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Cloudstreet review

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ClOUDSTREET By Tim Winton The title, Cloudstreet, although a bit plain, couldn't be more appropriately named as everything that happens within the story revolves around the house nicknamed Cloudstreet. Winton sets this book around Perth, Western Australia, around the time of the second end of the Second World War over a span of twenty years. From reading other Winton novels it's easy to see that his part of the country has had a big impact on him and he has a strong affinity with his country and me being from the West makes it easy for me to relate to the novel. Winton uses words that only someone who has had the experience of growing up or living in country Western Australia would understand, for example he uses the word "boondie" which, if you had lived in country western Australia, is word used to describe a clump of hard sand and you use it to throw it at people, "boondie wars" and because he doesn't explain this to the reader it gave me a little smile on my face and made me feel I had some sort of relationship with the author. Before Chapter One opens there are about two pages of prologue. Winton sets the prologue on the bank of a river; a big happy family picnic is taking place in what he describes as a very picturesque scene, "Yachts run before an unfelt gust with bagnecked pelicans riding above them, the city their twitching backdrop, all blocks and points of mirror light down to the waters edge." ...read more.


Cloudstreet follows the lives of two rural families, the Pickles's and the Lamb's, brought to the city by two separate catastrophes where they find themselves sharing the same old house on Cloud Street for over twenty years. The first chapter of the book opens at the waters edge in Geraldton (a small fishing town halfway between Broome and Perth) and the reader is introduced to Rose Pickles, Winton doesn't really go into much detail into describing Rose when he introduces her, he just says she's "a slender, brown girl with dark straight hair, cut hard across her forehead." He also writes, "She was a pretty kid, but not as pretty as her mother." This is something that really gets under Roses skin, not for the fact that she is vain (which she isn't) but because she gets told every day. In the first few lines of the chapter Winton introduces the reader to two recurring themes of the book, the water and the notion of bad luck, the "shifty shadow". All throughout the first chapter there is this notion of superstition and the supernatural right from the beginning when the narrator says, "Rose Pickles knew something bad was going to happen. Something really bad." Even Sam Pickles, her father, conveys this superstitious notion when the narrator says that "[he] was a fool to get out of bed that day... ...read more.


the story goes, Jesus is walking on water and someone tries to walk out to him but drowns, this is significant as soon after the author makes the statement, that they look like they are walking on water, Fish drowns, much like in the biblical story. Fish survives the drowning but is mentally damaged from the ordeal. At the beginning of this chapter I thought it was going to be completely different to the first chapter, it was to start off with bit the differences stop there as both chapters have seemingly the same plot, a family going through a catastrophe. After the second chapter I was a bit sceptical of continuing on as the only things that have seemed to happen in the book, minus the prologue, have been sad and terrible things. Throughout the novel the house on Cloud Street is personified, given human qualities of groaning, breathing, watching over everyone, and it also experiences a journey of its own. I think that Winton does this to convey the importance of a place, Sam Pickles comes to the realization that "you shouldn't break a place, places are strong, important", the house has become apart of who both the families are, and they have shaped the physical and spiritual presence of the house, this becomes noticeable when Sam wants to sell the house, it takes the mysterious black man to stress the importance of the place to who they are. Jack Batty PES English Dr. Strangeways 1 ...read more.

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