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The Eye of the Sheep

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  5,551 ratings  ·  607 reviews
"Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always kno ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Allen & Unwin Australia
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Monica Kelly We have it at my Library.
And I'm considering purchasing a set of ten for our Library's book clubs.

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4.15  · 
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 ·  5,551 ratings  ·  607 reviews


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Phrynne
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Okay. Wow! This one just knocked me for six. When it started I thought here we go, another superbly brilliant but totally misunderstood child with Asperger's Syndrome. And indeed so he was. But then the book was just outstanding - his adoring but hopeless mother, his charming but alcoholic father, his brother who tried so hard but in the end had to make his own life, his uncle who wanted to do the right thing but did not know how.

It was heart breaking. I wanted to wrap Jimmy up and bring him ho
...more
PattyMacDotComma
5★
“The same network that was in my mum, the same network that was in me, in plants and leaves and machinery and all shops and underground in the earth’s core. It was the whole inside of all living things, but on the outside, and that’s where my dad worked. There! In that refinery!

. . . On the other side of the grass and the stream, way in the distance, the flame leapt from the refinery pipe – like the light in the sheep’s eye, it never died . . .

The wetlands air had a potion that came from th
...more
Sharon
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jimmy Flick is unlike other children in fact, in a way he is a unique little boy who has learning difficulties. He lives with his parents and older brother Robby. The only one who truly understands him is his mother Paula. His father Gavin can't cope with Jimmy and as a result he turns to alcohol and with alcohol comes violence. Jimmy knew when his father had been drinking it was a time to maintain quiet and stay out of his way. Only of course Jimmy couldn't always control either of these things ...more
John Bartlett
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This recent winner of the Miles Franklin award in Australia was a winner too for me in every way. I would have given it six stars out of five if that was possible.
Jimmy and his voice is such a unique and exceptional creation, totally original and poignant.He is a boy, very different to other children, somewhere perhaps on the autism spectrum but with a wisdom and an insight beyond that of his elders.

This is such an empathetic story which covers abuse and love in equal measure and allows redempti
...more
Brenda
Jimmy Flick lived with his dad Gavin, older brother Robby and mum Paula. But Jimmy was different – different from Robby and different from all the other kids. His mum was the only one who understood him, who could help him when his cells got out of control and he started running, racing, careening all over until he was stopped with a big, gigantic hug. Then Jimmy’s cells would slow to equal the pace of his mum’s heartbeat. At night when Jimmy couldn’t sleep his mum lay beside him and they counte ...more
Veronica ⭐️
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jimmy lives with his mother, father and brother, Robbie. He is not like other kids and his mother believes she is the only one that can manage him. But when their family of four becomes a family of two she worries how Jimmy will cope if anything ever happens to her.

Jimmy tells the reader a story about his life and the people that mean everything to him, his family. Although it’s not spelled out in words it seems apparent that Jimmy suffers from Aspergers Syndrome. The repetition of speech, somet
...more
Paul Lockman
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
What a talented writer Sofie Laguna is. Having read The Choke earlier this year and giving it 5 stars I was keen to read the book that won her the 2015 Miles Franklin Award, The Eye of the Sheep. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as The Choke, thus the 4.5 star rating, but still recommend it highly. She again writes through the eyes of a child, this time it’s 6yo Jimmy, a kid who sees and interprets the world differently to most others of his age. His parents Gavin and Paula and older br
...more
Ace
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Altona, Victoria, circa 1980? Telephones with cords, dials. M.A.S.H. The Bold and the Beautiful. Chocolate Crackles and Cutty Sark. It seems like an eon ago. Parents smoke with children in the room, children play outside alone and can even catch a Greyhound bus across the state by themselves. This is the story of a special little kid that nobody understands, not his mum, nor his doctor or teachers. A sad time in our medical history.
There are some very dark domestic themes included and makes for
...more
Rob
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-authors

What a trip this was.
The world as perceived by young Jimmy Flick, who has Aspergers Syndrome.

For many years I worked with kids with Asperger’s and Autism and what Sofie Laguna has achieved here is nothing short of brilliant. The author has captured the essence of what it is to be Autistic. Reading this book was like reading a case study. It was so familiar to me.

Life was never going to be easy for Jimmy but having a father who turned physically abusive when he was drunk just made things that bi
...more
MaryG2E
This powerful, majestic book held my attention strongly and moved me deeply at times. I had tears in my eyes on a few occasions as I read avidly the story of Jimmy, the boy with special needs, and his efforts to live a life in which he was honest to his own self. I also had many smiles and laughs as Jim and his family worked within the framework of his very unique and quirky mindset.

