Bookish Topic Tuesday – Cloudstreet the Miniseries

Bookish Topic Tuesday

Cloudstreet the Miniseries

Again cheating with the topic slightly, but it’s still related to books, this time a TV miniseries adaptation. So the first book I did on this blog was Cloudstreet, over two years ago now! And at the end of it, I mentioned the miniseries which was about to air, and I said I would try to go ahead and watch it, and now over two years later, I finally have!

Continue reading Bookish Topic Tuesday – Cloudstreet the Miniseries

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The End of Cloudstreet – The final words, and my thoughts

Well, this is it! The ultimate (original meaning of the last, though hopefully the more modern meaning of ultimate too) post of Cloudstreet! The culmination nearly 60 posts and 2 months of reading.

There is no title for the last words, like the beginning, but let’s read on.

Oh my! THAT WAS AMAZING! What a fitting end to the story. Oriel is moving back inside and folding up the tent. Obvious symbolism here! And then Dolly walks over and helps her, and it mentions the fact that there is no fence! Obvious symbolism here again! The families are no longer divided, they are now one. Was it Fish’s death that caused this to happen, or more the culmination of events, probably the latter, but there is no more text, so you can think what you want. That’s the end and there is no more, but there really shouldn’t be anymore, that was a superb ending.

Now what did I think of the book overall. Well, I really did love it! It’s unlike anything I’ve read before, and was really well written and interesting. Tim Winton is a really good writer and I understand, truly, why this is ‘critically acclaimed’ and whatnot. To say it was my ‘favourite’ book ever, is impossible! Why? Because I don’t have a favourite or even favourites really. I am just too indecisive to actually make a decision and say this is my favourite. How can you have a favourite when every book is different, and some are from different genres and by different authors who all have different styles. How can you weigh up everything and just plainly say that is my favourite. I love lots of books, which could be called ‘favourites’. I have surprisingly, read predominately books that I have enjoyed, I have never really encountered (or so I remember) a book that I truly hated at the time. I may have disliked parts of it, like The Riders but other than that, I haven’t had a bad experience with a book, which may be rare, or it may not. So I cannot rank Cloudstreet, certainly not in a numerical form (the number of 5/5’s I have given on Goodreads.com is amazing) and I probably am not the harshest of critics, and have a pretty open mind and would never stop reading a book in the middle, no matter what (by my choosing, I remember a couple, but I either forgot what book it was or was busy so they don’t count. And I may come to eat my own words one day, when I encounter such a book). But I would honestly have to say, to read this book. Truth be told, I would tell you to read any book, even if it was bad, so you could make up your own mind. But Cloudstreet was good, better than good. Sure some parts make you go ‘What?’ but you do get used to them, or at least they don’t detract from the value of reading, though it would be interesting to note if someone who completely understood these strange ‘image’ sections had a different idea of the story than someone who didn’t (like me!).

This is the first book I read that I really reviewed and certainly the first I have blogged about. Sure I’ve done reviews and essays on books and whatnot in school, but nothing to this level of detail (it would be nice for wordpress to give me a total word count, that would be interesting, I wonder how many words it would be… {I think around 30,000+ words from a quick estimation from copying and pasting into word}). Which means that I will certainly remember my experience of reading Cloudstreet and I will always be able to look back at my 58 (Or maybe it was 57) posts on Cloudstreet. Maybe one day in the future, I will read it and think what the hell was I thinking or that is the most stupid thing I have ever said or that is the worst post ever (I will almost certainly think one of these things later down the track) but it has been immense fun and has been extremely interesting. Currently, I don’t believe anyone has read my Cloudstreet posts (yes bring out the world’s smallest violin for Daniel) but I really don’t care, maybe one person will read it eventually, or not. Blogging, is pretty ‘selfish’ because it really is about ‘me’, but it would be nice to have a community in my blog, but maybe one day!

