion of the world’s population lives today. Entertaining as well as empathetic.’ Martin Shaw
‘In The Eyeball End, regardless of all the dire circumstances encountered, it is the bluntness, the mixture of self-doubt and the guilt that give this book a humorist perspective. In moments of despair – from the brutal beatings in Vietnam, to the height of spiritual growth in search of a valuable stone that provides metaphysical healing in Tanzania – the tension soars to an unforgettable climax. It’s a journey of discomfort and lasting, memorable moments. I have never felt more disappointed than when I flipped the page to find the book had come to an end.’ Abe Nouk