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The Glad Shout

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  529 ratings  ·  103 reviews
After a catastrophic storm destroys Melbourne, Isobel flees to higher ground with her husband and young daughter. Food and supplies run low, panic sets in and still no help arrives. To protect her daughter, Isobel must take drastic action.

The Glad Shout is an extraordinary novel of rare depth and texture. Told in a starkly visual and compelling narrative, this is a deeply
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 26th 2019 by Affirm Press
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
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Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Glad Shout is a book about motherhood. It’s set in a near-future version of Melbourne, in a world ravaged by climate change. Despite the speculative premise this is, at all times, a literary novel about mothers and daughters.

When a super storm devastates the city, surviving residents take refuge in a sports stadium. Here we meet Isobel and her three-year-old daughter Matilda. Through flashbacks, we learn of Isobel’s relationships with her own mother and grandmother, as she was growing up
Michael Livingston
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A horrifically plausible book about the climate apocalypse and the ways families try to survive it. Awful but brilliant. I was less captivated by the alternate chapters that told the family backstory than the breathless chapters set amidst the disaster, but the broader themes of motherhood and family cut across both sections strongly.
Francene Carroll
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it

Only mothers know what it means to truly love.

They also have a monopoly on deep loss and suffering which those who haven’t pushed a baby out of their uterus can never understand.

This is spelled out clearly in this extract about Isobel's brother Josh and his abrupt departure:

“You won’t get this at all Issy. Why would you? You have your who life ahead of you. But my baby is gone.”

At the time Isobel had been offended by the inference that she was limited in scope, too immature and narrow
Julia Tulloh Harper
3.5 stars

The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson: a bleak and somewhat dystopian tale about motherhood in a time of climate disaster. Robinson is great prose stylist and I resonated with many of her reflections on the tedium of motherhood, the gender politics of parenting and the general difficulties of caring for small children. I also found the book overall successfully created an atmosphere of doom and dread that has left me thinking (constantly, since I finished it) about what the future might loo
Climate change has hit. After years of steady rise in sea levels, a massive storm destroys the East Coast of Australia. Isobel flees to a refugee camp with her husband and young daughter and the processes of panic, violence, greed and human kindness float to the surface. In alternate chapters Isobel's life story is told with the relationship with her mother, her grandmother and between these two women at the forefront. And it is motherhood, relationships between women and between mother and chil ...more
Lisa Jewell
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Grim. Visceral. I enjoyed the writing. Climate change is real so it wasn't difficult to get pulled into the story. Unfortunately, I found Isobel, very unlikable, to the point I wanted to punch her. And I don't think you were meant to feel that way about her. I felt sympathy for her mother Luna; I couldn't quite understand why Josh left the way he did. And poor Shauno. My heart just ached for him. I'm a mother of three; when I finished The Glad Shout, I couldn't help but think about readers that ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Here in Australia, our national broadcaster doesn't see fit to report on Cyclone Idai ( ...

So it is left to fiction to tell the story of the fate of millions as climate change wreaks havoc around the globe. Alice Robinson's new book The Glad Shout tells the story of a storm which destroyed Melbourne, much like Cyclone Idai wrecking cities in Africa. The streets are flooded; houses have been destroyed; some people are rescued from their rooftops and others
3.5 *
Very readable. Read in one sitting. Compelling enough, but didn't knock my socks off. A good solid reading experience.
Colin Byrne
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Couldn't like this book, I'm summarise it, every conversation is some form of argument between every character, none of which you'll care about. I get their living in stressful time, but the selfishness of the main characters (and most of the other characters) become cliché after a while.

One thing I'll say is the language, descriptive narrative, and the central idea for the story are good, which is good probably why it's gotten good reviews on here. However, I really like character development
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit.
This book is brilliant. I wept and I sat constantly in between a space of awe and feverent jealousy for the writer's skills. She writes so seamlessly and beautifully, capturing the familiar with such fitting imagery. Having became a mother again recently definitely made this all the more gut wrenching and perhaps engaged me more. It was also terrifying as the climate catastrophe storyline is entirely plausible. But the quieter, familial moments hit me hardest. Just absolutely stunning.
Cass Moriarty
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Glad Shout (Affirm Press 2019) by Alice Robinson is a taut and tension-filled novel that combines both a compelling narrative with a tender exploration of the complexities of relationships. The book opens with Isobel, her partner Shaun and their three-year-old daughter Matilda, as they struggle to orientate themselves at an Emergency Relief Centre set up in a sports stadium in one of Australia’s capitals. A massive storm has caused havoc and disaster, with major flooding inundating the entir ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gaby Meares
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Glad Shout is a slap-in-the-face call to curb our excesses before the earth says “enough” and turns on us; and it’s a story about the extremes that a mother will go to, to protect her child.

Isobel, Shaun and their three year old daughter Matilda are fleeing a virtual tsunami that has swamped Melbourne. Together with thousands of other survivors, they find themselves barely surviving in an overcrowded camp, with food and water fast becoming scarce. In the camp, Isobel sees “that the trapping
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
3.5 🌟

This was a really intriguing read, and if I had to try and capture the essence of it in a sentence I’d say it’s a reflection on motherhood amidst a dystopian climate-crisis setting. Told in dual narratives that are both “futuristic” in a sense, we follow Isobel in childhood as she grows into adulthood, then flash ever further forward to Isobel as mother to three-year old Matilda in this collapsed Melbourne context.

For me, the strength of the novel was mainly in Isobel’s adult timeline- I t
Mark Rashleigh
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
A terrifyingly believable story about the human toll of climate change. Thankfully, the leaders of the world's major economies are making rapid changes as I type, hence this would never happen in real life.


I found the lack of specificity regarding where and when incredibly frustrating. My mind kept wandering away from the page trying to work it out. Initially I thought mid 2040's after a runaway greenhouse effect and the stadium is Docklands. But surely that would be swamped first? So, the MCG
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Australia's coastal cities are being ravaged by sea erosion caused by climate change. The Australian Federation is fragmenting and Tasmania has declared independence, with Western Australia soon to follow suit. A massive flood takes out central Melbourne and makes refugees of the people living there. The lucky ones, including Isobel, Shaun and their daughter Matilda, make it to a temporary refugee camp at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Far from being a safe haven, this soon turns into a dog-eat-d ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A novel of mothers and daughters set in a near future climate dystopia. This was a slow burn for me, initially I found the alternate chapters that focussed on the back story more compelling but about mid way through the present day narrative grabbed me and then I couldn’t put it down. It’s real and raw and the scenario it presents is completely plausible and very scary.

My only major gripe is that I found the character of Shaun to be unlikeable and kind of superfluous.
Anna Hamilton
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this one will stick with me for a while. I didn't rush to read it, and it took me a bit longer than it usually would to read a 300 page novel but at the end I feel drained and thoughtful. What a poignant story. Hit a few truths and was scarily accurate about motherhood ( for me ) and about family relationships ( for me )

Would recommend.
Pam Saunders
Feb 20, 2022 rated it liked it
Motherhood, the good, the less good and the sometimes good. Set against the doom and gloom of climate change as rising sea levels, drought and storms decimate life. It was a tough read and now I need something really positive. I have read too many cli-fic novels in a cluster. It’s hard to rate this book, did I enjoy it , no, would I recommend it, carefully, is it literary, yes, did it make me think, oh yes.
Jul 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
A fiction disaster story, focusing on climate change and its devastating consequences on our future world...
Alanna Inserra
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Stunning book on the beautiful traumas of motherhood and all those unsaid things only mothers know.
Set in a climatic disaster (after the storms we’ve had in Melb lately… perhaps not too far fetched), this book was gut-wrenching at times.
I even highlighted a few passages as I was so moved.
Didn’t give it 5 stars as it was a little disjointed at times and took a while to hit it strides.
Bree T
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, australian, aww2019
This was interesting – and timely. Climate change is a real concern at the moment, even if certain people currently in charge of this country (and others?) don’t seem to really think so. Given Australia has such a large coastline and something like 90% of us live along that coast, rising sea levels are an issue that will impact us greatly in the coming years. And then there are violent storms and changing weather patterns, which is something that this book addresses. A catastrophic storm/flood h ...more
Kevin Murray
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very disturbing read. It's the first time I've been really able to imagine what a climate catastrophe would be like. I like the duality of plot and back story. Reading about past events created a context of normality against which the disaster seemed more shocking. The very maternal concerns that underlay the book seemed quite convincing.
But at times it seems over-written. There were some details and connections that didn't need to be included. And I wanted the characters to reflect
Jackie McMillan
(3.5 stars)
There’s a languid pace to Australian end of the world novels centred around climate change that I find quite soothing. The Glad Shout is global catastrophe by increments, where rising sea levels combine with storms and flooding rain, seen from the city of Melbourne. Following the story of Isobel, this book is largely about women, their relationships (particularly with each other), motherhood and how these threads that bind, carry us through catastrophe: "She is reminded that there is
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pandemic
I loved this book. It managed to weave powerful themes in an incredibly beautiful and plausible way. The struggles of families, particularly motherhood are domestic yet at home in this apocalyptic setting. After reading so many dystopian male-centric apocalypse narratives, it was incredibly moving to identify with Isobel. At a time when our climate seems to be on the brink of disaster, the description of Isobel’s childhood is completely believable. A call to action or a spot light on our inabili ...more
Cassandra Kavanagh
Dec 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
I confess with guilt that I did not like this book at all. Unusually for me, I set myself the chore of finishing it simply because it had so many good reviews here (but chore is the right word !). I was certain at first that I must be missing "something" ;something vital ,that had appealed to so many other people ! It was obvious that I could only find out what that "something" was if I completed the book....alas what ever it was, I did not find it. In my opinion the story appeared so contrived ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Polyreader
This book absolutely wrenched my heart, many tears were shed. It not only encapsulated the precise embodiment of motherhood SO beautifully, but also covers the brutally dire situation we may find ourselves in if we don’t address climate change once and for all. This better win a prize!! My book of the year and perhaps favourite book ever now :)
madi griff
Apr 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: endtimes
Thank god I don't plan on having children. Proper review to come. ...more
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