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By Tim Winton

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Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 January 1998
'A fragmented, hilarious, crude, mystical soap opera. In a rich Australian idiom, Winton lets his characters rip against an evocation of Perth so intense you can smell it' Sunday Telegraph Cloudstreet -- a broken-down house of former glories on the wrong side of the tracks, a place teeming with memories of its own, a place of shudders and shadows and spirits. From separate catastrophes, two families flee to the city and find themselves sharing this great sighing structure and beginning their lives again from scratch. Together they roister and rankle in a house that begins as a roof over their heads and becomes a home for their hearts. In this fresh, funny novel, full of wonder and dreams, Tim Winton weaves the threads of lifetimes, of twenty years of shouting and fighting, laughing and grafting, into a story about acceptance and belonging. 'Imagine Neighbours being taken over by the writing team of John Steinbeck and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and you'll be close to the heart of Winton's impressive tale' Time Out

About the Author

Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. His work includes novels, collections of stories, non-fiction and books for children. He has won the miles Franklin Award three times, and been twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).


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.)

EAN: 9780330322690
ISBN: 0330322699
Publisher: Picador
Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2.7 centimetres (0.27 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 of 5 Stars! '

I struggled with this book and found it very confusing. One of the few books thats frustrated me so much I couldnt finish it. Maybe give it another shot when I have more time to spend energy on reading it.


3 of 5 Stars! '

An interesting book. Some parts had me completely hooked while others had me extremly confused. However, overall, I found the book very interesting. I would recommend this book to people over the age of 15. But again some parts seemed out of place and other parts seemed to drag along. Considering that this book covers two families lives over 20 years it seemed to lack a lot of action- but that could just be due to how long it took me to read it?

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