After a decade spent on the road, renowned travel writer Brendan Shanahan is back with Mr Snack and the Lady Water, a collection of darkly funny and unexpected travel writing.

In the title piece, Shanahan embarks on what is supposed to be a luxury cruise down the Yangtze River, only to find himself on a three-day endurance test aboard a leaking barge on China’s Yangtze River in the company of a mysterious roommate, a pair of neurotic American spinsters and a thousand baseball-capped tourists. Other stories include his sight-unseen, online purchase of a house in Las Vegas, his brief career in Bollywood and a mediation on white guilt in post-apartheid South Africa.

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Shanahan’s previous book, In Turkey I Am Beautiful, was released to rave reviews. The Sydney Morning Herald described it as “laugh out loud funny”. The Independent weekly said, “Shanahan has a style that recalls David Sedaris or the funny gay nephew of Bill Bryson.” The Sun Herald called it one of the “greatest travel books ever” and it was voted top ten in Radio Australia’s end-of-year poll.

Mr Snack is a different beast, but the wit is, if anything, even more pronounced. Road-soiled and a touch deviant, Shanahan’s account of his ‘lost years’ are a comic master class, essential reading for anyone who has ever woken up in a strange bed or just stared at themselves in a hotel mirror at 3 am and asked ‘Where am I?’


“Eccentric and darkly hilarious. I’d read anything Shanahan wrote, but I’d never travel with him anywhere.”

Annabel Crabb



“I loved this book so much I’m thinking of Killing Brendan and just pretending this all happened to me.”

Wil Anderson



“Mr Snack is a riot of a book. Nothing escapes Shanahan’s curiosity or pungent turns of phrase. He’ll make you laugh so hard, you’ll suspect you’ve acquired permanent brain damage.”

Benjamin Law