The Crate Escape by Brian Robson

I discovered The Crate Escape by Brian Robson when I saw an interview with him. When I heard that a guy shipped himself from Australia to UK in a crate because he had no money for a place on board I knew I wanted to read the book. Luckily I found it at the library. This short book is a memoir in which he talks about his life before leaving for Australia, his experience in Australia, and, of course, the crate escape. This happened in the early 1960s.

The Crate Escape by Brian Robson

The story is bonkers. He left UK for Australia with a government incentive. It was interesting to read about Australian’s government initiative to get Brits to work in Australia, without the need for passports, meaning that they were stuck in the country, without even properly assessing them. A couple of hours talk with an 18-year old who doesn’t even know where Australia is on the map is not exactly proper assessment.

Brian came from a dysfunctional family, so he had a good incentive to leave. He founded himself in Australia, which is not exactly a spoiler to say that he hated so much. He was 19 but could not get any job, as some were hiring men over 20 for some reason.

While I found the story interesting, I didn’t like him at all. He gets involved in cheque fraud and has no work ethic at all. At 18-19 this might be understandable at some point, but not as an elderly looking back 60 years or so. He seems to think that everyone owes him something. He has no remorse, no sense of what is right or wrong, which at 19 can be put down to his upbringing, but at 76, when he wrote the book, it’s quite a different matter. Some jokes were funny, but it got too much after a while. So, I would have give 1-2 stars, but raised it to 3 because the story was so unusual.

The Crate Escape by Brian Robson

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 3/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes-ish
Published by: Austin Macauley Publishers
Year it was published: 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Memoir
Pages: 186

About the author: Brian Robson was born in Wales in 1945. He emigrated to Australia as a 19 year old to work in the railways. He spent most of his life travelling and living in various countries throughout Europe and South East Asia.
Website & Social Media Links: –

5 thoughts on “The Crate Escape by Brian Robson”

  • I agree that the story sounds interesting, but everything you said about the author totally turns me off from reading it, short or not. Just too many other books clamoring for my attention.
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  • An interesting story for sure, but it sounds as though Brian is just a bit of a ‘waster’. I’m sure that the Australians would have taken complete advantage of a work scheme like that, in the same way as they accepted all our convicts and children, as a source of cheap (slave) labour. However there are plenty of people who got stuck in and made a go of the opportunity, as things were not much better for many in this country! Still, if the book was quite short, then it probably passed a few hours of harmless fun, although I think would have been itching to get stuck into reading something a bit more substantial. Happy Reading! 🙂

    • Exactly, he could have tried to see it as an opportunity, especially as he left the country just before his 20th birthday, which would have allowed him to get a more rewarding and interesting job. You are right, it was short enough to keep my interest even if I wasn’t too keen on some parts of the story.

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