3.96 (14,215 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A fragmented, hilarious, crude, mystical soap opera. In a rich Australian idiom, Winton lets his characters rip against an evocation of Perth so intense you can smell it' Sunday Telegraph Cloudstreet -- a broken-down house of former glories on the wrong side of the tracks, a place teeming with memories of its own, a place of shudders and shadows and spirits. From separate catastrophes, two families flee to the city and find themselves sharing this great sighing structure and beginning their lives again from scratch. Together they roister and rankle in a house that begins as a roof over their heads and becomes a home for their hearts. In this fresh, funny novel, full of wonder and dreams, Tim Winton weaves the threads of lifetimes, of twenty years of shouting and fighting, laughing and grafting, into a story about acceptance and belonging. 'Imagine Neighbours being taken over by the writing team of John Steinbeck and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and you'll be close to the heart of Winton's impressive tale' Time Outshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 30mm | 358.34g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0330322699
  • 9780330322690
  • 5,122

Review Text

This marvelous postmodern novel of family life by bestselling Australian writer Winton (Minimum of Two, That Eye, the Sky, etc.) celebrates all the great traditional values in writing that is emphatically contemporary. As Fish Lamb, whose nature and tragedy shape the story, prepares to return to the river he has yearned for ever since he was saved from drowning as a small boy, two families, the Lambs and the Pickleses, picnicking on the riverbank, are celebrating a momentous decision in their joint lives. The two families - who are working-class and scarred by past failures, and who for 20 years have shared the enormous old house that the Pickleses inherited on Cloud Street - have overcome daunting spiritual, moral, and physical adversities to reach this point. The Pickles family - Sam, who has lost the fingers of one hand in an accident; Dolly, who was abused as a child by her sisters; and their three children - have been adversely affected by Sam's belief in luck ("the shifty shadow of God"). The Iambs, whose religious faith was lost when Fish, after being saved from drowning, turned out to be retarded, are hard-working mystics determined to survive. The house itself, as much a metaphor as a setting, is haunted - and is the least credible part of the novel - by malevolent ghats and by an Aborigine angel who appears serendipitously. The families fight, suffer, teeter on the edge of disaster, but love - young Rosa Pickles and Quick Lamb marry - and the will to endure bring them through. Fish, always sensitive to the dangers surrounding them over the years, is finally able to return to the river where he can savor the families' "healing all the rest of his journey." One of those rare novels that warm the heart, as well as spark the imagination. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Tim Winton

Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. His work includes novels, collections of stories, non-fiction and books for children. He has won the miles Franklin Award three times, and been twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).show more

Rating details

14,215 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 37% (5,203)
4 36% (5,116)
3 18% (2,568)
2 6% (906)
1 3% (422)

Our customer reviews

If you live in or love WA you will recognise so much in this book, and many others of Winton. He has a classic way with descriptions that I love. I spend a lot of the book saying to myself, I know where he's writing out. He ties many storylines together in a musical way. Love his more
by Erin Kingston
Brilliantly written. I brought this book because i'm watching the tv series and I have to say, as great as the series is, it doesn't do the book justice! The same day i recieved it, i sat up till midnight to finish it! Couldn't put it down! Will buy more Winton books in the future!!show more
by Miss K
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