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Editorial Reviews

Australian environmentalist, novelist, and short story writer Tim Winton has a mantle full of awards and has twice been nominated for the Man Booker prize. Tracey Callendar is a gentle-voiced actress known for television work on A Country Practice, Neighbours, and much else. Together they bring the listener Shallows, a tough, dark, elegiac novel set in and around the whaling culture in Western Australia in the 1980s, during a time when traditional whaling societies were butting up against modern protest. Rather than a screed, however, the novel is pensive and its characters conflicted. Callendar gives great voice to Queenie Coupar Cookson, just the sort of tough-minded female character that has helped earn Winton such justified praise.

Publisher's Summary

Whales have always been the life-force of Angelus, a small town on the south coast of Western Australia. Their annual passing defines the rhythms of a life where little changes, and the town depends on their carcasses. So when the battle begins on the beaches outside the town, and when Queenie Cookson, a local girl, joins the Greenies to make amends for the crimes of her whaling ancestors, it can only throw everything into chaos.
©1993 Tim Winton; 2002 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty miserable story all round without relief.

It seemed that everyone in this book is miserable. There’s no light moments. If you like dwelling in dark times, you’ll love this. If you like light and shade, you may find it eternally dreary.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.