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By Tim Winton

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Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Published In: Australia, 05 January 1998
From separate catastrophes two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives again from scratch. For twenty years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts. Tim Winton's funny, sprawling saga is an epic novel of love and acceptance. Winner of the Miles Franklin and NBC Awards in Australia, Cloudstreet is a celebration of people, places and rhythms which has fuelled imaginations world-wide.

About the Author

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.)

EAN: 9780140273984
ISBN: 0140273980
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.9 x 3.3 centimetres (0.30 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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6 review(s)
All Reviews
Karen on
I just finished this book. I liked it. It took a while to get into it, because sometimes its a little confusing- like you dont know whats just happened because of the way its written, but i got used to it and then i couldnt put the book down! A good read, but it sort of ends suddenly, not sure if there is a sequel i dont think so. Anyway, i recommend it to anyone who likes a good drama! 4/5!
Zali on
This book touches your very soul -rolls around in it and the leaves it's mark. Excellent reading.
Customer on
Miserable people living miserable lives. I struggled with this book trying to finnish it because I had paid for it, in the end I didn't finish it. I just wanted a little hope or adventure but there was just endless misfortune, page after page. It seems a lot of people like Tim's books but not me. This was my second and last.
Customer on
Cloudstreet is the story of two families in Western Australia around the period of World War II. It is my absolute favourite Australian text and is a modern classic. Cloudstreet belongs on every Australian's bookshelf.
Customer on
This would have to be one of the best books i have ever read and my favourite of Tim Winton's novels. I laughed and I cried and thought the characters were just wonderful. This is a true Australian classic that captures the Australian spirit. It will be a book that I will read many times. Love it, love it, love it!!!!
Susan on
I enjoyed Cloudstreet much more than Dirt Music, my previous experience with Winton. I felt that this story was much more engaging and interesting and that the characters were much more likeable and realistic. I enjoyed the family dynamics. The lack of punctuation for speech drove me crazy and I did have to re-read some sections because this confused me a little, but I would still recommend this book to anyone looking for a good solid fiction read.

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