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The Lucky Galah

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  70 reviews
It's 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Crouched around a single grainy set, radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare at the screen, transfixed, as Armstrong takes tha ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Picador Australia
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Bec There is some sex & it's the galah telling the story of the dish's involvement in the space race, seen from a cage. it's not your typical animal…moreThere is some sex & it's the galah telling the story of the dish's involvement in the space race, seen from a cage. it's not your typical animal pov book. i don't think it would have held my interest at 13 but there is nothing to give her nightmares.(less)

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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  375 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
If I awarded stars based purely on originality, I would easily allocate The Lucky Galah by debut author Tracy Sorensen five full stars. This unique and very Australian novel employs the use of an icon, the pink and grey galah, to narrate the events of this novel. An Australian novel through and through, The Lucky Galah offers up plenty of discussion on our land, its people and the events that define our existence.

The Lucky Galah bases itself in a tiny and re
Evan and Linda Johnson and their young daughter Jo drove from Melbourne to the small town of Port Badminton in Western Australia for Evan to take up the position of radar technician, communicating between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. It was the 1960s and the Moon landing was imminent – the installation of the gigantic Dish caused great discussion among the residents…

The Johnson’s moved into a home two down from the Kelly family. The children would become great friends – Marjorie and Linda becam
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ozzie-gems
Set in a remote Western Australian town called Port Badminton throughout the 60's in the lead-up to the great change that came with lunar exploration, writer, filmmaker and acedemicTracy Sorensen's debut novel is a compelling and intriguing read. Narrated by an Aussie icon in the humble Galah it is not difficult to suspend a little disbelief and at times it's hard to follows the stories varied threads.

Port Badminton is just like any other small Aussie town other than a giant satellite dish to be
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 ★s
The Lucky Galah is the first novel by Australian academic, journalist, film-maker and author, Tracy Sorensen. Lucky hadn’t been named until she was rescued from imminent death by Lizzie, who knew a lot about birds. And not long after that Lucky first received a transmission from the Dish, up there on the Red Range outside Port Badminton.

The Dish had been installed for transmissions during the forthcoming lunar landing, and years of preparation for this historic event were necessary. But i
Jaclyn Crupi
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This was slightly better than its premise – a novel narrated by a galah. I did enjoy it but it never completely captured me and fell victim to detailed descriptions rather than driving plot.
Theresa Smith
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s no great secret that I am a fan of overtly Australian novels, especially the ones set in small communities. I love the unique Aussie references and familiar slang, and what many often peg as cliché, I tend to adore. The Lucky Galah was a treat from beginning to end for me. A truly delightful slice of Aussie life from days gone by. Tracy Sorensen has done a splendid job of creating a trip down memory lane for all of the 60s, 70s and 80s children within us. There were so many moments of, “I r ...more
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
3.5 stars

The Lucky Galah is true blue Aussie storytelling by Tracy Sorensen and narrated by no other than a galah called Lucky. Galahs are a highly intelligent, social and highly adaptable animal, is it any wonder the author chose a galah to narrate this tale!

There are three birds I find truly captivating, - the kookaburra, the emu and the galah and they are as Aussie and unique as the ‘EH holden’, ‘milk arrowroot biscuits’ and ‘vegemite’. The reader will find many more Aussie references inside
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was not a huge fan, and really think I must have missed something after seeing some of the other ratings and reviews. For me, the plot fell very short and there was a lot of nothing padding out the storyline. Some of the descriptive narrative was enjoyable and the Galah was quite a character but apart from that it held little appeal.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, work
A wonderful story with a unique storyteller that evokes a sense of place on so many levels.
Sam Still Reading
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: I love birds!
It’s no secret that I adore birds. So when I first heard about The Lucky Galah, I was desperate to read it. I have a multi-generational family of these beautiful pink and grey cockatoos that visit regularly and reading about them just sounded like so much fun! The added bonus of this story is that it’s set in an area I’m familiar with, north west coastal Western Australia. The fictional town of Port Badminton is a close ringer for the town of Carnarvon, dish and all. But in the 1960s, many thing ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"In Port Badminton, a tiny coastal town in Western Australia that’s watched over by a towering satellite dish, Evan Johnson, a radar technician in horn-rimmed glasses, is about to plunge from a cliff to his death. Meanwhile, his young wife is being fitted for a shimmering silver dress for the town’s upcoming Moon Ball, while she broods over a secret she’s been keeping for far too long. And everyone – not just in Port Badminton, but all over the world – is holding their breath as men in spacesuit ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an unusual book, which is hardly surprising given its avian narrator. The premise of the galah as narrator works surprisingly well, though I wasn't so sure about the Dish's transmissions to the galah.

The book is driven much more by exploration of its characters than an action-packed plot. This isn't a criticism, as the characters are well-drawn and believable. It does mean the story is a bit slow moving at times.

