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Publisher's Summary

Two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives from scratch. For 20 years, they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts.
©2002 Tim Winton; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

AudioFile Earphones Award, Exceptional Audio Performance, 2004


"One of those rare novels that warm the heart, as well as spark the imagination." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Peter Hosking's performance is true to Winton's unsentimental exploration into humankind's ability to love and survive amid adversity....His characterizations, including an aboriginal ghost and a talking pig, are earthy, real, and frequently hilarious." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    56
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Story

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  • Story

Magic for my city

I've lived in Perth most of my life and am almost ashamed it took me so long to read Cloudstreet. The story is astounding. I turned it over in my mind for days after finishing it. My only (very slight!) issue was that Peter Hosking is obviously an east coast man, his pronunciation was a little off at times and it would have been lovely to make use of more West Australian talent.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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An Aussie classic

Would you listen to Cloudstreet again? Why?

YES! it took a while to gel with the characters but once I felt them, it was hard to let them go at the end of the book.

What about Peter Hosking’s performance did you like?

The performance of the reader was good. He was easy to listen to and his voices were suitable and funny.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • nerida
  • melbourne, Australia
  • 03-04-13

Lovely !

Would you listen to Cloudstreet again? Why?

As soon as I finished I had to go back and listen to the very first scene again...with tears running down my cheeks. Yes, I will listen to the whole thing again one day because I think it is one of those books where it's not just the story that is wonderful to listen to, it's revisiting "old friends" that will be fun.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I didn't really have a favourite character because the whole book is full of interesting and wonderful characters. This is definitely the book for those who love books about people. I was sad when the book finished because I felt that I had gotten to know the characters so well that I knew them and will miss them terribly.

What does Peter Hosking bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brings life to the story and characters. He did a terrific job.

If you could take any character from Cloudstreet out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I wouldn't want to take anyone out for dinner from Cloudstreet- I would invite myself over for dinner. I would be content to be a fly on the wall !

Any additional comments?

I listened to this book while I was renovating my house so now the characters and stories are embedded in my house too. I feel very sentimental about this book - so much so the first thing I did after I finished listening was purchase another Tim Winton book in the hope of finding another book just like it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Dysfunctional Families Australian Style

Dysfunctional Families Australian Style

Those words are the best I can come up with to depict this book. There are two families living in one house on Cloudstreet near Perth, Australia. This house and these families become the center attraction of the entire neighborhood. Both families are of the working class; in fact they are lucky if they even have a job. The time period is 1944-1964, so the end of the war and the hard times that followed determine the setting. Life is hard; it is a struggle. Booze, gambling, promiscuity, adultery, child abuse, anorexia and children with mental retardation - all play a central role in this novel. It sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it? Sometimes, too, the language is downright crude. Nevertheless, by the end of the novel you care for the characters. Maybe they are total losers, but some of them are trying their best. Even the losers have some good qualities. There is moreover another theme to the book – the strength of families. So the book isn’t depressing, and there is humor, albeit sad humor.

I am glad I read this book. For me a three star book is one I liked; it is one I am glad I read! This book is considered an Australian classic. It is definitely a total immersion course in Australian life, at least those of the working class after WW2. It is so, so, so Australian - full of colloquialisms and expressions foreign to me. For this reason I must wholeheartedly recommend the audiobook narrated by Peter Hosking. Through his clever intonations you can more easily guess the meaning of expressions and words foreign to those of us who are not Australian. I LOVED how Oriel Lamb spoke. Yeah, she was also kind of my hero all through the story. There are lots of dialogs, and the characters are reinforced by the narrator’s ability to distinguish between each.

