The Last Lighthouse Keeper
John Cook with Jon Bauer
Allen & Unwin
A beautiful memoir from John Cook, one of Tasmania’s last kerosene lighthouse keepers. A story about madness and wilderness, shining a light onto the vicissitudes of love and nature.
‘John Cook’s ripping life story exposes Tasmania’s old kero-fuelled lighthouses: relentless physically and emotionally demanding labour, done under the often cruel vagaries of nature. Noble work that can ultimately redeem a lost soul. Or break them.’ – Matthew Evans
I loved the life of the island, because I knew my body was more alive than it was on the mainland. People asked how we stood the isolation and boredom, but in some ways, it was more stimulating to have your senses turned up.
In Tasmania, John Cook is known as ‘The Keeper of the Flame’. As one of Australia’s longest-serving lighthouse keepers, John spent 26 years tending Tasmania’s well-known kerosene ‘lights’ at Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island and Bruny Island.
From sleepless nights keeping the lights alive, battling the wind and sea as they ripped at gutters and flooded stores, raising a joey, tending sheep and keeping ducks and chickens, the life of a keeper was one of unexpected joy and heartbreak. But for John, nothing was more heartbreaking than the introduction of electric lights, and the lighthouses that were left empty forever.
Evocatively told, The Last Lighthouse Keeper is a love story between a man and a dying way of life, as well as a celebration of wilderness and solitude.
**What an incredible life story unfolds in these pages! Today, thanks to the generous people at Allen & Unwin I have 3 copies of The Last Lighthouse Keeper to giveaway ( toAustralian residents only) in the comments answer me this: where did the Keeper of the Flame work? Entries close 15th September 2020**
I absolutely adore lighthouse stories! The answers is Tasman Island
Good luck Carolyn – it sounds like a fabulous read
Winner winner please check your emails
Sounds fabulous. The Keeper of the Flamer worked at Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island and Bruny Island.
Winner winner – please check your emails Malvina
How fabulously exciting! Thankyou so much!
Wow, what a generous giveaway 😀 good luck everyone!
Thank you for this! John worked on Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island, and Bruny Island.
Your welcome Michael – heard great things about this book – good luck
Winner Winner – please check your emails Michael.
Thank you so much, Carol! And congratulations to Malvina and Carolyn!
Tasman Island, Maatsuyker Island and Bruny Island. Sounds wonderful!
Sounds like my kind of book having just visited the wonderful souther coast of Tasmania on our yacht and by small boat. It’s magnificent and those early lighthouse keepers were tough men and women 🙂
I am sure you would enjoy this one Helene