The observations of ordinary family life through the eyes of a child with autism are fascinating. In particular t
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, australia
Shocking, gripping and at times horrifying, The Eye of the Sheep is an incredible piece of Australian fiction and definitely worth reading.
Michael
Jimmy Flick just like his older brother Robby is a miracle. But unlike Rob, Jimmy sees the world in a completely different fashion. At times due to being undiagnosed with Autism, Jimmy can see things far clearer than anyone in his family but is oblivious to the disruptions he causes. Father Gavin often takes his frustrations about his job on his son and his wife Paula when he drinks. Sometimes this frustration leads to physical violence.

For Robby, this means he has to try and protect Jimmy by ke
...more
Anna Spargo-Ryan
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Book marketers take note: I bought this one solely because of Emily Maguire’s testimonial on the cover. “A sparkling, heartfelt wonder,” she says. I was in the bookshop at the time because I wanted something either sparkling or heartfelt or a wonder. It makes sense, then, that I bought this one.

I didn’t read the blurb, or any pages. I just picked up that silly-faced dog and hot-footed it out of there via the bakery.

But, oh man.

This is the story of Jimmy, a boy who goes too fast. His mind, his mo
...more
Carolyn
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully told story of Jimmy Flick, a little boy with behavioural problems, and his dysfunctional family. Jimmy's behaviour suggests he is on the autistic spectrum. He has trouble slowing down and races around until he is out of control. He never stops talking, repeating phrases and questions over and over again driving other people mad. Jimmy's Mum loves him dearly and knows how to help him calm down. He has his collection of manuals for the household equipment and loves working ou ...more
Elaine
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I started this book a few days ago and a few pages in I thought I wouldn't like it and then just like that everything changed. I found myself feeling many different emotions whilst reading this but the biggest one was an immense feeling of sadness for Jimmy. I just wanted to take him in my arms and hold him. Narrated in Jimmy's voice the language was simple but powerful at the same time. There were times in the book when the sadness and what Jimmy had to endure were unbearable. It isn't only Jim ...more
Mary
Jimmy Flick has a different relationship to language and the world to the rest of us. His cells sometimes spin very fast and sometimes he has to run very fast, from spot to spot to spot, to stop himself from spinning off the earth. When Jimmy's cells speed up they can be slowed down and he can settle again if he gets a big hug from his mum, or if he climbs into bed with his big brother Robbie, or when his father occasionally puts his hand on Jimmy's head - it's warm and heavy and holds him in pl ...more
Chloe
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-author
3.5 stars

"If you look deep into the eye of a sheep you can see a light. It burns right at the back of the head and it never goes out, no matter what happens to the sheep"

In The Eye of the Sheep, we meet Jimmy. He's not like other kids. We never read of a diagnosis, but we know that Jimmy sees and feels the world differently. He feels his very cells collide, he hears the plants drinking, their stems gulping back the drips from the hose. The roar of the mower sends his cells into a spin as they t
...more
Sally906
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am rarely compelled to read a book only because of its cover, however the cover of THE EYE OF THE SHEEP was one of those rare occurrences, it leapt out of the catalogue and said “Pick me, pick me!” How could I refuse the demands of two such gorgeous characters staring at me? Even better the story contained behind the cover was just as compelling to read. Turns out the two characters on the front cover are the narrator of the story, Jimmy, and his canine friend Ned.

I loved Jimmy. Jimmy is speci
...more
Kalin
I enjoyed the first half of the book, both for its topic and language. The second one felt somewhat exhausted and exhausted me somewhat.

High points of my impressions:

~ This scene, though deeply disturbing, has something soothing too. As if everyone knows what their purpose is; as if everything has a purpose to it.

‘Get him out of here, Robby!’ she shouted. ‘Go!’ Then she was quiet. No more begging or pleading, as if she knew what happened next and it was too late to stop it. There was only the so
...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jimmy Flick is different from other boys. He perceives and interprets things differently, trying hard to understand the feelings and emotions of others. His mum, Paula, is the only person who can handle him, and has taught him how to get to sleep by counting sheep. His dad, Gavin tries —sometimes—to understand him, but can’t. Jimmy’s older brother Robby keeps him away from their father when he has been drinking. Jimmy doesn’t recognise—usually— the danger.

‘When I was slow I should have been fast
...more
Nadia King
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very few books touch you so hard--so deeply, so true--that you know you will never be the same after reading them.

Last year I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and while reading I had the distinct impression Yanagihara was mincing me piece by piece into a meat grinder. I had the same reaction to Sofie Laguna's stunning book, The Eye of the Sheep. As I turned the last page, the hollow that had been growing inside me, ballooned and ached. Laguna's words had seeped into my very core.