The historical setting at the time of the moon landing is fascinating. I li
Saturday's Child
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
And now ladies and gentlemen, for something a little bit different, a novel narrated by a Galah. The title caught my attention and then the quirky plot made me read it. For a variety of reasons I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would have.
Max Coggan
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
An enjoyable light read of people’s lives in a small W. A. town ......uniquely told by a galah.
Julia Tulloh Harper
This was a nice, relatively easy read - set in Western Australia during the 1960s in the lead up to the moon landing, Lucky the galah (a pet galah who intercepts messages and other people's thoughts through the town's satellite dish, being used for communications with Houston) narrates closely the stories of two families, their feelings, affairs, life in general, etc. I liked some of the overall nostalgia in the book but overall wasn't convinced by the necessity of the galah narrator (nor by its ...more
Michael Livingston
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
In so many ways this book was made for me - Aussie fiction, narrated by a galah, lots of bird content, the space race etc - but I never really bought into the conceit. It's a brave choice to have a galah narrator who gets information beamed to its brain from the local satellite dish and I found the whole setup a bit too convoluted to really get into.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful read - cleverly structured, the story draws you in immediately. Highly recommend
Lizzie Norman
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! So fresh and original with relatable characters and a story that flowed perfectly. I read it in a day, couldn’t put it down.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel is set in a remote town in Western Australia in the 1960s. The town hosts a satellite dish that is part of the communication network around the first moon landing. The book captures perfectly the spirit of the time and the naivety of existence then. It also captures the heat and dust of the location and the social aspects of the town - the 'trackers' who worked at the dish did not socialise with the townspeople, except their children did.
I had problems, though, in that the book was na
Ally Van Schilt
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really refreshing and different perspective on the Australian novel. I really enjoyed the narration and how cleverly everything came together.
Jazzy Lemon
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
What did I just read? A story, at least in part, told from the view of a bird.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Vivid and laid back story telling. A really interesting and surprisingly engaging point of view for a book. The characters whilst at first were difficult to keep track of, I loved how the story unfolded and as it is with most small towns, peoples lives overlap.
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: australia, c21st
Among those of us of a certain age, ‘lucky’ is a loaded word when applied to a book title. Since Donald Horne published The Lucky Country in 1964, taking Australians to task for their philistinism, provincialism and mediocrity, its ironic title has resonated with all those who yearn for a more imaginative, independent and outward-looking nation. (Just tonight, the ABC filed a report on the woeful state of innovation in Australian business and manufacturing). Rosa Cappiello riffed on Horne’s titl ...more
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
My second read from the @readingsbooks Prize for New Australian Fiction shortlist was The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen.

This is a unique read in that it is told from the perspective of a galah, set in a small Australian town around the time of the moon landing. The Australia - Houston tie in with the town hosting a dish for communications with NASA drew me in immediately!

What I most enjoyed about this character-driver narrative was the intimacy and detail with which we got to know the characters
Tracey Sorensen’s The Lucky Galah is a quirky, original novel which put me in mind of the film adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s novel The Dressmaker.

The reminiscences of country life in 1960s Australia were appealing as were the typically ‘Australian’ characters like Dogger the dingo shooter who appreciates that “some creatures are lucky and some are not, and that this can change at the drop of a hat.” p101. The ways in which characters respond to the good or bad luck they have bestowed on them is a
Georgina Kelly
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Georgina by: a friend who inherited a galah who was bred to rule the roost!
a novel that makes so evident the cruelty of keeping bbirds in captivity. even when "owned" by kind people trying to improve the conditions in which our galah is kept, the awful vulnerability of a caged bird to the whim of a species that simply cannot comprehend the avian makes for a novel that saddened me considerably. not that the communications or connections between the human characters in the novel were of much quality either. the conclusion of the novel showed me absolutely the dislocatio ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The Lucky Galah paints a vivid portrait of life in remote WA around the time of the moon landing. Sorensen writes descriptively, evoking the minutiae of childhood, the landscape and the complexity of adult relationships from the viewpoint of a pet galah. Lucky's voice is excellent, but the overall threads of the novel feel loose and baggy, swollen with a lot of description rather than narrative drive. It is nonetheless a creative premise and fun to read, a debut worth picking up.
Jenny Davies
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a darling of a book. I loved it! I loved Lucky and now see galahs everywhere. I also really enjoyed the time and place, the fashion and dialogue, and the NASA dish back story was wonderful.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, australia
This was another book which defied my expectations - I've had a few of those lately. I was familiar with some of Sorenson's journalism, and I was expecting something more obviously opinionated. Instead, this book excels at specificity - an Australian town, in a specific place and a specific time, all revealed with the kind of empathetic clarity that manages to be both savage and sympathetic at the same time. It is a style which avoids the pitfalls of encouraging readers to feel superior to the p ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is impossible for me to be objective in this review because it is set so close to home that it is not funny. I picked up this book for the pink & grey on the jacket (I know!, "don't judge a book by its cover") and the back flap alluded to West Australia's role in the space race and that was familiar territory too.
I was floored to realise this was set in Carnarvon, a small North West Australian town I spent much of my childhood in, with the book exchange that my Mother, established in the
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