Winton, Tim

  7 Reviews

The Pickle and Lamb families are like chalk and cheese but for the separate tragedies that bring them together in an old house on the outskirts of Perth. But just as chalk and cheese, disparate as they are, share some elements, over time so too do these dysfunctional families.

Set in post-World War II, this Australian classic examines, through its delightfully eccentric and likeable characters, tough times in the 'Lucky Country'.

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Comments from Groups

We loved the book and had an in-depth discussion about Tim Winton and the novel itself. The character Oriel was a favourite for most of us, and the dance scene at Rose's wedding where she and Dolly take to the floor got special mention. We discussed the concept of 'dream-time', and how this flavoured the novel. Nelson 014

About half of us read the book through to the end; we all found it troubling and rather depressing. But, as always, we had a great discussion. Generally those who had persevered thought it was worth the effort. Upper Hutt 003

We found 'Cloudstreet' an earthy story about earthy people, and seemingly simple narration but with very complex undertones. We felt the gradual sense of togetherness that both families achieved showed that love and acceptance are precious and important to everyone. The sense of merging together is epitomized by the marriage of Rose and Quick. Fish was a delight, and his eventual reunion with his beloved water was very poignantly portrayed. Auckland 088

This book not a favourite - very long-winded and wordy, although some amazing descriptions and conversations. Masterton 013

We all loved the language (and skill in using it) in this book, but still struggled with it. It took a long time to get into it and sort out the characters, but then it became compelling, although puzzling, reading. There was much discussion on stereotypes, and the spiritual/fate aspect of the story. Putaruru 001

The group was generally enthusiastic about 'Cloudstreet'. Only one a little less so. Another is already reading one of Tim Winton's novels from our local library. We agreed that the author's use of language was exceptional. Some found the lack of speech marks disconcerting at first. As usual our discussion was robust. There was some hilarity as people reminisced about early childhood memories of the era. Overall, we can recommend 'Cloudstreet' as an enjoyable, thought provoking read. Whanganui 002



AUCK 335
A long book but worth the effort. Our discussion ranged far and wide with differing opinions of the various characters. We thought the context in both space and time was very well-described, and we appreciated it while sometimes puzzled by the symbolism with its many religious inferences.
AUCK 058
Generally the group liked the book. Most felt it was rather long, but thought the characters and setting were realistic for the times. Good descriptions and character development.
One of the rare books that everyone seemed to enjoy. Many thoughtful and perceptive comments and an overall sense of enjoyment after reading this.
For us the book would probably be more engaging as a television mini series. Some readers felt that it is long winded, there are too many characters and some of the writing is confusing and irrelevant. Generally not an edifying read and did not elicit many positive comments.
Two of us did our best to convert the others to the merits of this book. For several, the reaction was like the two other reviews - they saw no point in the novel and didn't like the vernacular language. But perhaps we did make them see how sympathetically Winton deals with his flawed characters, how he sees the beauty of Western Australia, how funny he can be, and his spiritual connection with the land. It's true though that book is very long - finishing it is a bit of a marathon.
HAST 014
The Aussie vernacular was a little hard to follow at times. This book got mixed reviews from our group. I liked the characters and the general storyline.
Unfortunately our group found this book long winded and felt that there wasn't any point to it. Half of the group persisted with reading it to the end expecting something to 'happen' which never did and the other half abandoned it.