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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  500 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Meet Eleanor Rigby: tiny, blind and left behind. Led by her zealous, overprotective guide dog, Warren, she courses constantly through the places she knows. Tired, mired and sequestered from the world, Eleanor can’t shirk the feeling she’s going nowhere slowly. Until, of course, she recognises something in the sound of Ewan Dempsey, reclusive and compulsive maker and player ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Fremantle Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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Shirley Marr
I once heard a radio advert (trying to pimp some pumped-up, testosterone activity no doubt) "define" boring as going to see some art house film where (deep trailer man voice) "he was a hermit who lived in a caravan... she was a bowls champion who liked cats..." Rhubarb is about a man with agrophobia who obsessively makes cellos in his shed and a blind woman with an obsessive, overweight guide-dog called Warren. A woman called Eleanor Rigby. Yes, like the Beatles song.

The last time I was this te
Oct 10, 2012 Reynje rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reynje by: Eleanor Rigby

“..against your will it would make you think of just how much of your day comprised simply missing things. Just how much eluded you. Just how many kicks you were behind the play. Unravelled, you would entertain these thoughts. You would be sitting with a guide dog and a slipped guard. And ambivalence. Eleanor Rigby, the girl who kept Distance above all, would feel excluded.”

Rhubarb is the book I never knew I wanted to read – all the makings of a favourite, here all along in a title I’d repeate
I think I will be forever in love with the paragraphs on pages 36 and 37. I've never read aloud to other adults before but these few paragraphs had me compelled to, despite (or perhaps due to?) recent events that had me doubting the necessity to ever speak out loud again.
"She imagined it. A Place....and if Happy Ness was a Place, then there must be other Places too. Like Cold Ness. And Wet Ness. Quiet Ness..." the whole page thereafter is just pure gold to me. I will read and re-read and re-rea
Sep 05, 2013 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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I stayed up til 1:00 a.m. last night to finish this book - not because I couldn't put it down, but because it had become so disjointed that I was hoping for some explanation to make the agonising last few chapters worth it. Alas I was to be disappointed ...

And I wonder, am I not alone in not knowing what happened to make Ewan so reclusive - and was he agoraphobic or did he just hate people and interacting with people? And why/how did he get to be like this? Was Eleanor truly physically blind, or
I had read Jasper Jones and adored it so thought that I would try another by Craig Silvey. This had little of the charm of Jasper Jones and I did not particularly care about the characters. There is an element of poetry in the writing style that is pleasing. I felt a little beaten about the head with 'rhubarb' by this book as it becomes a metaphor for, well, everything.
No doubt there will be others who love this book and kudos to them, I'm am simply not in that group of readers.
Yvette Adams
I was excited to read this cos I LOVED Jasper Jones, but I just didn't like this. I didn't particularly like the characters, I didn't like the storytelling... I'm sure some people love this book and think it's very poetic. It's just not for me.
Yazarın anlatımından mıdır çeviriden midir bilmiyorum ama berbattı. Bitsin de kurtulayım diye okudum resmen. Zaman ve para kaybı.
Berbattı... Edebi yönünü hiç söyleyemiyorum.
Yalnız çeviren kişi de de olabilir sorun.
Barbs Lodge
Disappointing effort after his first book Jasper Jones which was totally fabulous!
Absolutely fantastic. Quirky and best imagery I have seen for some years
Glenn George
Having thoroughly enjoyed Jasper Jones, I had high hopes for Rhubarb. I liked the characters, and the main plot line, but felt the writing lacked cohesion. Its multi-voiced narrative did not meld well together to flow. There were also many seemingly pointless side stories which slowed the pace.
I don't know what "rare moment if caprice" made Silvey refuse to use dialogue punctuation, but it made the novel harder to follow.
There were many elements of character where the audience is unsure of the c
Rhubarb is Craig Silvey’s first full-length novel. The main characters are the quirky Eleanor Rigby, a petite blind 21 year-old who lives with her reclusive mother, Estelle; and the equally reclusive Ewan Dempsey, aged 23, agoraphobic, maker and player of cellos. Eleanor is ably led by her guide dog Warren (who wishes he had a better name than a habitat for rabbits). Warren guides her by day and guards her by night, but can’t guide her in her Dreams. Eleanor is always on the move through the pla ...more
This is a book filled with despairing, lonely people ("aah, look at all the lonely people ..."), but strangely enough I never felt like it utterly despaired - there was always life and hope in it, and I felt charmed by the characters of Eleanor and Ewan and lovable guide-dog Warren, and delighted by the humorous pair of possums and cranky Hermit crab. This is one of those books that demands a second reading, owing to the often rather confusing writing style (I also found it a bit difficult keepi ...more
Dianne Marshall
I read this book because it was highly recommended to me and because I live in Fremantle where it is set. I struggled with it initially because of it's abstract quality and posted that I didn't love it. Perhaps I still don't but I would recommend it. The book reminded me of a scratchy charcoal drawing which up close makes no sense at all but when you move away from it you begin to see the shapes as it comes into focus. The reason I would recommend it is that it's very 'Freo'. The characters are ...more
Apr 26, 2008 Melsha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tim Winton fans
Recommended to Melsha by: ebay !
This lyrical and beautifully written book reads like an autumn day - not too hot and not too cold. The characters are well drawn and likeable. The setting of Fremantle is great but it could be set anywhere. The story of blind girl, Eleanor Rigby and the reclusive cellist Ewan, is at once a love story, a friendship and a telling of how they came to be as and where they are.
For a debut novel it is exceptional. The style of writing is more prosaic than your standard newstand paperback. Perhaps Cra
A story of two misfits, one who is blind and isolated, not only by her blindness, and one who is isolated by his agoraphobia. It's messy, sweet and painful, with hints of hurtful and traumatic abuse in their histories. Beautifully written, once you get used to the style, with totally enthralling descriptions of Fremantle in the background.
My first book of 2012 was chosen with high hopes. I loved Jasper Jones primarily because the voices of the teenage boys were clear, quirky and quite charming. None of these qualities applied to the two main characters in Rhubarb. It was a chore to finish. The foibles of blind Eleanor and agoraphobic Ewan were tedious, rather than charmingly quirky. Too much magic realism for me as I tried to puzzle through time slips and segues into the lives of strange 'townsfolk'. As this was Craig Silvey's fi ...more
Peri Kitapları
Kitabı gördüğünüz yerde kaçın:) kitap okumak bu kadar da sıkıcı bir şey değildi dememek için (Çemberin Dışındakiler) kurgusu olmayan, kopuk anlatımlı, saçma kitap tek yıldızı bile haketmiyor!
Two words: winsome bitches. Also, this book hands down holds the record for the many instances of the word 'fart'.