All things said, I have to say, that I did say, AGES ago, that it was Fish who would jump in the water, and that I thought he would die. Just saying! Did anyone else figure this out early, like me, and was so obvious that this does not warrant any celebration, or was it not obvious, in which I can gloat?But now I wonder about the 3-part miniseries that was recently filmed, and I cannot wait to one day see this. And I must say, that on my nearly ritualistic (I do this with nearly every book now) internet search of the book, I stumbled onto the trailer of the miniseries. And I want to see it right NOW! But I already noticed a mistake, it says 10 years instead of 20 for the period of time when they cannot sell, just saying. And the house is not what I imagine, but this is with every book to movie franchise isn’t it. WOAH they even include the living breathing house, bit! {I’ve decided to include the trailer, I forgot that I could do this}

CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS!!!!

Now tomorrow, will have some sort of post, we’ll see what it is on, but the next book will begin next year (as previously mentioned) and another clue is that it is again an Australian author (no this is not just a blog about Australian authors it just happens that way)!

Part Ten – Spaces, Soon Stayin and Moon, Sun, Stars

WOW!!!! This is basically THE END of Cloudstreet!!!!! What is going to happen??????? I have no idea.

Spaces

Ooooooooooh, maybe Rose and Quick won’t leave afterall. Screw their new house, give it to someone else, sell it, whatever! They belong in Cloudstreet with everyone else! Humans are programmed to live with other people, isolation does not go down well with us, that’s why we once lived in tribes. Today with our technology that allows faceless communication 24/7 many of us are beginning to feel isolated, when paradoxically we are more ‘connected’ than ever. It’s so strange that with facebook and twitter, we now basically know every detail of somebody’s life, celebrity or not, and yet we hardly even know the person. Things that people share online, don’t really give you a perfect picture of what the person is like, hell, even talking and being with a person can sometimes give you the wrong impression of someone (especially if they are good actors). If human kind is going to continue, we need to return to community and family and actually physically interact with people. Families are breaking down in record numbers, probably because of the lack of time spent with one another, and when you are all together you are either fighting, doing other things or not giving attention to everyone. We all seem to have busy lives, but for what purpose if we are all lonely and unhappy?

Enough opinion, back to the story. I forget why do they call him Quick, was it ever revealed, or have I (most likely) forgotten, I mean it was like 2 months ago I began this book. Just saying that parts, like the end of this ‘chapter’ are interesting ideas, and good ‘images’ from Tim Winton, but I never really understand their symbolism and significance. I am afterall, not an English teacher, who somehow seem to get more meaning out of a book than the author themselves!

Soon

Again with the strange poetic, symbolic stuff. But, is it like this often repeated ‘water’ that is talking. Will Fish ‘become a man’ when he connects back with the water. Does this mean he will become ‘whole’ again, and not be ‘different’ or something else. Sometimes it is nice to get straightforward questions and answers, sure I like to have to think about it a bit, but sometimes I have no idea what Tim Winton is on about. Which reminds me of another one of his books The Riders, jeez was that hard to understand the meaning of. So many unanswered questions, and kinda like Cloudstreet strange things that to me, have no meaning or significance. I was not really a fan of that book, the beginning was great and the adventure that followed was quite interesting, but the ending, left me more confused than ever. But I do suggest you read it, and tell me what you think about it.

Stayin

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are having THE picnic that we opened with!!!!!!!!!! OMG, my level of excitement is indescribable! LOL I love how Rose says that ‘a session of parliament’ is longer than a Test Match of cricket which is 5 whole days!

Moon, Sun, Stars (Actually didn’t expect this new ‘chapter’, I thought Stayin was going to be the last one, but oh well, I guess this post is going to be a long one!)

WOAH! That wraps everything up nicely doesn’t it. Hard to say if it is ‘happy’ ending or more a ‘sad’ ending. Cause sure it is sad, Fish died. But it seems like, Fish was happy in the end. He was whole, and complete, and he was Fish Lamb for a fraction of a second. So does this mean that Fish was narrating the whole time? Kinda sounds like it. But I think I’ll leave future discussion for the next, and FINAL Cloudstreet post which will be up TOMORROW! (Though I must admit, I will be writing it right after this! Can’t stop now!) Nearly forgot to mention the fact that it even mentions the killer again. It really does sum up and tie up all the loose ends of the book nicely doesn’t it. The world is a cruel place if the killer can’t be buried next to his son that drowned. Tim Winton certainly liked to go back and make sure everyone’s story is complete, didn’t he.

