This essay discusses the novel Cloudstreet, by Tim Winton, from the point of view expressed by one of the overseas reviews in the novel. This review, written by Sunday Telegraph, comments on Winton's novel; "A fragmented, hilarious, crude mystical soap opera one of Winton's great gifts is his ability to combine reality with a dash of wild poetic fantasy. In a rich Australian idiom, Winton lets his characters rip against an evocation of Perth so intense you can smell it." As well as exploring the ideas discussed in this detailed review, this essay also comments on whether this is sufficient to hail the novel as a classic.
Tim Winton is a talented, compassionate writer of rare authenticity and great versatility. He breaks through the boundaries of the tangible, revealing life as the mystery, which many of us encounter in our daily living. There's something intensely personal and magical about the way a truly great novel melds with the mind of a reader. .
Cloudstreet is an outrageous tale, due to the life affirming events, which take place. This is why it is sometimes described as a soap opera. The extraordinary things that unfold in the lives of both families transfix the reader, just like any modern soap opera. The story follows the lives of the Pickle family and the Lamb family and how they have come to grow, develop, love and change over a period of twenty years. Many unfortunate events take place, such as the near drowning of Fish or the loss of Sam Pickles" fingers in a fishing accident. The effect upon the reader is somewhat breathtaking, as all the struggles and tragedies which have occurred come to an end and embrace the reader, leaving him/her with an open mind about the many questions and aspects of our own lives. There is the idea of finding some meaning in life, whether it be through spirituality, religion or family. Is the answer to this question found during the struggle, the learning or the desire to grow through our personal experiences or being open to the possibilities life has given us? .