The epic tale of an outback Australian family, The Sundowners has sold more than three million copies worldwide. the Carmodys travel the countryside shearing, droving, making ends meet and looking for that one special spot they can settle down in. Paddy is at heart a wanderer - the whole country's his backyard, he says - but his wife Ida, and their 14-year-old son, Sean, lThe epic tale of an outback Australian family, The Sundowners has sold more than three million copies worldwide. the Carmodys travel the countryside shearing, droving, making ends meet and looking for that one special spot they can settle down in. Paddy is at heart a wanderer - the whole country's his backyard, he says - but his wife Ida, and their 14-year-old son, Sean, long for a place to call home. As they move from job to job, Paddy, Ida and Sean encounter some of the most memorable characters in fiction. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the harsh and beautiful Australian landscape, the Sundowners is a novel filled with kindness and hapiness, as well as hardship and danger. Superbly written and deeply moving, it showcases one of Australia's most talented authors at the height of his powers. In 1960 the bestselling novel was turned into a film starring Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum and Peter Ustinov. 'thoroughly satisfying' the New York times 'Blows through the dusty book lists like a warm south wind' Daily Express...
|Format Type||:||Other Book|
|Number of Pages||:||187 Pages|
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The Sundowners Reviews
This is probably Cleary's most famous novel and unlike most of his work it is neither a thriller, nor a detective mystery. It is also his most personal as Paddy & Ida are modelled on his parents. Cleary's father was a wanderer before Jon was born and he told the young boy stories about his time as a drifter. At a time when Cleary was a long way from Australia, and probably a little homesick, he penned this novel. Even when Cleary wrote this novel (1951), the people and style of living was already fading; now for much of the country they are just sun faded ghosts - even here in the Territory, the remnant of these characters are holed up in retirement villages and largely silent.The time is just before the Great Depression hit Australia and initially I was dismayed to think I was reading an Australian Odyessy. Fortunately, the journey is part of the novel & is much stronger than that old hackneyed narrative device. The novel is full of characters that tourists flock to Australia to see and never do (a little like tourists looking for the Wild West cowboy). The men are hard working & hard drinking; the women are laconic and even more hard working and resigned to their fate of being a woman. There are 2-up games, and larrikin pranks, and an impromptu cricket match, and the country races.Paddy is probably considered a lovable rogue by others, but for me he was an irresponsible, self-centred, selfish arsehole. The family have grown tired of the roving lifestyle, being sundowners, but Paddy makes promises you know he will never keep. HE loves the lifestyle and having his wife deal with all the household chores which are just plain difficult circumstances. Considering how he has commented on his poor luck, the way he splashes the family earnings around is quite disgraceful. I can't say more, so not to spoil the climax, but I think you get the gist of his attitude.I do realise I am putting a 21st perspective on an early 20th century time, so I shall stop being unreasonable. This is another book to remind me how lonely Patrick White was in the Australian literary stage. Cleary's book is very similar in style & plot to that of say Vance or Nellie Palmer, of Kylie Tennant; however, so very divorced from the material being written by White. White's material might have an Australian background, but his themes and ideas were very universal.Is this worth reading?? Definitely: it is full of stereotypes that made Australia the cultural scene it is now, but who have completely disappeared; the hardships of those on the land have no lessened any from now, but it is interesting in the faith they had in a rosy, prosperous future; and the prejudices then are still here, but with the people's ethnicity changed. The Depression followed by the severe drought during the early part of WW11 would have a huge impact on the sundowners, such that their numbers would rapidly decrease to just a memory by the 1960s.
A good read. On the road. Droving, bushfires, shearing, country horse races. Drinking, growing up, the birth of a child. An old view of Australia. Paddy was a total dick when it came to wife and child but he did not see it and they endured stoically.
Wow, it's not for nothing that this is an Australian classic. It's wonderful. Great sense of place, beautiful writing, and memorable characters. Plus it's funny and tragic and unexpected. I loved it.
At first, the depiction of the Australian outback & its population during this era held my attention, as it's not a topic I've read about before -- and the characters are unique. But after 100 or so pages, I put the book down and just didn't care enough to pick it up again.
RE: _The Sundowners_I see via TCM-TV that this book has been adapted to film:"The Sundowners" (1960)http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/The_S...I like the cast (Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov). So I may order the film from Netflix.Deborah Kerr speaks with an Australian accent in this film. Unusual.(There are some cute little sheep too.) :)Jon Cleary is another author to tap for possible reading choices.
I like the message of this book that home is with your family- wherever they are. But I didn't love some of the choices the Dad made that let them to figuring that out. It was only ok in my opinion.
great story of Australian spirit. You can not help but be enthused and heartbroken for Ida and Sean, as they live through the ups and downs with the Patriarch of Carmody family, Paddy, and their true friend Venneker
well I read right to the end...it was a heartbreaker...
This was a gorgeous book! Quintessentially Australian, beautiful characters, great story telling and thoroughly entertaining.
Heartwarming, witty and full of Aussie-isms. Loved it.