Part Ten – Below Deck and Inland

Below Deck

I completely forgot about tea, and the fact that Quick and Rose would be kinda stuck in between the two. Good old Oriel, always practical and on the ball! Sad to think that Quick and Rose will actually be leaving Cloudstreet for good, we are coming to the end I guess, so people do have to move on. Their first dinner together in their nearly 20 years of living together, and it will be likely be the last. Fish is classic! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love how he can say things most people just ‘can’t’ because it is insensitive, but he just says what everyone else is thinking. Oriel has every right to find out whether Sam is going to sell, especially if they have paid for nearly another 20 years of rent! “A house should be a home, a privilege, not a possession. It’s foolish to get attached.” Wise words, but it’s hard not to get attached to things, even though we shouldn’t. OOOOOH! Maybe they won’t leave now, and they will stay there forever! They are all too attached, and it really seems that the house has changed, and no longer is trying to get rid of them! Out treatment of Aboriginals has been a very ugly mark on Australian history, something we should be very disappointed in!

Inland

Should they let Fish come along? It would be hard work, but it sounds like neither family have ever been on a holiday, and Fish would love it. Go Rose! Let Fish come, he’ll have a great time, even if you don’t! Sounds like a nice holiday, just sitting being read to! I love Rose, she’s funny too! I swear I like love all the characters, nearly. Sorry where is the Southern Cross, isn’t it just stars, so how can they go there? Ok, it’s just a place somewhere in Western Australia. LOL Australia does have odd place names, don’t most countries though, you tend to run out of the ‘normal’ ones pretty quick. No one said it would be easy taking Fish on a holiday. That would be one AWFUL experience for BOTH Quick and Fish, Fish is smart enough to know it’s not right. That would probably one of the worst things to do really. You can’t blame anyone, but I think it might have changed Quick and Fish’s lives or relationship, sounded like it near the end!

 

2 POSTS TO GO!!!!

Part Ten – Get a Haircut, Lester on His Knees, Voting Day and Gift Horse

Get a Haircut

I guess looking terrible can be good sometimes, you get random time off of work for a holiday. I don’t think fishing is a very good idea either, the history isn’t that good, and it isn’t all that exciting a holiday either, relaxing maybe, but not the best. Roadtrips are usually fun. Just get in the car and drive! No plans, no thinking, just drive and have a good time. Not really my style, but it would be good to do this once, be relaxed, and just go with the flow completely.

Lester on His Knees

Sounds like Rose and Quick will be soon in their new home. How exciting, a brand new home! It doesn’t sound all that pleasing, “antiseptic” and all, sounds much too fake and unhomely. Gosh hindsight is amazing isn’t it. Lester is praying? That’s a little strange, it seemed he had given up religion, I wonder what he was praying for. For them to have a good life here in the new home. Or for them to stay in Cloudstreet?

Voting Day

It’s kinda ironic, that sometimes a couple of votes is all it takes between one candidate and the next, but it really doesn’t feel like your vote does anything, especially if you are in a safe seat that is super unlikely to ever change. Politics is a tough game and it is really hard to get the balance right. Maybe one day someone will create the perfect political landscape, probably not though. OMG, he is thinking of selling the place. Don’t Sam, it is too amazing now. I guess this is the same Aboriginal that Quick was seeing a lot, hopefully he can talk some sense into Sam. Places are important, land is important, you can’t just go and throw it all away. People haven’t had a sense of identity and a sense of self for a long time, maybe it is time we get a sense of community back and remove all the barriers, and actually get happy for once. Who cares about the economy and working, if it doesn’t make you happy. We cannot say that this lifestyle is working, just look at ourselves, we are fatter and lazier and unhappier than ever, something has got to change!

Gift Horse

Magpies are evil, just saying, worse birds ever. Don’t know about the rest of the world, but magpies cause a lot of trouble, and are so annoying with their swooping, would not be sorry to miss them if I left Australia.

Too true, Dolly! They shouldn’t be selling their gift, they’ve been there 20 years, and gone through so much, why tear it down? Hopefully this means they won’t sell it now.

