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Cloudstreet [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Tim Winton , Peter Hosking , Inc. Brilliance Audio
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 16 2012 Modern Australian Classic

Winner of the Miles Franklin and NBC Awards

From seperate catastrophes, two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet where they begin their lives from scratch. For twenty years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts.

"Nothing short of magnificent...a wonderful read." - Time Out

"One of those rare novels that warm the heart, as well as spark the imagination." - Kirkus Reviews


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"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.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

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
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars warm and earthy Nov. 12 2007
Format:Paperback
I would never have discovered this book without it being a choice for our monthly Book Club. I'm glad I read it and couldn't put it down! I wanted to find out what happened to all of the characters. I will have to read it again to catch all the details and layers of the story. Tim Winton is an author who certainly makes you care about his characters, with all their flaws and all their strengths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like getting to know an arm of your family March 2 2004
By "binoz"
Format:Audio Cassette
An epic journey of life shared with two bustling families that stays with you long after. Even now, some five months after listening to the book on audio, I still hear the charachters in my head and smile to myself. An engrossing tale to curl up and get into - highly reccomended to anyone who enjoys the trials of family and relationships.
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3.0 out of 5 stars book of magic April 17 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved reading the book and could not wait to get back to it, but I did not always understand all layers of the story. Reading the book one drifts between reality, magic and a wondrous dream world. Perhaps one should start at the beginning again ?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  145 reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One grand "nugget in the webbing" July 7 2003
By Janice M. Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Los Angeles Times Book Review states "Winton is a one-man band of genius."
Heady words, and I snapped at the bait, intrigued by the raving reviews of the readers. (Be careful not to read all of them, as one gives away the entire ending in one sentence).
I was not disappointed. I was completely captivated by this story in a way I have never been by any other. The originality, teasing slang and the insight into australian post-world war II was a hearty combination that cadenced into one of the most fascinating books I have ever read.
This book went with me everywhere. I discussed it with many and especially enjoyed lingering over certain sentences ripe with slang. It was probably one of the most delightful aspects of reading this book; the freshness and foreigness to me as an American reading the saucy expressions of Australians. The humor is hilarious, and there was a smile for nearly every page I read and also moments that made your heart melt. At this very moment, there are friends of mine working in medicine (hospital) still trying to figure out what Tim Winton meant by "the smell of nugget in the webbing."
Aside from the hilarity, the novel is about two families that by chance come together to live in the same large home. The Pickles Family inherits a large home from a relative that dies suddenly and unexpectantly. Thanks to this relative (Uncle Joel) and his wise forethought, he bars his brother, Sam from selling the home for 20 years. Joel's motivation is a premeditated attempt to protect the wife and children of Sam and Sam's gambling at the race tracks, not to mention the unfortunate work related amputation of his fingers on one hand that renders him nearly unemployable. Since things are pretty grim anyway (they are living above the bar that Joel owns and "working" off the rent,) Sam's drunken wife Dolly, and his children move on up to Cloudstreet and the mansion in the offering.
Sam, ever so shifty, immediately, and without prior consultation with the rest of his family, rents out one half of the house to the Lamb family. The Lambs are the absolute opposite of the Pickles. Religious, and with their own family sorrows, they pack in and set up a grocery store in their one half of the lower story to make a living.
The Lambs arrive after suffering through the near drowning of their most beloved son, Fish. (note the irony.)
Fish, retarded and prone to sensing spirits in the house and in and of himself becomes essential to the story and the telling. Revolving around this poor boy are the steel strength-heart soft mother, Oriel, and father Lester, a hen-pecked, sweet tempered,entertaining pa. Son "Quick" is the angst-ridden brother who feels responsible for Fish's accident and grows up fighting the evils around him. The other sisters round out this lively family.
Many characters and sub-plots keep this book a page turner that will entertain and move you. I look forward to reading the rest of his novels.

PS : there is a study guide for those that want to enhance the novel. See Amazon.com under author Tim Winton.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad . . . Sept. 3 2000
By Mark Keith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It is sad to see this book is out of print. I still have a hardback copy on my shelf. Since first reading the book -- the first time I read it I had actually checked it out of the library -- I have obtained three copies at my favorite used bookstore, giving away two copies to friends. Maybe it was because Tim Winton was not a household name even among readers or maybe it was because "Cloudstreet" did not appear in Harold Bloom's list of canonical books (and I felt it should have been), but there is no other work of fiction I've felt strong enough about to get three copies to give away two -- that I felt needed to be read and read by as many people as possible. A marvelous allegory, a great work of fantasy with so much of the gritty details of the mundane world you forget how unlikely these two families are that live in the house on Cloudstreet. The Pickles and The Lambs, the two sides of a spiritual person. The Lambs: moral, charitable, and hardworking, but without any faith. On the other end, Sam Pickle, a drunkard and gambler, but a man who knows about what it means to live in the shadow of God: that some days you cannot lose, and other days . . . to get out of bed is asking for trouble. And then there is Fish Lamb who half comes back from his watery grave, the other half living in the world of the spirit watching over the people he loves and telling us their story. I cannot say too much . . . this is a book that needs to be read and then it needs to be contemplated with the sense of wonder it evokes.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing and moving book Dec 27 2007
By M. Speas - Published on Amazon.com
This book follows the lives of two Australian families who share a house from the 1940s to the 1960s. Both families are poor, but one believes in "luck" and the other creates their own luck. It's a wonderful, absorbing portrayal of a wide variety of characters, the ups and downs of their lives and the vicissitudes and joys of their crowded lives. The writing was very engaging, although American readers might have some trouble with some of the Australian language.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You should most definitely visit Cloudstreet Feb. 21 2006
By Elaine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the kind of book you wait for. The words flow smooth and slow, like a deep river, and before you know it a full portrait of a land, a house, two families, and a dozen lifetimes are etched into your mind where they will stay for a very long time.

The character development is flawless and you come to care about each one of them whether you like them or not.

This was the first work by Winton that I've read and the beginning was a little rough going (there are no quotation marks) but by the end of chapter 1 I was wondering why quotation marks were ever invented. In Winton's skillful hands they are totally unnecessary.

I truly did not want this book to end. I, too, wanted to stay on Cloudstreet.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Aug. 6 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I could not put this book down if I had wanted. The complete Australian atmosphere mesmerized me ... or was it Mr. Winton's unique style of writing? He certainly has a way of capturing a scene in every sentence. This was, perhaps, the closest one can come to experience humanity through a novel. The ordinary lives of humans captured in the normal unexpected events that occur in one's own life. The tragic fragility of what we experience as life can be summed up in the story of Fish. I would recommend this book to high school teachers everywhere. Additionally, I am left wondering how this book could have been missed by the individuals who decide the Booker Prize and its' shortlist
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