Posts Tagged ‘surfing’

5th August
2009
written by Steph

Isn't that cover gorgeous?

Several years ago, my real-life bookclub selected Cloudstreet from a series of Australian novels as our next read.  I don’t remember a whole lot about the book, to be honest, though I do remember being equal parts amused and flummoxed by the inundation of Australian slang.  Today I would say the book painted a vivid portrait of families in Australia and the Aussie mentality, and Winton isn’t afraid of getting down into the dirty underbelly of working-class families and the hands Fate deals us.  I didn’t blog back then, but I did jot down a few notes about each book I read in my Excel spreadsheet, so here’s what I thought of Cloudstreet at the time:

Took me much longer to finish than it should have; was not a difficult read despite the reviews; characters were compelling at times, but overall I didn’t feel that I learned or took anything from this book, and none of the characters were all that vivid to me; do see the somewhat hopeless yet hopeful aspects to the family, I don’t necessarily get why we’re supposed to care about them… also what was with the serial killer plotline? 3 out of 5.

Hmmm… apparently with time, my appraisal of Cloudstreet has somewhat softened, as that review doesn’t sound all that positive.  Perhaps it’s for the best I didn’t revisit that review before purchasing a few more Winton volumes on my recent trip to the used bookstore!  My line of thinking had essentially been, “Tim Winton!  I’ve read a book by him… Cloudstreet was alright, and I do want to read some more Australian fiction.  Why not give these a go?  They’re cheap!  Done!”  And that is how I came to own copies of Breath and The Riders.

How I came to actually read Breath is a different story, but not really all that complicated either.  Sometimes I finish a book and have no idea what I want to read next.  I just want to dive into a great story and let it take me away.  Given how voluminous my TBR pile is, I can sometimes find it daunting to pick a new book since I tend to want to read them all right then!  In times like that, I find it can be really helpful to not overthink but to just pick up a book and start reading.  The genius with Breath is that it was a relatively slender volume (so not intimidating), and I also didn’t know anything at all about what it was about so there was nothing to overthink.  I just had to jump in feet first and hope for the best!
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