 

By my calculations there are around 3 posts to go until Cloudstreet is all done and dusted. Two more to finish Part 10, and one final one to finish the whole book (a very short ‘epilogue’) and a complete wrap up of the story. A heads up that I will NOT be starting a new book before the end of the year, the next book, will commence probably on the 2nd of January 2012. That does not mean there will be no more posts after Cloudstreet, what they are, you’ll just have to wait and see!

 

Part Ten – Put Yer Dukes Up, Woman!, Turning, Coming

Put Yer Dukes Up, Woman!

How AWKWARD! Having your mum barge in when you are naked, with your wife, is not something anyone wants to experience, EVER! But I guess, if you live under their roof, they can come and go as they please, you just have to be prepared. OH WOW! Someone is standing up to Oriel?!?! WOAH! Don’t mess with her, she is a woman on a mission and if you are doing something out of line, WATCH OUT! Good on her, a mature woman can still knock out her own son, who is in his early 20’s and has been an apprentice. Seriously one of the most amusing chapters, great reading! But will Lon take it, or are they out of there?

Turning

He does sound like he needs a holiday! “Only difference is, they did things you and me just thought about.” I’d never really say this, but, AHEM to that! That is way too true, people always get bagged if they say something offensive or do something a little wrong or a little insensitive, yet half the people doing the bagging out thought about doing it too. It really should be hard to judge in that situation but it appears not. Sure we need to have self control and shouldn’t say and do the first thing that comes into our heads, but that’s a very thin veil of ‘humanity’ that separates the ‘us’ from the ‘them’. Quick sums it up nicely, “It’s  us and us and us.”

Now I’m disappointed. We had a nice moving, serious section, that was conveying a nice message, and then Tim Winton ends it with THAT?!?! Come ON! That was a terrible ending, she put her breast in his mouth?!? Sure she can do whatever the hell she wants, and is trying to comfort him, but did Tim Winton really have to do that? I think this is the one time that I’m actually disappointed and frankly angry at Tim Winton, let’s hope it doesn’t happen again in the last 20 odd pages!

Coming

Hard to be angry after that. A very intriguing chapter, indeed. Once again who was talking, was it the pig? Or was it like Fish, but a ‘whole’ Fish? I can’t wait, literally cannot wait to find out what Fish’s turn is going to be. I am very excited to end this book. Self control will make me wait until tomorrow but I am really tempted to read on and finish it!

 

Part Ten – Fishing, The Past, Waiting and Floater

Fishing

So they went to church again? Or was it just Lester? That, to me, seemed a little random and out of place to be honest.

The Past

Such a nice things to buy flowers for your wife, mother and mother-in-law, doesn’t everyone like to get flowers, or even gifts as long as they aren’t cheap and tacky. How strange to see Lucy again, I forgot all about her, and it took me a while to remember who it was. It was the psycho (in my opinion she was crazy for sex) girl who lived in the bush, and had some ‘fun’ with Quick while he shot roos. Is Tim Winton dragging out all the old characters for us, to give them all a final farewell? But I really do like it when old characters pop up, especially after you think you’ll never see them again, or think they are unimportant and then turn out that way (J.K.Rowling I’m looking at YOU!). Writers are amazing, good writers well they are just fantastic!

Waiting

It sounds like even Oriel, doesn’t know why she is living out in the tent, the house is so full of light and happiness, why should she avoid it?

Floater

You go to have a peaceful lunch by the river, and then end up diving into the river trying to reach a child drowning, with two other kids seeing this kid drowning, and then find out the child is long dead. Great lunch break… Then he realises that this is just like him and Fish, but this time he died, but Quick will always be going through his death. It was the murderer’s kid! How strange. Tragic for the wife, her child is dead, and her husband is soon to be dead. But it is nice for Quick to realise that everyone is human, and just because they did something doesn’t mean they deserve to hear the news of their child’s death or any bad news. No one deserves to die, no matter what they did, they might be monsters, but they still are people. It is also so bad how murderer’s and other criminal’s families are so affected by their crimes, even if they had no idea. Their child will always have their last name, and will always make people think of their father/mother, even if they are really good people. People judge too much, and don’t let people find their own place in the world before making the assumption they are just like their father/mother/sibling. Everyone is different, don’t assume otherwise!