Reader's opinion: I have read this twice with care, attention and enjoyment. Its knowledgeable, witty iconoclasm is very much in sympathy with Donald Friend's own spirit - though it is certainly no puff! The extracts from the Journals fade in and out without rough edges and the re-tellings of some of the artist's characteristic tales of exotic places are high points in the book. The life story, with its social background in many parts of the world, is very well done and Donald's original personality comes through loud and clear. John Olsen writes: Donald Friend has dazzled the stage of Australian art for well over a decade. He has produced work of high professional excellence in an artistic climate that has inherited much of the English love for the amateur. The brilliant and ebullient Friend has been not only a draughtsman and painter of great distinction but also is well known for the incisive satire of his published journals. His very epicurean attitude to art makes Friend a rarity in the antipodean art world, where the professional is frequently suspected or derided by a public somewhat divided between provincial dilettantism and puritan smugness. (Inside cover)
Hardie Collection copy no. 1 is signed by the artist; Hardie Collection copy no. 2 has insciptions by Donald Friend, Robert Hughes and John Olsen, and an original sketch by Donald Friend tipped-in.
Bibliography: p. 113-114.