Book – April’s read

VICKERS, Salley. The Other Side of You.  Netley Australia:  Griffin Press. 2006.

Dr. David McBride is a psychiatrist for whom death exerts an unusual draw.  Elizabeth Cruikshank is a woman who is admitted to his hospital. She is hesitant to open up and share the life experiences that brought her to attempt suicide.  There was something about Elizabeth that Dr Mcbride finds both strange and disturbing.  This is a story of trust lost, pain and the complexities of the human heart.

“There is no cure for being alive.”

“She is a slight woman, pale, with two wings of dark hair which framed her face and gave it the faintly bird-like quality that characterised her person”

This is Bourgeois Book Club’s suggested read for the month of April, 2014.  Enjoy!


Book or play ~ which is best?

Which book of Tim Wintons’ did you like the best?

I have loved everything I have read so far of Winton’s work, (Cloudstreet, Breath and Blueback) yet Cloudstreet is by far my favourite.  Set in Western Australia it is a family story about a rambling and rumbling house ..”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.”

Did you know that Tim Winton also collaborated with others to prepare Cloudstreet as a play and it was made into a television show by Showcase?  Read Change the Channel‘s reflections on the television series here.  Not everyone loves the way Tim Winton writes, apparently.

Which do you prefer?  The book or the play or maybe the television show of the story?

WINTON, Tim. Cloudstreet.  Melbourne:  Penguin Books, 2007. 426 pp. (fiction)

School & Learning

“School just gave Quick Lamb the pip.  He was too slow to get things right the first time and too impatient to force himself to learn.”

“Quick almost never spoke in class discussion.  He could never get out what he wanted to say in time.   Mostly he felt breathless and confused, sometimes furious with Mr Krasnostein who baited them all about the Anzacs and the Empire.  Yet there was laughter allowed, even outspokenness.  After one class Krasnostein kept Quick behind.”

“Itching with dread, Quick stood by the little man’s desk.”

You have lovely handwriting, Mr Lamb, but I’m afraid your essay is anything but lovely.”

WINTON, Tim. Cloudstreet.  Melbourne:  Penguin Books, 2007. (pp 138,139).

On Being a Man .. or not

“He looked at his hands which were white with work.  Every time he looked at them he knew he was a small man, small enough to be the jockey his father once wanted him to be.  What a thing, hoping for smallness in a man.  Well, he was small, in more ways than he cared to think about, but Sam never was a jockey.” (page 10)

“They were hard men here – crims, fighters, scabs, gamblers – but the government didn’t seem to give a damn who they were as long as they filled quotas.”  (page 12)

“Sam’s father Merv had been a water diviner.   …   He believed deeply in luck, the old man, though he was careful never to say the word.  He called it the shifty shadow of God.   All his life he paid close attention to the movements of that shadow.   He taught Sam to see it passing, feel it hovering, because he said it was those shifts that governed a man’s life and it always paid to be ahead of the play.  If the chill of its shade felt good you went out to meet it like a droughted farmer goes out, arms wide, to greet the raincloud, but if you got that sick, queer feeling in your belly, you had to stay put and do nothing but breathe and there was a good chance it would pass you by.  If you greeted it, it came to you; if you shunned it, it backed away.” (page 10-11)

“Sam’s mother slept in the narrow child’s bed in the next room.  She was a simple, clean, gloomy woman, much younger than her husband.  Even as a boy, he barely thought about her.  She was good to him, but she suffered for her lifelong inability to be a man.” (page 11)

WINTON, Tim. Cloudstreet.  Melbourne:  Penguin Books, 2007.

Book – February’s read

It is a new month and this is the second suggested reading for Bourgeois Book Club.  Cloudstreet was first published in 1991 and is a novel, set in Australia.

WINTON, Tim. Cloudstreet.  Melbourne:  Penguin Books, 2007.

Tim Winton is an Australian author born in 1960.  I understand that he has published over 25 books, including children’s books and he has also written many short stories.   Cloudstreet was adapted as a play (2011) and was released as a mini-series on ABC Television at that time.   It is now available on DVD or CD from ABC shop (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).   Winton has published work with both Penguin Books and Pan Macmillan Australia.

“A generous watery epic …” (Independent)

“A river of life Australia family sage …” (The Guardian)

“A seductive celebration of human oddity, resilience and love … “(Independent on Sunday)

I hope you enjoy the read – 426 pages.

Read more about Tim Winton here.