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Warning, The Story of Cyclone Tracy
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Warning, The Story of Cyclone Tracy

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The sky at the top end is big and the weather moves like a living thing. You can hear it in the cracking air when there is an electrical storm and as the thunder rolls around the sky…

When Cyclone Tracy swept down on Darwin at Christmas 1974, the weather became not just a living thing but a killer. Tracy destroyed an entire city, left seventy-one people dead and ripped the
Paperback, 306 pages
Published July 23rd 2014 by Text Publishing Australia (first published July 22nd 2014)
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Saturday's Child
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Cyclone Tracy happened in my lifetime but I at the time I was too young to have any recollections of it. It is a part of Australian history that I knew little of. Reading this book has allowed me to gain a better insight into the impact it had on the lives of those who lived through it and its aftermath.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cunningham has done a wonderful job of weaving together fact and narrative in this recount of the events of Cyclone Tracy. Her careful re-telling changed my understanding of Darwin's history and modern-day personality, and serves as a reminder of the power which climate holds over our lives.
Alexandra Daw
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a really well thought out and structured account of Cyclone Tracy. I found it easy to read and engaging right to the end.
Ashley Hay
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm cheating a bit here by pasting in some notes I wrote for a session at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival when I was able to talk with Sophie Cunningham about this extraordinary and powerful book: here you are.
For want of a better introduction to the book, I’m going to paraphrase a bit of the email that I sent to Sophie Cunningham after I’d finished reading – or rather, consuming – Warning. "Sophie Cunningham," I wrote, "your book is extraordinary. I was three when Cyclone Tracy hit and I
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I was alone in the house last Saturday when I began reading Sophie Cunningham’s Warning, The Story of Cyclone Tracy, and a windstorm was brewing. It was gusting up to almost 60kh/h, which is 7 on the Beaufort scale, almost a gale. I went outside and did the usual things that I do when the weather seems ominous, stacking outdoor chairs away and tucking the cast-iron table upside-down under the shrubs at the back of the house. I was very conscious that short of evacuating the city altogether, ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book acknowledges the Northern Territory Archives as being key to it being able to be written. This comes through the body of the book as well as the acknowledgements. It also highlights collecting by other organisations, including the recording of oral histories.

This book shows the value of different methods of research, archives, libraries and interviews. While it includes some personal elements from the author (of her memories and experiences), these do not overwhelm the accounts of
Andrew Bishop
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
With the 40th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy last year, a lot of memories were out there. Many people (assuming they were born then) can remember exactly what they were doing when reports came through on Christmas day that Darwin had been destroyed (remember it was pre-internet and no instant news- it took some time for the tragedy to be reported- so much so that survivors thought they had been forgotten!). As a 12 year old playing with his much awaited Christmas presents, I can remember my ...more
Marisa Pintado
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this as much as I did Adrian Hyland's Kinglake 350, which is unsurprising as the two have a lot in common. Both pull together compelling narratives of tragic events and interrogate them, exploring how and why and why not. I knew almost nothing about Cyclone Tracy - except that it happened - and Warning provided a compassionate yet measured insight into a fascinating part of recent Australian history. I was particularly gripped by the logistics of communication within 1970s Darwin during ...more
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jacinda by: Jacinda
Shelves: biographical, 2017
Cyclone Tracy hit before I was born, but I still heard some of the stories of Tracy when I was a child and fascinated by cyclones. What I learnt about it was far from the personal impact that this natural disaster had on people. It was a fasincating read that covered several different aspects including a in depth account of what it was like during the cyclone that almost made you feel a part of it all. Through to different aspects that hampered the clean up and the people who remained after it ...more
Dennis Mews
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was interested to read about Cyclone Tracy, which hit the northern Australian city of Darwin back in the 1970‘s, having visited earlier this year. The book is a remarkable account of unimaginable damage and heartbreak for the inhabitants. The sense of remoteness is brought home to the reader on every page. A difficult read in many places, but a worthwhile one.
Colette Godfrey
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Amazing and heartbreaking to contemplate in parts. I couldn't put this down. I was compelled to read this as the 40th anniversary of Tracy is this month. I was born 2 weeks after but didn't move there until 2 years after, so I'm not sure I ever comprehended the devastation and rebuilding. Waves of nostalgia reading this.
Sherry Mackay
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and informative story of cyclone Tracy and the people who lived thru it. I found it a very readable book, and I learned a lot about cyclones and Darwin and the politics of disasters.
Jennifer Vincent
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