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The Colour | [Rose Tremain]

The Colour

Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from Norfolk to New Zealand in search of new beginnings and prosperity. But the harsh land near Christchurch where they settle threatens to destroy them almost before they begin. When Joseph finds gold in the creek he is seized by a rapturous obsession with the voluptuous riches awaiting him deep in the earth.
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Publisher's Summary

Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from Norfolk to New Zealand in search of new beginnings and prosperity. But the harsh land near Christchurch where they settle threatens to destroy them almost before they begin. When Joseph finds gold in the creek he is seized by a rapturous obsession with the voluptuous riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new gold-fields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others, under the seductive dreams of "the colour", are violently rushing to their destinies. By turns both moving and terrifying, it is a story of the quest for the impossible, an attempt to mine the complexities of love and in the process discover the sacrifices to be made in the pursuit of happiness.

©2003 Rose Tremain; (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"The sense of period is forcefully conveyed....Her new level of ambition makes it perhaps the author's most important book yet." (Amazon.co.uk)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (24 )
5 star
 (9)
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 (7)
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4.4 (11 )
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Story
4.4 (11 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alison FitzroyAustralia 06-10-06
    Alison FitzroyAustralia 06-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    6
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    Overall
    "An almost perfect experience"

    This is a beautifully-written and very engaging novel, very well-read by Ms Bron. The characters, particularly Harriet, are rounded and believable and the story builds well from the nature of the people and their relationships with one another. The only irritating flaw was the over-dramatised psychic connection between the young boy, Edwin, and his Maori nurse, Pare. This relationship and its consequences were the only part of the story which felt over-written, despite the length and sweep of the narrative. I didn't want the book to end.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl R Hoyle Beaufort, SC United States 09-20-07
    Cheryl R Hoyle Beaufort, SC United States 09-20-07 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    8
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "13hrs and 29 minutes out of my life"

    First let me say I am a huge fan of Rose Tremain and was therefore excited about downloading and listening to this book. However, out of the 50+ audio books I’ve heard this is the first book I ever felt so disappointed about that I felt the need to write a review.

    The first problem is the narrator, Eleanor Bron, and the production crew. I normally have no problem understanding even the heaviest English accent yet I found myself rewinding the book many times to try to understand what Ms. Bron had said. She sounds as if she is talking with a mouth full of marbles. On top of that there are volume changes between sentences where you can tell that she stopped and restarted later and even times where you can hear production cues that the listener is not supposed to hear.

    As for the content of the book itself; the first two thirds of the book is tedium. I kept listening and plodding along because I thought “This is THE Rose Tremain, it’s going to get better”. It wasn’t until the last third of the book that anything substantial happened and even then it was a disappointment. Almost all of the main characters are very unlikable and delusional. The few likable/interesting characters are side characters whose stories are either not followed thru or meet tragic ends.

    All in all this entire book was a major disappointment

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RM Simon 01-21-11
    RM Simon 01-21-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
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    282
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    "A very disappointing Tremain"

    I give Eleanor Bron 4 stars but the book no more than 2. Uninteresting characters, who are mostly unpleasant to boot; somewhere around the middle a serious strain of the spiritual creeps in, primarily but not entirely in the relation of a child to a Maori. I found this, too, wearingly tedious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
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  • Lindsey
    Stockport, United Kingdom
    2/25/10
    Overall
    "Gold is not the colour - discuss"

    The Colour: narrative on the human condition, the pursuit of happiness or running away from it all? You choose. For me it's all three rearing their somewhat dark heads through the lead character - Joseph Blackstone. The colour of the narrative, and the exceptional delivery and characterisation by the narrator, is what sets this audiobook apart - the reason I've given it 4 stars. However, I was left sad and pensive without really knowing why. Maybe I should join a book club and analyse it!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Heidi
    Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Lovely narration"

    I really enjoy reading or listening to Rose Tremain's novels- there's a real depth to the characters (whether you like them or not) which makes them seem very 3 dimensional and believable. The narration was beautifully done - serene and yet passionate when it counts. I've never read about gold panning before or very much set in New Zealand so both elements made it an absorbing read/listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Reading, United Kingdom
    6/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing - not up to Rose Tremain's usual"
    What disappointed you about The Colour?

    I wasn't engaged with this book - I didn't care what happened to the characters and therefore didn't finish it. I've read several other of her books which did not disappoint


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

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