The conflict between the Aboriginal people and other Australians is portrayed to a lesser extent, but it is hinted at. The inherent wisdom of Aboriginal beliefs comes to the fore through spooky premonitions. I found this kind of corny, but I guess it had to be drawn into a book about Australian life. It sort of belongs.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jim
  • Alice SpringsAustralia
  • 06-27-10

Winton at his best

This is the best book I have read. It is a clasic moving and interesting from beginning to end. I felt like I knew these people they were so ordinary and yet so rich.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pauline
  • Cannon Hill, QLD, Australia
  • 04-17-10

Cloudstreet

A marvellous read. Beautifully written, wonderful characterisation, both funny and moving.
4.6 stars.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Emrys
  • Alfred, NY, United States
  • 03-11-17

Brilliantly written epic-superbly narrated

This is a wonderful novel: vivid, entertaining, funny, poignant, and imaginative. Sometimes the wrier's literary gifts lead him to overwrite--he has such a limitless fund of metaphor at his disposal that he occasionally overeggs the pudding. But you can't blame him. I loved everything about the novel--from the overarching conception to the highly entertaining dialogs. The narration couldn't be improved upon--it's superb.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Dickens meets Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Winton's characters celebrate and suffer and Peter Hosking gives them voices that stay with you. This story is sad and hopeful full of details that puts you inside the head of each character. There are ghosts, talking pigs and a voice from beyond but it all seems real. It is a beautiful story of two complicated families. Listening to Peter's Australian accent and his singing of folk songs added a whole extra layer of joy. I loved this book and the reading.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Simply brilliant

Simply brilliant. Some of the Aussie slang may pass over the heads of some international readers though. It is now my favourite Audible book to date!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Harriet
  • Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
  • 09-18-17

A Delightful Read!

I got this book because it was on Sale. This is not normally the genre that I read.
I am so glad I did!

The author takes you into the lives of several people and through them, you experience so many emotions. Anger, sorrow, sympathy, and laughter.

Sometimes I thought that it got a little slow, but you have to keep on.

The journey was worth it.
In the end, the love of mankind for each other is the lesson I learned.

I was left reflecting with a warm spot in my chest.

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  • William
  • 10-06-13

Home Sick

If you could sum up Cloudstreet in three words, what would they be?

An Aussie beauty!

Who was your favorite character and why?

All of them because each character is like someone we already know

Which character – as performed by Peter Hosking – was your favourite?

Quick,

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me laugh out loud many times and chuckle at the colloquial expressions so many times yet all of this was set against the Aussie battler making good where he could and taking it on the chin when he/she faced a set back.

Any additional comments?

Just great narration of this wildly amusing but poignant story.<br/>As an Aussie living abroad for many years, I have missed the wonderful expressions which offer a rye smile or a real laugh.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Venetia
  • 02-03-13

A beautiful book

A fabulous, fantastic book. Beautifully read. Wholesome, disfunctional characters living a quirky life. Bitter sweet, tender, funny and sad. An absolute "must read". If you love literature you will love this. I envy everyone who hasn't read this book yet.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Joanna
  • 05-24-12

Magical

A life-affirming, rollicking book, wonderfully narrated. Very highly recommended. Will be looking out for more by this author

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 10-12-14

A bit confusing

Two families share one house over a period of 20 years. Various ailments are experienced, adultery, brain damage, anorexia, depression....but I just didn't understand the hallucinations or esp type mirages that kept happening with various members of the clans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • 03-04-14

A great novel, beautifully read

Would you listen to Cloudstreet again? Why?

Cloudstreet is probably the best audio book I've heard in the last 5 years of listening.

What other book might you compare Cloudstreet to, and why?

One Hundred Years of Solitude. Both books are family tales filled with the mystery and ordinariness of life, described in prose of the highest quality.

What about Peter Hosking’s performance did you like?

He manages to capture the uniqueness of each character's voice without strain or stress, to bring to life the world of 1950's Perth.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both.

Any additional comments?

Tim Winton might have felt, when he finished this book, that it is the book he was meant to write. It has a completeness and maturity about it that all great books achieve. Images from the tale come to mind long afterwards. The characters feel real and one comes to love them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Steven
  • 04-10-13

A look back at what made Australia 'australian'

The only reasons I don't give this book five stars are (i) some annoying chapter and 'event' headers (when read out they come across like subtitles) and (ii) to English ears the narration is occasionally challenging. But the story and characters are both excellent. The story follows two working class families across 30 years of domestic life, set in Western Australia rather than perhaps better known places like Melbourne or Sydney. There are times when the modern reader wonders how the characters kept going - life was clearly pretty tough back then. But somehow the lust for life of the Austrlain personality enlivens every crisis and set-back. There are themes below the surface about fate, fortune/luck and whether you can 'cheat your destiny'. I read it on a flight to and while driving through New South Wales, which made it come to life even more. This is also regularly voted the most popular Australian contemporary novel.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-21-17

Brilliant story, beautiful delivery

Life affirming tale of the not so big dreams of little people, crammed together in a house that echoes with the pains of those who came before.

