|The View from Here|
It's like poetry written in prose.
These two books, and I expect his others, too, provide a glimpse into Australian life. Cloudstreet reminds me a bit of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath -- working class people struggling to feed their families in the years after the depression.
Winton is the second Australian writer I've read recently.
I was loaned a copy of Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap a few months ago and found it absolutely brilliant. Tsiolkas takes a domestic incident and describes it from eight different perspectives. The Slap is very much in your face -- in terms of the writing style. At times, it was shocking, particularly the language that some of the characters used, but not offensive. I think the "shock factor" was due mostly to the fact that my previous six or seven books had been works of classic literature -- Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Stefan Zweig, Adolfo Bioy Casres and Thomas Mann.
The Slap, which I enjoyed tremendously, takes a look at contemporary life in Australia.
Anyway, so I am currently reading Cloudstreet -- sitting outside on the hillside -- overlooking these wonderful mountains and suddenly the calm is interrupted by -- POW POW POW.
My neighbor, who lives a quarter of a mile away, is target practicing with his high-powered rifle. He pops off about a dozen rounds and he's done.
Having lived away from the states for a number of years -- the sound of a gun takes some getting used to...