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Cloudstreet

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  19,714 ratings  ·  1,435 reviews
Hailed as a classic, Tim Winton's masterful family saga is both a paean to working-class Australians and an unflinching examination of the human heart's capacity for sorrow, joy, and endless gradations in between. An award-winning work, Cloudstreet exemplifies the brilliant ability of fiction to captivate and inspire.

Struggling to rebuild their lives after being touched

...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published June 6th 2002 by Scribner (first published 1991)
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Jen The sexual content/innuendo must have totally gone over my head- I have no idea what you are referencing here!
Boy Blue You've got to read about 75 pages in your first sitting so that the characters all form in your head. They are drawn so perfectly you'll be unable to …moreYou've got to read about 75 pages in your first sitting so that the characters all form in your head. They are drawn so perfectly you'll be unable to shake them long after you're finished. It's also a bit hard because the first section of the novel is the ending, which just makes everything a bit confusing. Stick with it and watch the characters come alive.(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  19,714 ratings  ·  1,435 reviews


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Laura
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
Here's how my reading of Cloudstreet progressed:

First week: Ok, this is pretty good, I guess.

Second week: Hm, I don't know about this.

Third week: Oh god, I think I'm going to throw up. Seriously, I think I'm going to throw up and I'm not kidding. Ok, I'm actually gagging on the subway.

Fourth week: Ok, I have to read my book, but I know it will make me nauseated. I just know it.

Fifth week: GOD this book is a bore.

Sixth week: Hey, this is pretty good . . . . Ok, it was going pretty well for a whi
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Margitte
I couldn't remember why I wanted to read this book, by the time I opened it. What the heck got into me for choosing it in the first place, I was thinking, when it was clear from the start that we were sinking fast into the dungeons of the gritty, bleak misery of life in the psycho-dumps. Emotionally I still needed cozy, feel-goodness on pages. Escapism à la the extreme. I was simply not ready for this book.

I wanted to close it and choose another book, but instinctively I knew that I wouldn't wa
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Julie Christine
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Julie Christine by: Brendan
Tim Winton is a most spiritual writer. It's shameful in a world of bloated, overachieving prose that screams to the top of best-selling lists that someone as connected to the forces of nature and the foibles of man should be so little known.

Cloudstreet chronicles the aching, bitter, crude, and sweet fortunes of two Australian families, the Lambs and the Pickles, from 1944-64. Brought together by need, greed, tragedy and a mysterious Other, the families' stories collide and spring away over the
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Wen
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sure 2018 favorite for me. My first Tim Winton
but definitely not the last.
A story set in Perth, Western Australia primarily during the 1940s and 1950s. Two profoundly different working-class families, the reckless Pickles (think horse gambling) and the responsible Lams (imagine opening a family grocery shop) saw their fate intertwined merely through physical proximity by sharing a haunted large house on Cloudstreet. What they also shared was the misfortune that each family had a member disabl
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Marchpane
Well, I finally read Cloudstreet (I know, I know) and I have thoughts!

This story of two families sharing a ramshackle old house in post-war Perth is heavy on the nostalgia and a little too charmed by itself at times, but it is clear why it’s a sentimental favourite among Aussies.

The Good

When Winton’s writing is on form, it is such a treat. There’s music in it. Check out this description of a two-up game:

‘From above, the two-up circle looks like a sea creature, some simple hungry organism in
...more
Ben Winch
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anglo, australian
It's over 15 years since I read this and I may not read it again in a hurry, but I remember liking it despite Winton's name being mud in my house thanks to an envious writer-father who couldn't understand why he kept getting all the grants. Not even Mum would defend Winton in those days, though she'd come out swinging for Peter Carey, someone I've never been able to stomach. And the truth is until Cloudstreet Tim Winton was probably the sort of writer who, had he suddenly vanished into obscurity ...more
Jeanette (Again)
If you think your family is strange, you're probably right, but they can't be any weirder than the Pickles and the Lambs. For twenty years the two families occupy the same sprawling, rundown, semi-haunted house in Perth. Through walls and windows they overhear and observe each other's joys, lamentations, and secrets. When Mrs. Lamb moves out of the house and pitches a tent in the yard, then everyone on Cloud Street knows things are not strictly normal in the Pickle/Lamb residence.

For a long tim
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Bianca
Cloudstreet was the first Winton novel I read. At the time, I had lived in Perth for less than two years, I was still discovering the city.