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  • Ms
  • 07-27-17

great story

What made the experience of listening to Cloudstreet the most enjoyable?

i loved the characters

What about Peter Hosking’s performance did you like?

great narrator

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

made me laugh lots and cry a bit

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  • Frank M
  • 03-09-17

Totally absorbing and believable

If you could sum up Cloudstreet in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant, magical, happy

What other book might you compare Cloudstreet to, and why?

I rally can't compare to anything else I've read or listened to as it's not something I would normally go for. I bought this after seeing the TV adaptation, which I also thought was superb.

What does Peter Hosking bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Pete imbued life into the story. His narration is excellent and he manages to give it atmosphere and pathos depending on the situation.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is one of those books that has you laughing out loud one minute, then crying the next. You can't but smile at Fish but get angry at Rose and so on. A real rollercoaster of a story. One of those books you wish would go on and on.

Any additional comments?

One of my favorite books, which I will go back to time and again, I@m sure.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-29-17

Superb

Tim Winton has nailed it again.
A wonderful Australian story filled with anger love loss and happiness.

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  • Rhonda
  • 11-15-17

Insightful and engaging

Peter Hosking was perfect as narrator for this delightful, sad, funny and thought-provoking book. I hated walking away from Tim Winton's wonderful writing! Now hungry for every Winton book I've not yet read.

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  • nelly dean
  • 09-16-17

I've read this book 3 times and listened to it once ... and I'm going to do it again

Every time I reread or listen to this book I get something fresh and new ... it's like a magic box that has no bottom and keeps going ... Tim please write a cloud street part 2 PLEASE ! It's like reading a snap shot photograph of Australia back to the 30s 40s and 50s and 60s . Lastly Thankyou Tim Winton for sharing your talent .

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  • Zuzanna
  • 04-14-17

Breathtaking

Winton's talent goes far beyond storytelling. Cloudstreet is a symphony of characters and places and colour and time; a synergy that - in the true Aussie fashion - can be described as bloody brilliant.

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  • Tamara
  • 02-01-17

thoroughly enjoyed

I enjoyed the book. it was difficult to pick it up, but once I did I couldn't put it down, but that is because I am studying it as an English text and I was stopping frequently to highlight lines.
The narration is fantastic and the different expressions used for the different characters really helped understand sections that would otherwise be confusing.
The gruff Aussie accent also brings a natural tone to the book and enhances the expense greatly

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  • Emma
  • 10-13-16

remembering yesrerday

this reminded me of childhood my grandparents and their australian lingo it was lovely to revisit

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  • Ronelle
  • 10-09-16

Excellent narrator for this book

Beautiful writing, beautiful words, and the narrator made it come to life. I loved it! A real family saga of ordinary people, with a hint of magic.

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  • Myk
  • 09-02-16

Long rambling go - nowhere tale

Really little more than a litany of how not to behave as a family. Lacks in narrative structure like a biography, but has elements of fantasy that throw the reader out of the sense of realism. The real message would have to be in favour of mental health specialists, but there's no advocacy in the book itself. A tragedy brought on by uncritically presented bigotry.

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  • Catherine
  • 06-08-16

Magnificent

First time for Tim Winton. Narrater was just the best. Will listen to more of Tom and narrater. Thank you

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  • Amber
  • 04-03-16

Excellent

Everything about this was perfect! Except that Peter Hosking, the narrator, is clearly not a West Aussie as he pronounced Mandurah horribly. I did love how otherwise he really captured the nuisances of Australian slang. Beautifully written. A privilege to read/listen to.