The Eye of
...more
Nisha-Anne
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing amazing novel.

I couldn't believe how well it was written, how beautiful and intelligent and skilful. How wonderfully recognisably Australian.

Every time I picked this up, I fell into it and didn't want to come out. Even when it was tearing me apart, seeing this family I cared so much about tearing itself apart, I did not and could not stop.

For a while, I feared the lack of a happy ending. It felt so real and I didn't know yet whether I could trust Sofie Laguna to give me that. It was a r
...more
Valerie
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I experienced every emotion in this book, brilliantly told through the observations of the young boy Jimmy Flick, who experiences life a little differently to others. Although many relationships in Jimmy's circle were highly dysfunctional, others were very tender and heart-warming. This is one of those books I am sure will stay with me.
Tony Wilson
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's my great pleasure to be launching Sofie Laguna's second novel at Readings tonight.

I've enjoyed all her novels, from 'Bird and Sugar Boy' to the bleaker territory she's explored in 'One Foot Wrong' and now 'The Eye of the Sheep'.

She language in this book is beautiful, as always, and she inventively and unpretentiously inhabits the character of a special boy who 'sees' the internal workings of things. Whether it be the human body, the rusting pipes at his father's work, the rolling ocean, o
...more
Maddison
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This book wasn't 'enjoyable' as such, but I did shed some tears, and come away with the book resonating in my thoughts well beyond its close. It made me think and got into my emotions, mostly because of the immensely likeable character of Jimmy.

With that said, however, there were a number of things that I felt got in the way of this book. The prose often falls out of Jimmy's voice, as he uses phrases outside his expected vocabulary, and clearly has far more insight into things than most childre
...more
Kathryn
Warning in advance: this is a rather long review! And I know a lot of people have loved this book, but I was not one of them. (I hope my GR friends who loved this are still friends with me after this…)

I was seriously underwhelmed by this book and bemused by what other people have seen in it (although I intend to read some reviews after I post this to see if I can work out what I missed!). I’m not sure whether I had expected too much of it, given that so many of my GR friends gave it 4 or 5 stars
...more
Freda Pierce
Jul 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
So disappointed in this. I was really looking forward to reading this but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.
I didn't feel empathy for the characters, and the tone an setting somehow just didn't ring true. I feel the author mixed up her time periods and social settings, it was like different decades were rolled into one and I couldn't get past it - I kept thinking - "no that's not right" or "it wouldn't have been like that".

There is something a little Wintonesque about the writing but wh
...more
Sonia Nair
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading Sofie Laguna in reverse, I am struck by how effortlessly she inhabits the voice of children that lie on the fringes of society, children no one pays any attention to. As with The Choke, The Eye of the Sheep is a heavy, deeply affecting book that depicts the intersection between alcoholism, domestic violence and neglect. Jimmy is a compelling central character who frames everything that happens to him with astonishing clarity; sometimes the only thing that makes sense in his dicombobulate ...more
Wendy Bridges
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A stunning heartbreak of a book. Beautifully written - Jimmy Flick's voice is superb. Sustaining his voice throughout this harrowing but uplifting story is a remarkable feat.

Read it and then if you haven't already done so read Sofie Laguna's earlier novel One Foot Wrong. Brilliant.
Jillwilson
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it
"My books start with a character in a predicament and then the details rush in. I tune in as if I'm tuning into a radio station. It's not an intellectual task.” Sophie Laguna’s lead character Jimmy begins the Miles Franklin winning novel as a 6 year old boy living with his mum, dad and older brother in Altona. Jimmy is a “restricted narrator”; not only is he a child but he is not of the mainstream – it is possible that he has some form of autism and/or ADHD though it is not spelt out. He sees th ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Eye of the Sheep - Sophie Laguna - ★★★★ 2 16 Apr 25, 2016 07:04AM  

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Sofie Laguna originally studied to be a lawyer at the University of New South Wales, but after deciding law was not for her, she moved to Melbourne to train as an actor. Sofie worked for a number of years as an actor at the same time as completing a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Sofie is now an author and playright writing for both adul ...more
“Just as I was about to close my eyes I saw a faint line connecting the shadows, like string you take into a forest so you don’t lose your way. Everything in the room was joined by one line; the frame to the curtain, the coil to the crack, the belt to the shoe. I closed my eyes and in the vision behind the skin of my lids I saw the line stretch way out to sea, like cobweb blown by the wind, further and further; it crossed the Pacific until the Pacific became the Indian and it found Robby in his ship. It touched his shoulder and moved across the sleeve of his shirt and up to his eyes and across the top of his head and then the line went to all the other men on the ship; then all the way back to me. Everyone was joined.” 3 likes
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