For those outside Australia, Perth is the capital of Western Australia (WA), one of the most isolated capital cities in the world. The better known Sydney and Melbourne are "only" 4, 5 hrs away by plane. Those huge cities are where things are happening. Most publishers are located in one of those two cities. If I'm not mistaken, Winton is one of the first WA
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Ace
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For one time in a million the blurb is almost a concise summary of what you will find and experience in this book. It should be a must read for all Australians who will connect with this extremely authentic portrait of post war life in Perth. It is absolutely brilliantly told, it will make you laugh and cry and even a little bit sick every now and then. Note to Mr Winton: sometimes less is more when it comes to hairy ass cracks. 5 stars, 6 if I could.
Jones
Oct 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
I really cannot see the appeal of the book or why it is rated so highly. There were several things about the book that really annoyed me and really removed any enjoyment I may have derived from reading it.

Winton, in my opinion is one of those authors who believes he is so much better than he actually is. The absence of a complication made the book seem more a series of mundane events rather than an engaging story. The descriptiveness hailed by some was to me agonising. Do we really need a Where
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E. G.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to E. G. by: Fabfabian
Introduction, by Philip Hensher
Acknowledgements


--Cloudstreet

Afterword
Tara Rock
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fair Dinkum (unquestionably good or genuine: excellent) adequately sums up this book for me. A vast array of Aussie Slang was interesting and fun once I over came the frustration; Sheila, crikey, ta, clacker, arse over tit, shit house, etc. which was found in the Aussie Slang Dictionary. Fantastic character development and the members of these two families will remain with me for a long while.
Alex
Jan 26, 2018 marked it as to-read
I may be worse on Australian lit than any other country on earth. I've read more books from Tajikistan than from Australia. I'll fix it eventually. This will help.
Diane Barnes
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, sprawling, epic family saga that makes you glad you're a reader, just so you can live the lives of these characters for the length of the novel. It's 20 years in the lives of the Lambs and the Pickles, who share a house in Perth, Australia. Not that I' m comparing Tim Winton to Tolstoy, but just like "War and Peace", this novel encompasses every emotion and human foible and goodness in mankind. Pick an adjective; it' s in this book. You ll love and hate and grow old and die, you ...more
Anne ✨
(4.5) A gritty family epic in post-war Perth, Australia during the 1940's-1960's. Tim Winton's writing is so unique. He is brilliant with his ability to take the story to depths and directions you wouldn't have thought possible. This story was a whole lot of everything: gritty, weird, raw, quick-witted, endearing. The cast of characters are not ones you'd imagine being drawn towards, but Winton almost dares you not to care about them! He gives you a whole lot of the 'weird/not so charming' to ca ...more
Libby
In the circular movement of the Ouroboros, or the snake eating its tale, Tim Winton begins ‘Cloudstreet’ with the picnic scene that he also ends it with; the difference being in the knowledge the reader will gain of the picnickers, and that makes all the difference in the world. It’s the story of two families, the Lambs and the Pickles. Sam Pickles, believes in ‘the shifty shadow of God,’ the maker of good and bad luck. Even though Sam is a gambler and proficient at losing, he believes that when ...more
Janet Forster
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It took me two years to get onto Cloudstreet. A friend gave it to me for my birthday, but the way the bookshelf bowed under the weight of it said I’d need passion and commitment to tackle it and for a long while the timing just wasn’t quite right!

But finally it’s done!! And I’m so glad I persevered. It took more than a few pages to get into it, although the brilliance of Tim Winton’s writing was evident immediately. If anyone can transport you back in time then he can. Reading Cloudstreet was a
...more
Issicratea
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1990-2010, reviewed
Tim Winton’s 1991 novel Cloudstreet seems to have an extraordinary reputation in Australia. It has been adapted for television, theatre, and opera, and it is a staple of Australian high school literature curricula. Its Wikipedia entry lists four polls between 2003 and 2012 in which it was voted the nation’s favourite Australian novel. I felt rather sheepish when I came across it recently; I hadn’t heard of it, or Tim Winton, before.

It’s an impressive piece of work, and I can see why people love
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Annie
Oct 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who have read the Bible, those who enjoy Australian accents
Not to be hyperbolic, but I adore this book and I wish I could score it even more highly! I read it for class and I spent quite a few more hours on it than most readers will, but if you enjoy it on the first read, I recommend giving it another read or so. The Biblical allusions are complex and unsettling. The prose is visceral and grounded. I felt so immersed and connected to the people and the land in this book. In fact, I kind of want to read it again right now, just thinking about it. There i ...more
El
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to El by: The Roundtable
First off, this is an incredibly hard book for me to rate and review. It started out so strong, I really loved everything about it and couldn't wait to get to know each of the characters in more detail. And there are quite a few characters. The Pickle family and the Lamb family. They come together in an unexpected way when the Pickles move into a large house called Cloudstreet thanks to an inheritance, and because they are poor, they take on the Lambs as tenants. The two families are rather diss ...more
notgettingenough
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thank heavens I didn't give up on this one, having started it a couple of years ago and let it drift onto some nominal pile of 'not sure why I've put this down' books. Last week it got its second chance when I took it to Berlin figuring it would either get read, or get left. In fact my nose was scarcely out of it.

