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Coming Rain

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  40 reviews

Western Australia, the wheatbelt. Lew McLeod has been travelling and working with Painter Hayes since he was a boy. Shearing, charcoal burning, whatever comes. Painter made him his first pair of shoes. It's a hard and uncertain life but it's the only one he knows.

But Lew's a grown man now. And with this latest job, shearing for John Drysdale and his daughter Clara, every

Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2015 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  217 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Emma Sea
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auckland-library
Jesus Christ, this was fantastic! Wow, no wonder he won the NZ Book Awards this year.

Even if you're not a fan of literary fiction, consider giving this a go. The writing is fucking incredible.
John Bartlett
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I kept putting this book down as if it was a dangerous object, too afraid to read more perhaps or needing to absorb the depth of what I was reading.
For me it was one of those books you keep putting aside because you don't want it to finish.
The language is sensual and cruel at the same time. Perhaps it's even erotic in the best sense, the descriptions of the land, the animals the people, all joined together in this unfolding drama.
I'd have to read the book again to quite understand what Daisly do
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australia, c21st
Stephen Daisley’s second novel, Coming Rain, is a brutal book in many ways; it’s grounded in the harsh reality of harsh country and the harsh people who live in it.

Just recently there has been an animal welfare campaign featuring shocking injuries done to sheep being shorn. It’s drawn a swift response from rural communities claiming that sheep are too valuable to be damaged in the way that’s depicted. The truth probably lies somewhere in between – after all, despite her best efforts, a hairdress

Unparalleled story-telling. I can’t limit a nutshell to “life on a rural sheep station” or “dingoes in the dry country” or “loss and love in the bush”. It has all those things, but so much more.

There are concurrent stories running along and across each other. One story is about the people. Two shearers--old hand and a younger offsider--go to shear on Drysdale Downs, an old family property, for a recently widowed, grief-stricken owner, his daughter, Clara, and a Malay cook, Jimmy.

The other sto
This is a new author for me. The story takes place on a sheep station in Western Australia in the 1950s. There are actually two narratives: one of Lew McLeod and Painter who are sheep shearers, and the other is an animal story about a pregnant dingo and her fight for survival.

The book is well written. I particularly enjoyed the story of the dingo’s fight for survival in an extremely harsh environment. The life on the sheep station is in many ways equally harsh. The characters are interesting and
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Drunken ramblings of two men, who almost communicate in a secret language of violence.
Dingo story great, but still does not lift this to three stars.
Elite Group
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An emotional journey set in the Australian outback

This is Stephen Daisley’s second novel and based on the praise for his debut novel he has once again delivered a great modern novel. The writer covers so many subjects in the seemingly simple story of a friendship between two nomadic sheep shearers - multiculturalism, class, love, loyalty and so much more.

The book is beautifully written and weaves a story from two perspectives, one through the eyes of Lewis McCleod and one through the eyes of a w
Jenni Ogden
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The story is set in Western Australia’s outback in the 1950s. (We had a campervan trip through much of this country a few years ago, and his lyrical descriptions took me straight back there. It is mind-blowingly beautiful country with colours so vivid they seem impossible.) Daisley’s writing style where he frequently uses sentence fragments, evokes the spareness and harshness and beauty of the place and characters. There are two parallel story lines; the first is that of a lone dingo bitch, and ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anz16, anzlitlovers
This has proved to be an excellent novel to discuss with my online Aus/NZ book group. Daisley is by birth a New Zealander but has worked and lived for some time in Western Australia. In this confronting novel, set in the 1950s in rural WA, he shows us the harsh life of shearers of that era and the class distinctions that applied to life in the bush.

But this novel offers much more than this. Alternate chapters are written about the human characters and a pregnant female dingo whose pack has been
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This short but powerful novel is set in the outback of Western Australia in the 1950s and it is evident from the first page that it is a world New Zealand author Daisley knows well. Wonderfully atmospheric, with vivid descriptions, it’s a lyrical and often poetic tale of a life that is harsh and brutal and often violent. Two “mates” turn up to shear on a remote station and what follows is in turn moving and horrifying. This is a masterful piece of writing. With fully-developed and intriguing cha ...more
David Whish-wilson
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My full review of this brilliant novel can be found at the ABR -
Lesley Moseley
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Very disappointed that a 4 star book was so tedious. I skipped the 'fox' story, and the other chapters had the most foul language I have ever read. I am not a prude, but its like listening to teenagers use like every few words.

