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A Bone of Fact - David Walsh

Hardcover Published: 1st October 2014
ISBN: 9781742612911
Number Of Pages: 384

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RRP $55.00
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Product Description

David Walsh - the creator of Mona in Hobart - is both a giant and an enigma in the Australian art world. A multi-millionaire who made his money gambling, David has turned a wild vision into a unique reality; he is in turns controversial, mysterious and idolised. A Bone of Fact is his utterly unconventional and absorbing memoir, about which he says:

'By some great good fortune (mine, not yours) you hold in your hands my story, credible I think, but not extraordinary (despite what those avaricious publishers might have you believe). I have captured your attention: maybe you have some resonance with Mona, or maybe good graphical design partly seized your day. To extract 55 bucks from you I need to say something clever, but I can't think of anything.

So I'll seduce you with a tale of another, cleverer, writer. Stanislaw Lem, noted Polish science fiction author and notorious smartarse, once told an American colleague that his new collection of short stories would be published in a paper bag. This conjured a mental picture of the stories being selected by lucky dip. The idea that my life story could be told that way, without a disabling manifesto, is appealing.

Unfortunately Mr Lem had actually said 'paperback' (his meaning concealed beneath his thick accent), a wholly ordinary practice to deliver extraordinary stories. My story lacks Mr Lem's magical reality and philosophy, and it also lacks a paper bag. You should buy it anyway, if you are at least mildly curious as to why I want you to give me more money, even though I'm already rich. But if you happen to read Polish you could probably do better reading Lem. Incidentally, Polish is one of the few words that changes its pronunciation when you change the first letter from upper-case to lower-case. If you are in Natal or Nice you can probably think of another. But surely, if you are in Natal or Nice you have better things to do than lurk in bookshops. Get out of here, but take me with you. I promise to treat you nice. But not so nice that you'll need to go to a natal clinic.'

About the Author

David Walsh is a mathematician, gambler and gallery owner from Hobart.

Absolutely beautiful


I bought this book as a gift for my husband and haven't read it yet myself but he really enjoyed it. What delighted us both, and everyone else we've shown it to, is how beautiful the book is to look. The gilt edges just beg you to open it up and start reading.



Perfect Gift


Fascinating reading. Well written in a conversational style. Full of humour. So very informative and obligatory reading for anyone who wishes to visit MONA or has already done so. This is about an amazing man who gifted not only Australians but the world with an art gallery which is unique. He has singlehandedly put Hobart, Tasmania and indeed cultural Australia on the map. A must have in any home.



Is making me think! An excellent thought provoking tome


A good book to have as it sometimes refers to exotic places, this initiates some research; an insight into large scale gambling; helps understand the whole MONA comcept and is, at times, most amusing. Not a book to carry in handluggage!



The most difficult book I have ever read


The book is beautifully bound and presented however the contents are quite disappointing - at least to this average interested Tasmanian.



Uniquely individual


This is without doubt one of the most absorbing, bizarre and unique pieces of self-deprecating autobiography - of a sort - I have ever read. If you are interested in how an ostensibly normal life could transform into such rampant individualism, success and excess without ever losing sight of reality, David Walsh's 'A Bone of Fact' is priceless. Unrelentingly opinionated and self-deprecatory, this story of one man's attempts to overcome the guilt of becoming too successful at accumulating money through highly analytical gambling is witty, dry and highly informative. Walsh's style is both easy to read and all over the place at the same time.


Beautifully presented book!


Excellent service and delivery. I always have amazing results with booktopia and customer service extremely helpful

Gold coadt



4.3 6


ISBN: 9781742612911
ISBN-10: 1742612911
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st October 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 17.2  x 3.9
Weight (kg): 1.24