It's a stunning achievement, Australian through and through, but utterly universal in its themes: at the risk of this being a spoiler, it is about the journey to understanding there
...more
Larry Deaton
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I won't even attempt to tell the story that is in this book. Let's just say two families share a house in Perth, Australia for several decades. Time passes, the people change, and the House continues.

It's just a stunning book in its use of language, development of characters, and the story itself. The word unforgettable is used too much for many books, but Cloudstreet is exactly that. I believe I will remember this book for the rest of my life. Some of the minor characters, ones who are non-fami
...more
Christopher
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: lit-fiction
I really had to waffle around in considering how to rate this. There's really some of the best gritty, realistic and poetic writing I've ever read interspersed with some moments of ham-fisted "wise-dickery" (to use Winton's own word). I had to put the book aside three times when I first started it but once I really got into it, I couldn't put it down. Soon though, as it progressed, I gradually lost interest and found myself crawling to the finish line. I never developed anything more than a curs ...more
☼♄Jülie 

Lamb and Pickles?

The story is about two very dysfunctional Australian working class families...the Lamb's and the Pickles' during the 1940's-60's.
This story evokes such a wide range of emotions from the reader...often in quick succession...that it is at times quite draining. I had to take regular breaks just to take a few deep breaths before I could go on.
Brilliantly told in such a way as to make you feel like you are right there...wanting to scream along with them or at them! It is a very emot
...more
Claire Fuller
I know there's a lot of love for this book and aspects of the writing were tremendous. The way Winton creates new and resonant words, and wonderful rhythms: 'a booklumpy bag', 'the immodest backs of the oilslicked women', 'the sky was the colour of kerosene' - it sometimes reminded me of Under Milk Wood. But, you know when an author over-uses a word and then you can't stop seeing it. In this book Winton loves 'mob'. It's used about every five pages and it got so I was looking out for it. But tha ...more
Mary
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading this a couple of days ago and am still feeling the murky, underlying strangeness of Cloudstreet and Winton’s prose. He captures the human condition so well and the connectivity between the larger world and every tiny, insignificant one of us.

This is the story of two down and out families weaved with an ever present inexplicability that mimics, perhaps, the entirely unexplainable nature of human beings. Why do we do the things we do, year after year, generation after helpless
...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
Hailed as a classic, award winning, in the top ten of Dymocks 'book lovers best' and yet STILL a fine book!

Tim Winton once again breaks boundaries, because in terms of enjoyment in reading, for me classics are hit and miss while award winners are disappointingly, more often than not boring and unenjoyable to read.

Cloudstreet was an amazing, wow factor book, it sucked me in kept me under and I enjoyed it thoroughly. While it was written and published in the late 80's- early 90's neither the writi
...more
Peter
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Life was something you didn't argue with, because when it came down to it, whether you barracked God or nothing at all, life was all there was. And death."

In this novel the author introduces the reader to two dysfunctional working class families, the Pickles and the Lambs, who flee the city after separate catastrophes and find refuge under the same roof.

Sam Pickles, who recently lost most of a hand in a boating mishap, inherits the sizeable, but ramshackle house on Cloudstreet, however a coven
...more
Lo O'Neill
This would not normally be a book that I would have picked up but my work book club chose it for our read of the month, so I found myself starting into this and I am conflicted regarding my thoughts on the book. To tell you the truth, I did debate not finishing it a couple of time.

Winton’s development of the characters was wonderful, they progress gradually and you constantly feel like you are getting to know them more throughout the book, which I know sounds obvious but there are some authors
...more
Tania
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2018
We all turn into the same thing, don't we? Memories, shadows, worries, dreams. We all join up somewhere in the end.

3.5 stars. I know I'm the odd one out here, as almost all my GR friends gave this 5 stars. So let me start of by saying that I strongly suspect that this was a case of the the right book at the wrong time.
The author's writing is superb, I was especially impressed with the fact that he can use very different writing styles in the same story. Although I grew to love the characters, e
...more
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Aussie Readers: cloudstreet by Tim Winton 3 69 May 03, 2012 10:57PM  

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Tim Winton was born in Perth, Western Australia, but moved at a young age to the small country town of Albany.

While a student at Curtin University of Technology, Winton wrote his first novel, An Open Swimmer. It went on to win The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1981, and launched his writing career. In fact, he wrote "the best part of three books while at university". His second book, Shallows
...more

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