An absolutely fabulous young persons story very much enjoyed by this not so young reader. Beautiful flow of words. Incredibly descriptive phrases. AbsAn absolutely fabulous young persons story very much enjoyed by this not so young reader. Beautiful flow of words. Incredibly descriptive phrases. Absolutely cries out to be read aloud to let the words flow off the tongue, roll around in the mouth, tickle the taste buds and burst on the ears. I read it silently and then had to re-read it to myself out loud for the pleasure of the sounds and story. I hope many many many families continue to share this story, around a campfire, sitting together on a lounge, laying down at story time, anywhere.... Enjoy ...more
My goodness, I have just realised I began reading this book in January and it has taken me two months to read. Please fellow readers do not be at allMy goodness, I have just realised I began reading this book in January and it has taken me two months to read. Please fellow readers do not be at all put off by this long duration, it is due entirely to the nature of the book and my personal response to it. Each section I read had to be read, mulled over, considered and processed. So it is from respect for the story and the writer that I took so long. This is as one other reader said a "warts and all modern Australian story". It is in some parts extremely harrowing to read. Stan Grant has a very clear and insightful journalistic mind and he tells his and his family's life story very clearly. It is possibly the first story of growing up within modern Australia as an Aborigine written by a man and he does tell his own story and his family history step by step. This was written of a time pre The Apology and pre the NT Intervention and I really hope Stan Grant writes a second book encompassing these areas and more. Truly a book I hope that every Australian does read. ...more
Absolutely enjoyable, once I got past the first half dozen pages that was setting the scene and I was feeling like I was reading a Famous Five book agAbsolutely enjoyable, once I got past the first half dozen pages that was setting the scene and I was feeling like I was reading a Famous Five book again, especially as we were introduced to the young female character Selina. The 2 young boys and the older brother were described as doing exciting and adventurous things and the heroes in the making, a bit of annoying gender bias that comes from this book being published in 1972. Personal gripe, I nearly screamed aloud each time Selina had to set the table and do the dishes while the boys roamed free, but that is this die-hard feminist mind in action, I was screaming out loud in person in1972 and earlier about such inequalities in a young girls life.
To the story, mystical and cheeky and slightly creepy beings living under Sydney. Creatures who have been there for 10s of 1000s of years. Animals wandering the city, magicians and crooked businessmen, how could you not be enthralled. And what a weaver of a tale was Patricia Wrightson, wow. I made a note as I read, that it was clever, clever social commentary on business, the environment and politics and that nothing had changed from the 70s until today.
I enjoyed the epilogue that explains the fairy beings and will quote a section of that: The Edge Of Vision We are growing very wise and learned - but still, at the edge of our knowledge, there are things we only half understand. We may have the keenest and clearest sight-but still there is a place, at the edge of our vision, that we can only half see. These are the areas, in mind and in vision, that have always been haunted by magic. They are still haunted; for were not the astronauts on their way to the moon 'followed' by something mysterious? That is why magic has still a real and important place in out stories-most real when the magic is dark, mysterious, and a little frightening, as it always was. And the magic must be real I place, as well as in kind, for men were never stupidly gullible. The spirits they saw at the edge of their vision were shaped by something real: by the swirling if the snow, the darkness of a pool, or the terror of a mountain. Those if us who were bred in the old land and live in the new have found this out. We have tried to plant here the magic that our people knew, and it will not grow. It is time we stopped trying to see elves and dragons and unicorns in Australia. They have never be,inked here, and no ingenuity can make them real. We need to look for another kind of magic, a kind that must have been shaped by the land itself at the edge of Australian vision. So I have tried in a small way. I have pictures Pot-Koorok, Nyol and Net-Net, unsuspected in their own water or rock: creeping from tunnels and drains into our streets; never seen, but perhaps to spring out at us some day. I have put beside them for contrast a shabbier, pretended magic that has shrunk to an advertising gimmick and is real for only a moment in a thousand years..................
Back to the review, I did not grow up with Patricia Wrightson stories, but came across her through a book called The Wrightson List, recommended to me from the AIATSIS Library with a comprehensive listing and cross reference to mystical creatures researched by Patricia Wrightson. She did this at the end of her writing career to show people the origins, the country these beings belong, the nation they are part of the storylines. I was fascinated by this collection and thought I better have a look at the fiction she produced from knowing about these beings.
Enjoyed this book hugely. Will hunt a few more of her magical stories out and enjoy being carried back to the adventure of childhood. ...more