Friday, March 21, 2008

15. Cloudstreet

by Tim Winton

I read this Australian author’s book for my long-distance book club. Long story short – meh.

This book is apparently studied in junior/senior level advanced English in New South Wales, and I’m a little leery of books full of (vague) symbolism and metaphors in book discussion groups – I thought I left that all behind in high school!

The title comes from the address of the large old house shared by two families in Perth – 1 Cloud Street, which comes just be known as “Cloudstreet.” The two families that live there, the Lambs and the Pickles’, are rather odd, but very interesting characters. I did enjoy reading about their eccentricities and adventures, and learned something about what life was like in Western Australia from 1943 to 1963.

Perhaps if I’d actually been able to participate in my book club’s discussion (it only works well when I call from a land line at work to a land line with speakerphone at the other end, and that was not possible for this meeting), I would have gotten more into the book. Or perhaps it would have helped to be Australian. A good source for some background information on the novel is Penguin Notes for Reading Groups for this book.

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