> Skip to content

In perhaps his boldest and most personal novel, Tom Keneally explores the journeys of modern Australians alongside the imagined story of ancient Learned Man whose remains were discovered in Western NSW decades ago.

Learned Man is the child of humankind as we know it; of those who are thought to have travelled from the Rift Valley in Africa and to ancient Australia.


Shelby Apple is an acclaimed documentary-maker. After making films about Learned Man’s discovery, in Vietnam and back home in the Northern Territory, Shelby turns his sights on Eritrea. He thinks this embattled society might represent a new cognitive leap, one that will reconcile our tenderness and our savagery, our reason and our emotions.

Shelby sees the world through the lens of his camera; Learned Man through the lens of his responsibility under law. Both men are well aware that their landscape comes to them from elders and ancestors. They are each willing to die and, in a sense, kill for their secret crafts.

Two Old Men Dying is an exquisite exploration of community and country, love and mortality.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143785415

    October 29, 2018

    Vintage Australia

    352 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780143785439

    October 29, 2018

    Random House Australia

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo