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Taking Tom Murray Home

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The winner of the inaugural Banjo Prize, Taking Tom Murray Home is a funny, moving, bittersweet Australian story of fires, families and the restorative power of community.

Bankrupt dairy farmer Tom Murray decides he'd rather sell off his herd and burn down his own house than hand them over to the bank. But something goes tragically wrong, and Tom dies in the blaze. His wife
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 22nd 2019 by HarperCollins Australia
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4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  28 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Mum lit the spark with Dad's funeral Jenny turned it into a wildfire. A wildfire that spread from bank to bank, State to State, and it's burning still.'

This is an absolute delight to read, and a great Australian uplit novel. I mean, sure, the kid protagonist's dad dies and the kid is unable to process these emotions, ends on a good note, trust me.

What can't this book do? It has bone dry humour and brilliant Australian wit. It weaves a moving personal story around a much larger and gran
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised and delighted by this book. It was charming and witty and poignant. Every word was applied sparingly and precisely in a manner that suggests the author's tenth novel, not his first novel. The premise is a fed-up Australian dairy farmer, neck deep in debt, who decides to burn his house down rather than let the bank have it and ends up killing himself in the process. It's a wonderful premise, and so thoroughly of the times as to hook you in immediately. I found Dawn, our heroine, u ...more
Julie Garner
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, fiction
I received an ARC of this book.
I finished this book in one sitting. It was just too hard to put down.
Brilliantly written from the eyes of our 13 year old protagonist. Jack shows us his world as the son of a dairy farmer in Victoria’s Southwest.
It opens with the death of his father Tom Murray after he accidentally kills himself whilst in the act of protesting about the dairy industry and what is being done to the farmers. It is at this point that his wife decides to continue his fight and bring
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!

Right from the first page, it drew me in and I did not want to put it down.

It is the story of ordinary people on an extraordinary journey, protesting their cause. It follows the group on their procession which rouses a community and gathers support. It is also a suspenseful story and up until the end we are left wondering who is lighting the fires along the way.

Jack and Jenny, the two young teenagers at the heart of this story are great characters. Jack is telling the story an
Sharon Viveiros Rice
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to Slee's incredible talent in rapid succession - first The Vanirim, with its twisty, futuristic plot that sucks you in from the get-go, then followed by my forever-favorite Charlie Jones series whose irrepressible title character captivates and entertains. These memorable works couldn't be more different from each other and collectively, they demonstrate Slee's versatility and skill as a writer. His latest work, Taking Tom Murray Home, is equally wonderful and will no doubt ear ...more
Michelle Bansen
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of those rare books that will make you laugh and cry in good measure, but leaves you feeling hopeful that ultimately we can say and do the the right thing at the right time and that coming together in times of tragedy can bring out the best in people. It's an Australian story that shouts out to the spirit of the bush, the hardship but also the resilience of those living on the land. Told with dry wit and humor, it is a story about grief, challenging authority, growing up, about commu ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with this book from the get go - it's just such a charmer, with a heart of gold. It's hugely topical - in some ways, the plot feels like it's ripped from the headlines: a farmer forced off his land by a combination of the banks and the drought; a tragic accident; a grieving widow; an angry community that decides to protest ... All that makes it sound like it's going to be really grim, but the joy of the book is that it's the exact opposite. There's very real warmth here, and humou ...more
Tim Armstrong
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really loved this very readable, enjoyable, quirky novel. At times it's so Australian. But it certainly is a book of it's time. Although the author has written previous novels, this is certainly a worthy winner of this new award, (the Banjo Award) and I for one hope it achieves broad readership, because it deserves it.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taking Tom Murray Home tells the story of the issues surrounding modern day Australian farming and communities through the eyes of a young teenager. This could well have been a work of non-fiction as it accurately reflects the current issues of our farmers (and beyond).

This book has it all - drought, debt, death, fires, mateship, humour and true Australian spirit. A page-turner from beginning to end, I wanted to find out just what would happen to this strong group of family and friends and coul
Erin Dunk
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book.
Written through the eyes of 13 year old protagonist Jack we see how hard life can be for the son of a Victorian dairy farmer.
It will tug at your heart strings and deals with grief and the uplifting support community spirit can have on a family in need.
with a good dose of humour and grit you won't go wrong if you choose to read this uplifting book.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A horse-drawn funeral procession, a trail of burnt-out banks and supermarkets, a defiant widow and her two dry-eyed children … a country that allows its farmers to be forced off the land … has there ever been a book so deeply Australian as ‘Taking Tom Murray Home’? This book won the 2018 Banjo Prize, an award for an unpublished great Australian story – and storyteller. The winner, Tim Slee, is not only that, but also a great Australian humourist.

And what tinder-dry humour it is, flipping tragedy
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly original, uniquely Australian, Taking Tom Murray Home is a novel that you could recommend to anyone who loves a good story well told.
It’s both timely and timeless in it's subject matter of the tough reality of farming life in Australia and the never ending bad behaviour of the banks. But it's the characters who are so endearing that stay with you, and you'll become their biggest cheerleaders on their incredible journey . Destined to be an Australian classic, and it would make a brilli
Susanne Oliver-dearman
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading Tim Slee’s Banjo Prize winning novel took me far longer than it would usually, but for ultimately praiseworthy reasons. My husband and I are travelling regional Australia for a year, living out of the back of a small AWD. While I’ve been slowly reading ‘Tom Murray,’ we’ve been trundling through dairy, sheep, grain and orchard country, and amongst fisheries, forests and national parks. Everyday we’ve been listening to Australians, many of whom are confronting the novel’s themes.

Slee’s pro
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the story which will touch a cord with any Australian who has an understanding of and sympathy for the difficulty of farming, especially during a drought, and especially when $1/litre milk has been such a catastrophe for the farmers (which I've never bought, myself, just quietly).

Told through the eyes of an observant young boy who has a frank grasp of reality, the tale follows a convoy of Tom's wife (farmers' wives aren't pushovers!), her children (including the narrator, Jack), and smal
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Tim (TJ) Slee is an Australian author who was winner of the 2018 HarperCollins Banjo Prize for Australian Fiction and of the 2016 US Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize for fiction. He is also a past winner of the Allen & Unwin INK prize for short fiction.

He is now signed with HarperCollins and his novel TAKING TOM MURRAY HOME is coming out in 2019.

The Banjo Prize Jury wrote that TAKING TOM MURRA