Julie Christine's Reviews > Cloudstreet

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
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Feb 01, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: australia-new-zealand-south-pacific, best-of-2011, historical-fiction, read-2011
Recommended to Julie Christine by: Brendan
Read from February 01 to 15, 2011 — I own a copy

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 years. They live in the same rotting mansion, separated by thin walls and different ambitions. The families' regard for each other alternates between disgust and wonder, passion and forgiveness as their children and their backwater state of Western Australia grow up and away.

Winton tells the classic tale of messy, intolerable families- how each is a unique disaster and a treasure. But this is no ordinary familial saga. Winton's writing is in a class of its own. He is fearless -- calmly and confidently taking the reader from literal, linear storytelling to a subtle state of magical realism.

This is an unforgettable book, both for its content and its style. I was struck by the universality of his themes and the recognizable nature of his characters. These working class families would be at home in Appalachia, the timber forests of Oregon, the fishing villages of the north Atlantic Coast. Mr. Winton must be a national treasure in Australia. We'd do well to show him a larger welcome mat here in North America.
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Reading Progress

02/02/2011 page 50
12.0% "Winton has such a unique voice. So clean and clear you can see deeply into the depths, not all the way through. Beautiful."
02/05/2011 page 111
26.0% "This might take awhile, but it's prose to savor."
02/07/2011 page 170
40.0% "The hints of supernatural are so subtle, which only heightens the tension of anticipation. Brilliant."
02/13/2011 page 280
66.0% "Even though it's taking me an age to read this, it will be 5 stars."
03/24/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris Beautiful review, Julie. I tried to "like" the review, but ole GR is acting up! :-)


Julie Christine Chris wrote: "Beautiful review, Julie. I tried to "like" the review, but ole GR is acting up! :-)"

Thank you! Yes, when I logged on to GR yesterday, once again, things had changed. Now it's all drop-down tabs. Sigh.


message 3: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay I agree with you about Winton's talents. Winton is, by the way, "a national treasure in Australia." Have you read his other works?


Julie Christine Jay wrote: "I agree with you about Winton's talents. Winton is, by the way, "a national treasure in Australia." Have you read his other works?"

Hi Jay- I've read "Breath" and "The Riders" and loved both. "Dirt Music" and "The Turning" are on tap...


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