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Drylands

Narrated by: Beverley Dunn
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Non-member price: $35.84

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Editorial Reviews

Janet Deakin, resident of a lonely, depressed town in rural Australia, decides to write a book about her experiences. A drought suffuses the town, and people begin to be driven out, this one by racism, that one by utter poverty. Beverly Dunn's matter-of-fact voice is suffused with a dry wit that conveys the bitterness and desolation of the characters in Drylands, by acclaimed Australian author Thea Astley, perfectly. The tenor of the landscape, the harsh life of the town's inhabitants, and the drama of the slowly emptying community are described in gorgeous literary prose, exposing all the brutality and heart of this small town in this classic work of Australian literature.

Publisher's Summary

In her flat above Drylands' newsagency, Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world's last reader. Little has changed her in 50 years, except for the coming of cable TV. Loneliness is almost a religion, and still everyone knows your business. But the town is being outmanoeuvered by drought and begins to empty, pouring itself out like water into sand. Small minds shrink even smaller in the vastness of the land. One man is forced out by council rates and bigotry; another sells his property, risking the lot to build his dream. And all of them are shadowed by violence of some sort - these people whose only victory over the town is in leaving it.
©2000 Thea Astley (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing

Critic Reviews

"It is impossible to put this book down. It seethes with energy and passion." ( Herald Sun, Australia)

What members say

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Wonderful if depressing novel

I thoroughly enjoyed Drylands by Thea Astley - it is not so much a novel as a series of interlocking short stories, all centred in and around the small (fictional) Central Qld town of Drylands. There are a few cultured characters (to different degrees) who somehow end up here, mainly women, and interact with the locals, many of whom are hard-drinking, misogynistic, uneducated men. It sounds like a display of elitism, and it is, in a way - but we learn so much through the many and diverse incidents that occur in the book. An aboriginal man, or rather half-aboriginal, is mistreated by his own half-brother who is white, and the town is nearly blown apart when the truth comes to light. A woman has a breakdown after nearly 20 years of marriage to a 'male chauvinist', and goes off to establish a life of her own. Janet the authorial character runs a newsagency in the town, which sells few papers and fewer books - and is held in suspicion as an observer/writer. The reader Beverley Dunn does a superb job of bringing dozens of characters to life, and keeping the story moving, indeed highly suspenseful at times. This is an entertaining audio book, despite the fact that Drylands is dying from drought and lack of imagination before our eyes. Who but Thea Astley could bring this scene to life so vividly?

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interessant wenn man es näher analysiert

Die Geschichte und storyline an sich sind nicht allzu spannend, jedoch erweist sich das Buch insgesamt als repräsentativ für die Zeit, die es erfasst und somit lehrreich. Die Form, der unterschiedlichen Geschichten und Inhalt werden geschickt genutzt, um die Vielschichtigkeit der Schicksale darzustellen.

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  • Reginald pelle
  • 25-01-2015

Enjoyable!

I love this book. Very well narrated, along with a collection of stories, that reflect the inner struggles of life in Australia. A worthy listen!