Eucalyptus: A Novel

Eucalyptus: A Novel

by Murray Bail


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Eucalyptus: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Eucalyptus is the third novel by prize-winning Australian author, Murray Bail. A man called Holland comes into money and buys a property in NSW, west of Sydney. The previous owners spent much time clearing paddocks (“On the curvaceous back paddocks great guns slowly bleached and curled against the curve as trimmings of fingernails. Here and there bare straight trunks lay scattered and angled like a catastrophe of derailed carriages.”), but Holland soon changed that. His young daughter, Ellen, came to live with him. “The news quickly jumped the long distances out of town, and from there spread in different directions, entering the houses Holland had sat and eaten in, the way fire leaps over fences roads, bare paddocks and rivers, depositing smaller, always slightly different, versions of itself.” Ellen grew to be a beauty and Holland made a decision about her future that spread across continents and oceans. This novel is filled with gorgeous prose (“An unpainted shearing shed floating on its shadow in a paddock, moored to the homestead by the slack line of a fence.”), fascinating anecdotes, stories, tales, and legends, and many facts about eucalypts. There are parallels between the snippets of stories and the plot of the novel, and there is a marvellous twist at the end. Readers may find the writing reminiscent of Kate Grenville’s. This luminous novel is deservedly the winner of the 1998 ALS Gold Medal, the 1999 Miles Franklin Award and the 1999 Commonwealth Writers' Prize.  
hethie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm afraid I could not work out what all the fuss was about with regards to this novel. Obviously don't have on of those genius literary minds I guess...Oh well, I trudge on, upwards and onwards.
devilish2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A strangely empty tale. For me, there needed to be more people around than just the 3? major characters.
jumpingjacks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clever intertwining of features of eucalypts and the story of a man who plants every species of eucalupts on his isolated farm. He decides that his beautiful daughter will marry the frist man who can identify each of his trees. A touch of magic realism. Not an easy read, but quite stange and compelling.
posthumose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A love story between a man and his trees, a man and his daughter, and the unusal way he decides who qualifies to marry her. Name each of the five hundred eucalyptus tree varieties he has on his property and she's yours. She trusts her father's decisions for her and when the many suitors start showing up to try and accomplish the task, the fun begins...for him. She couldn't care less, she knows no one except her father has this kind of expertise. But in all such tales there's always that one exception who shows up to claim the prize and surprises everyone. A wonderful story. This book garnered the Miles Franklin (Australia)and Commonwealth prizes; and was a New York Times Notable Book as well as an IMPAC Dublin Award nominee.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Murray Bail's unlikely approach to a story of land, character and romance requires initial patience from the reader, but it's immediately rewarded by his careful, astonishing choice of details to weave a complex story of father and daughter, men's coping mechanisms when life takes unexpected turns, and, finally, at its center and leading to a fabulous crecendo of a sweet finale, the truth about love. Do not let the perhaps unfamiliar setting (Australia) and modus operandus (an obsession with the planting of eucalypt trees) deter you. Both become marvelous evocations of the human spirit, the qualities of devotion and the possibilities of hope.