Book Review: Mining my Own Business by Xavier Toby



Note: A special thanks to UWA Publishing for providing Perth Walkabout with a copy of Mining My Own Business for review.

I first came across Xavier Toby when I caught his comedy act White Trash at the World Fringe Festival in Perth, which used humour to explore the topic of racism. You can read our review at Perth Walkabout about his White Trash comedy act and my Q&A blog post interview with him prior to his performance in Perth.

Xavier Toby has struck comedy gold again, this time with his book Mining My Own Business, about his adventures whilst working Fly in Fly out (FIFO) on a minesite somewhere in Australia. As an impoverished comedian making ends meet, Xavier is forced to take all manner of jobs to make ends meet while pursuing his passion of being a comedian. This time around he has landed a well paid admin job up in the mines which will go a long way towards getting him out of debt, but at what cost?

Xavier gets thrown into the FIFO mining environment with gusto – it’s an alien world that he explores as he learns the rope of endless safety sessions, a whole lot of piss taking by his colleagues, and sweating over a spreadsheet that could determine the fate of him and his coworkers.

His great sense of humour and ability to make you laugh shines through in the same fashion as watching him live at a comedy venue.

Xavier writes with an easy going style as he narrates the happenings and goings on at his mine site, making Mining my Own business an easy read. I burst out in parts at the hilarity of some of his stories. I loved the bit about Mums being Mums – a shout out to my Mum and all the fabulous Mums out there for their endless love and support, no matter whether we are now all grown up, we will always be kids to our Mum.

Beneath that humour, I also got an insight into what it is like to survive as a comedian, and the dedication that it takes to stay focused on your passion, when it would be just easier to throw it all in and get a well paid job. After all, isn’t that what everybody does when they grow up? Get a job? But no - Xavier is determined to follow his dream of being a comedian.

This book is a great read for anyone who is familiar with Xavier Toby – he has made a name for himself in Australian comedy circles – having performed at the Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Comedy Festival and many others. If you are new to Xavier Toby, this is a great book to get your teeth into to get an insight into the hilarities of a life as an unique Australian comedian.

It’s also a great look at the daily grind of life at a mining camp. Uniquely Australian, Xavier has done it again, digging deep into the mining psyche while adding a dash of comedy.

Mining My Own Business by Xavier Toby is available from Perth based publisher UWA Publishing

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Nita Teoh pens her passion for Perth at Perth Walkabout. For more reviews on books by Australian authors,

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