Thursday, 23 June 2011

Cloudstreet - Tim Winton (1991)

For starters this is actually a book I had to read for school. Though I'm thinking I would have picked it up anyway seeing as it made the Dymock's Top 101 last year and seems to be a real up-and-coming novel. At first, the cover drew me in and I was pretty pumped to read it. Then I read the blurb and my hopes fell a little. Getting into reading it, you are confronted with a large amount of Australian slang and a lot of complex imagery. A thing that can be quite frustrating is that Winton seems to hate the old quotation marks. I think what he's trying to do is create a stream of consciousness to give the book a high degree of fluidity. But I think this can be quite hard to recognise by the reader initially. It is doubtlessly a beautifully written book.

I would certainly recommend this, and especially would recommend for it to be read twice to get the full scope of what Winton is trying to accomplish with this novel.

Also, if you're interested a three-part TV adaptation has been made.
It is the story of two vastly different families that come to live together under one roof - that being the house on Cloudstreet. The Lambs are a hard-working, Christian family that tragedy has struck. The charismatic, lovable son, Fish, nearly drowns and as a result becomes disabled. The Pickles are a family that has a strong belief in luck or the 'shifty shadow of God.' The father Sam is a gambler, and the mother Dolly an alcoholic. The characters feel a sense of resentment coming from the house throughout the novel. But when the family unite, this resentment eases.

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