Winner of the Miles Franklin Award and recognised as one of the greatest works of Australian literature, Cloudstreet is Tim Winton's sprawling, comic epic about luck and love, fortitude and forgiveness, and the magic of the everyday.
Tim Winton has published twenty-six books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian Vogel Award in 1981, he has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows,Cloudstreet, Dirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia. Find out more on Facebook
Australian Winton's fifth novel is chock-full, depicting birth, death, resurrection, marriage, miscarriage, gambling, drunkenness, adultery, anorexia, depression, love, and joy. From 1944 to 1964, the Pickles and Lamb families share a large house in a suburb of Perth on the wrong side of the tracks. The Pickles own the house and are slothful, he a gambler with long streaks of bad luck, she often drunk and adulterous. The tenant Lambs are hard-working. After the latter open a successful grocery on the first floor of the house, the families' lives become intertwined, and home and hearth become an anchor. World War II, Australian politics, the Cuban missle crisis, and Kennedy's assassination take a backseat to their trials and final joy. Biblical imagery, a talking pig, a house that cracks its knuckles, a son who glows in the dark, and a mysterious black ``guardian angel'' add spice to a book whose language resonates and charms. Highly recommended for most fiction collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.-- Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
``Luck don't change, love,'' observes Sam Pickles to his daughter Rose. ``It moves.'' Considerations of fate and love underlie Winton's ( Shallows ) wry novel, set in Western Australia, about two families thrown together in the years following WW II. Sam Pickles earns a modest living mining guano for nitrate until he loses his hand in an accident. Fortunately, the family inherits a rambling old house--the Cloudstreet of the title--in which they can live, although they still lack cash. The dilemma is resolved with the sudden arrival of the rigid, God-fearing Lamb family, whom the rather libertine Pickles take in as boarders. Following the quirky, deeply etched members of these families--``flamin whackos,'' in Quick Lamb's description--as they forge bonds and undergo travails, Winton explores the haphazard nature of human existence with a quietly focused ferocity. Featuring lyrical passages and rapid-fire, minimally punctuated dialogue, this satiric, affectionate family saga is tragic and hilarious--and often both at once. Winton shows himself a worthy successor to his countryman Martin Boyd, who portrayed the Anglo-Australian society of previous generations. (Apr.)