Too clever by half, for me.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Galbraith
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I agree with some off the reviews here with having to put the book down. It is rather brutal at times but can not explain here unless I give spoilers. I found one scene in particular very confrontational and I could not stop thinking about it for a couple of days, even now it upsets me. I almost stopped reading the book a few times but do not like giving up on a book so I I persevered and I'm so very glad I did. In the end I found it so well written and descriptive it took my breathe away. Well ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terrible and wonderful all at once. This book is the first for so many years to hold me completely under its spell as I read. There is beautiful and individualistic use of language for wordy nerds, but not so much that it ruins things for those who love a story with a good plot and riveting characters. Western Australia comes alive within these pages and I’m missing it already now I’m done. I will be reading more from Mr Daisley, you can be sure of that.
Kathy S
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unusual book about the realities of farming life in the 50’s in WA. Two parallel stories about young Lew the shearer and a dingo bitch. The authors descriptions of the bush, the habits of the dingos and in the shearing shed are incredibly perceptive. Describes these places beautifully. Not many characters with most being damaged beings. Some reviews don’t like the violence but nature is harsh. An unconventional love story.
Thomas Edmund
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Coming rain is a strange one. Brutal in its imagery, simple its overt plotline and provoking in its subtext. There isn't much more to say about it, the characters aren't pretty and neither is much else about the book. It's a harsh snapshot of the world with a strangely uplifting finale.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I tried to read this last year but could not get into it. On the strength of friends' recommendations, I tried again recently and liked it a lot. A dinkum Aussie tale, written by a Kiwi, that moves between the escapades of two itinerant shearers and the survival instincts of a pregnant dingo.
Bruce Fincham
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall I enjoyed this book. I found it hard going to start off with, but that may just be me, having not read for a while, more than the book itself. I kept on reading it and could not put it down as it started to climax towards the end. I like Stephen Daisley's writing and started reading his other book 'Traitor.'
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I am still struggling to work out how this won the Fiction award in the NZ Book Awards. Although the author is a NZer, the book is Australian through and through.
Jo Dugan
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
The style of writing made this a very difficult read and unfortunately I couldn't see it through.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At once tender and compassionate and shockingly violent.
Beautifully captures his outback setting.
I loved this book...
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I received a copy of Coming Rain from its publishers, Text Publishing Company, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on the 26th April 2016.

Set in 1950s rural Australia, Coming Rain has a distinctive style which made it refreshing to read. Daisley frequently uses sentence fragments, but in a way that suits his prose and effectively pushes forward the pace of his story. It's not just poor grammar as in some other novels I have read! He also writes in Australi
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A hard story about hard people in a harsh environment, this novel has a great sense of place. With one exception (the dingo bitch), the characters did not move me, and I’m not sure they were meant to. Yet, despite my preference for character-driven fiction, I found the novel riveting -- mainly because of its fascinating language: part stream of consciousness, part minimalist, relentlessly innovative. Daisley has a passion for sentence fragments, especially phrases lacking a verb. Ironically, tho ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lew McCleod is in itinerant shearer who roams the drought-stricken Western Australia backblocks with his mentor, Painter Hayes. They wind up at the run-down Drysdale Downs station, where they are engaged to shear the recently-widowed John Drysdale's flock. There Lew encounters Drysdale's young daughter Clara.

As Daisley tells Lew's story, he recounts a parallel story of a pregnant dingo bitch on the run from shooters, trying to find a safe place to whelp, with an injured male in tow. I found thes
Anne Herbison
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not an easy book to read for its hard, cruel content, and right from the start I had an ominous feeling that it would not turn out well. It's what I call an interactive book in which the reader joins the dots; a kind of interplay between reader and writer. The story of the dingo runs parallel to, and intersects with, that of the human characters. At times, the reading experience felt like watching a wildlife documentary in which human behaviour is examined as well as that of the animals ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here is an Australian book that creates characters and language so evocative that other senses come into play. It tells two parallel stories of the harshness of life and companionship in and around a remote West Australian sheep station. One story is told about life for the people who live and work at the station, centred around two shearers. The other story relates the life of a female dingo living in the vicinity of the station.
They are each stories of survival, resourcefulness, friendship, d
Polly Krize
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Gritty and real, a tale of two Australian sheep shearers traveling and working at whatever comes along. Their story runs alongside that of a dingo bitch, maligned and hunted, and her struggle to survive. The writing is evocative and haunting, the story a simple one. I couldn't help thinking of the power of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, with the sharp, simple yet truthful writing. Recommended!
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of contrasts - man against animal, man against woman, old against young, set amid the harsh, often brutal reality of life in the bush. There is loyalty, mateship, love, as there is sadness, brutality, grief and loss. Beautifully written story of a man's coming of age as well as a beautifully descriptive account of a dingo and her fellow traveller. The history of the shearing sheds was fascinating background with the comparisons of time gone by.
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book. Fantastic and creative use of language. Insights into the minds of dingoes and men -Daisley keeps away from women's thinking. The West Australian landscape is reflected in the harshness of the characters, including the dingo. It is brutal, raw and insightful and yet not crude or rough and presents a beautifully paced and at times tender story that can resonate with most people's struggles and successes in a life of uncertainty.
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Stephen Daisley was born in New Zealand in 1955. He has served in the New Zealand Army and worked at a variety of jobs in New Zealand and Australia including on sheep and cattle stations, cutting bush and scrub, driving trucks, doing road works and bar work, and on oil and gas construction sites. He now lives in Perth.

Stephen's first novel, Traitor, won the 2011 Prime Minister's Literary Award fo

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