Book Review – The Man Who Invented Vegemite

The Man Who Invented Vegemite / Jamie Callister / Pier 9 / 2011 / ISBN 9781742668567 / 194 Pages / Biography


Book Blurb –

Today more than 22 million jars of Vegemite are sold each year, but when the salty black paste was first produced in 1923 the public wasn’t interested. In fact, it took another fifteen years and a world war before we embraced it.

The Man Who Invented Vegemite spans the Gold Rush, the Depression and two world wars and it opens a fascinating window both on the evolution of modern Australia and the quiet achievements, and tragedies, of one man. Jamie Callister sets out to learn more about the grandfather he never met and, along the way, discovers that extraordinary things can happen to (almost) ordinary people.

My Thoughts –

Have you ever wondered how Vegemite is made, or where it comes from, or whose brilliant idea was it to make the salty black paste? Well then you need to get a copy of this book. This book is not your average biography, it is more than that. It is about a man researching and learning about his grandfather and family whilst learning about Australia and what has happened since the turn of the century.

Vegemite and how it came to be is not the core of this book, it is scarcely talked about and makes you want to know more about it, but the depth of this book is more than food. It is about science, history and the world wars. It begins at the beginning and come to 2011, when the book was published. Along the way, you learn about lots of individual people and what happened to them and what they contributed to the Australia we know today.

The story follows the authors ancestors and how their life was and what they did and eventually how they died. But it is the stories of how the war started, what they did during the war and how they came to survive the way and went on to do afterwards that make the story. Who knew that Vegemite was not the hit product we all know that it is today, and that it barely made it to the shelves? Or that Kraft Cheese has anything to do with it?

This book should be read in school around Australia. It talks about the history of Australia that is fresh and new and shows a new perspective on a war that is told only from the soldiers and not scientists. The writing is excellent and very descriptive. The story flows on well, even though it kind of gets confusing as it jumps times, countries and people sometimes.

This book is a great biographical history book that shines a light on people who helped Australia become the country it is today. A story that isn’t told that often.

Get a copy if you are a fan of Australian history or Vegemite.

I give this book 3.0 out of 5 Booky Stars!

You can grab a copy of this book from links on the right-hand side of this blog.

Stick around…



3 thoughts on “Book Review – The Man Who Invented Vegemite

  1. Wow what an interesting book to read! I have indeed always wondered about its origin but never actually done some research. I’m adding this book to my ‘to read’ shelf because it sounds fascinating. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Im from the UK. I had an Australian housemate when I was at uni who lived off the stuff, I personally couldn’t stand it. You’ve still made it sound like a great read though, I might pick this up!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s