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November 7, 2017



by N@ncy

Finished: 07.11.2017
Score: 5 +++++
Title: Cloudstreet (1991)
Author: Tim Winton
Genre: fiction [Australian classic]
Trivia:  (WA) AusReadingMonth @Brona’s Books
Trivia: Winner of 1992 Miles Franklin Award
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize
awarded to a novel which is of
the highest literary merit and presents
Australian life in any of its phases.


I found this book on Jean Gleeson’s Top 50
Australian books in the last 200 years.
I have discovered so much by reading
Australian classics and that is all because of
Brona’s Books blog! (have a look!)


The book chronicles the lives of two
working class Australian families,
…the Pickles and the Lambs.
They come to live together in a large house
called Cloudstreet in Perth 1943-1963.


Don’t read this book!
If you REALLY  want to appreciate the twang and jingle of Winton’s writing
you MUST listen to the audio book.
You can always….re-read the book version!
I was mesmerized by the voices and dialect.
My imagination ran wild envisioning the big house Cloudstreet
a big sagging joint
was boarded up and held its breath
heaved and sighed around them
he listened to the house cracking its knuckles
…hugging inwards, sucking in air…
the house seems to laugh at him…
the house breathes its first painless breath in half a century…

Winton weaves a paranormal feeling throughout the book
by introducing the nameless black man
that seems to pop up here and there in the life of
the main character ‘Quick’ Lamb.
He feels like a ‘black guardian angel’ that
guides Quick in the right direction.


Winton’s cast of characters are unforgettable.

Pickles: Sam and Dolly
He is always waiting for ‘Lady Luck’.
His luck had waxed and waned.
Like a gambler…he was on a lifelong losing streak.”
She realizes she’s had her chances
….beauty fades and suddenly you’re 60 yrs old
with secrets she has never revealed.

Lambs: Lester and Oriel:
He is a lovable father who bears the cross
of a terrible accident that left his son ‘a bit slow’.
He entertains the family “ the knife never lies!” and
comes to the aid of his neighbour, Sam.
He’s a real life saver.
She is god fearing, inflexible ready to
take command in a difficult family situation type of woman
…and is usually always right.
She is the backbone of the entire house Cloudstreet.

The love interest: Quick Lamb and Rose Pickles
Fifteen years they have been living under the same roof but never really noticed one another.
Yet once their orbital paths cross….it was love at first sight.


All these characters have one thing in common…their dreams.
We all turn into the same thing, don’t we?
Memoires, shadows, worries, dreams.
We all join up somewhere in the end.” (pg 445)


Last thoughts:
I have enjoyed this audio book  while….
waiting for a train that never came on Tuesday
quenching my thirst with a Heineken at lunch on Wednesday
recovering from the aches and pains of a fitness session on Friday
planting the last tulip bulbs on Saturday.
Now is is Sunday I have no more Pickles and Lambs to look forward to.
I was sad when this book ended.
It made me laugh.
It dazzled me with clever metaphors and similes.
It it made me stop and ponder some life questions
about family, love, commitment and death.
This is the BEST book I read this year!




Read more from #AusReadingMonth, Classic
15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 7 2017

    This has been on my wish list for quite a few years, but I’ve never considered listening. Just moved it over to the audio list, where I’m likely to get to it sooner. Thanks!


    • Nov 8 2017

      I can recommend another classic on audio (24 hrs) ….perfect for traveling or lounging on the beach: The Old Wives’ Tale by A. Bennett. It is nr 87 on Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels List! Utterly captivating as you follow the two Victorian sisters Sophia and Constance from 16 yrs – 60 yrs! Here is my review on


      • Nov 8 2017

        I’d never heard of that one, but it’s on my list now. Sounds excellent! Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nov 8 2017

    I’m halfway through, and NOW I learn I should listen to the audio version? Oh well…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nov 9 2017

      Reading or listening….it is still a great book! I just love the voices and Australian accent!


  3. Nov 9 2017

    I tried to read this book some 15 years ago, I gave up half way through (I was working a really hard night shift gig back then though). I’m currently listening to Moby Dick and starting to believe that I can listen to almost anything, that I would never make it through the written form of. I might just give the audio of Cloudstreet another go- I do feel somewhat of an Australian failure for not liking it….


    • Nov 9 2017

      ….the audio book is the way to go! I agree, audio books have given met the incentive to tackle the ‘chunksters’ that I keep avoiding. Today the ultimate challenge ( for me)…I start audio War and Peace! It may take me weeks to read/listen…but I WILL do it!


  4. Nov 9 2017

    You’ve just made my day Nancy. I love Cloudstreet – I’ve read it twice so far. Sounds like I should give the audio a try next time – who narrates it?

    Winton has a new fiction book due out next March – I’m excited with a little reservation – I don’t always connect to all of his books as strongly as I did to Cloudstreet (& Dirt Music).


    • Nov 9 2017

      I fell in love with this book! The Pickles and Lambs were such characters….and kept me entertained to the very last page! Narrator was: Peter Hosking (born 19 December 1947) is an Australian actor and audiobook narrator. Excellent ..”G’day mate” and “…fair enough!”
      I think I’ll try another one of his books…what do you suggest?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nov 9 2017

        I also loved Dirt Music although the ending is a bit over dramatic.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nov 11 2017

    This is a book I’d like to read – but it won’t be this month! I bought a nice 2nd hand HB copy of War & Peace yesterday & it came with a bookmark listing the principal characters and their families which will be very helpful when I start reading it.


    • Nov 11 2017

      I started War and Peace last night….officially. I use the wikipedia List of Characters in War and Peace. it helps when there are more than 600 in the book! Thanks for your comment, Carol!



Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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