I've wanted to read this ever since the day I fell in love with Jasper Jones. I once fan-girl emailed Craig Silvey to congratulate him on the Printz honor, I'm a dork.

First 5/6th of the book? 5+ stars.
The last 1/6th? 2. I just flat out don't know about that ending.

I wanted more answers, and less manic descriptions of actions.

But, on the whole, for a first novel, I can
This is the first time I've read Craig Silvey and I'm hooked. It is highly intelligent, highly confusing, had a repetitive 'beat' to it, and was 'laugh-out-loud' funny in some parts. It took me a bit to get used to his unusual style of writing, but once I did, as I said, I was hooked. Loved it.
I really liked this book. It is a beautiful story of two people, Eleanor who is blind, and Ewan, the reclusive cello maker and player, who identify things in each other which they are missing in themselves - Eleanor is drawn by the wonderful music that Ewan creates, and Ewan, Eleanor's positive view on life and handling of her blindness. The writing style is both challenging but engaging, and I had to keep reading to discover the history behind these two characters as well as the other supportin ...more
We all loved jasper jones & it's understandable you feel the need to delve into silvey's debut. Good luck maybe you'll find something in there I missed. A chore.
A beautifully written story which I just had to re-read. The author's description of the characters (Ewan and Eleanor) is so warm and accurate, down to the finest detail. I think he makes the reader feel true empathy and you just want them to be happy together. I especially appreciated some of the quirky little characters when I read it for the second time (crazy crab and possums). There's a sense of reality to this book which is hard to describe; almost like you're there experiencing the lives ...more
Book Bazaar
A cleverly constructed and well written story with very distinctive voices. I loved Craig's second book, Jasper Jones, so I had to get a copy of this debut novel. The two novels are very different - this one has an almost post modern feel due to the structure and the clever word play, but I definitely enjoyed this. An intense read with unusual characters and wonderful, unusual descriptions. I think I still like Jasper Jones more, but this novel is definitely worth a read - I give it 4 stars!
Shirley Evans
I enjoyed Jasper Jones and had high hopes for Rhubarb. The Sydney Morning Herald promised "A sheer joy" , The WestAustralian said " both sad and hilarious"and the Melbourne Weekly said "written with wry humour - often hilarious". Well some of it was a bit funny in a heavy handed exaggerated way, I was not moved by the characters' problems and was glad to finish. I will say Craig Silvey has a wonderful way with words but they did not add up to a wonderful read.
I read this book a while ago but loved it because it was so original. The eccentric characters are funny, tragic and frustrating all at the same time. In a round about way, this is a love story, and they struggle so much to get it together. Another part of the charm of this book is the beautiful and familiar setting, Fremantle. I'm not ashamed to admit that the last scene made me cry...
Jacquie South
A very different love story. A story in the main about loss. Just about every character in the story is dealing with loss to a greater or lesser extent, but to the main characters the losses have been so great as to make them unable to function normally. The story deals with how they begin to come to terms with their losses. Powerfully written and quite moving, a recommended read.
I thought that Silvey's style of writing was charming, but I lacked any attraction to the characters which made me find myself very bored. I also kept wondering where was the story going and what was it's purpose that I soon gave up half way through the book.
I hear Jasper Jones is a much better book of his and will put it on my to-read list to compare.
Loved the familiar setting of Fremantle and the voices. Could almost visualize the characters and I certainly could see in my mind where they were located in space. Original story line that left me reading quickly to see how it would all end. A few sections were a little difficult to follow but did not detract from my overall enjoyment very much.
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Craig Silvey is an Australian novelist and musician. Silvey grew up on an orchard at Dwellingup in the south-west of Western Australia. He currently lives in Fremantle.

His debut novel, Rhubarb, was published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press in 2004. In 2005 Silvey was named as one of The Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists. Rhubarb was selected as the inaugural book for the 'One Book' serie
More about Craig Silvey...
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