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Happy Valley Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224097881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224097888
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.8 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Miraculously good." -- Kate Saunders The Times "Grant's salty sweet memoir...is inflected with the Jamaican patois spoken by his parents, and is a classic of its kind." -- Nicholas Shakespeare Daily Telegraph "White won the Novel prize for literature in 1973 but has been poorly neglected since; perhaps [this book] will help put the record straight." -- Claire Allfree Metro "To read it now is like encountering a new work by, say, William Faulkner." -- Nicholas Shakespeare Daily Telegraph "Assured and finely textured." -- Oliver Dennis Literary Review

Book Description

Patrick White’s long-suppressed first novel, published for the first time in seventy-three years.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The novel opens with a hawk's-eye view of the (fictional) Snowy Mountains townships of Happy Valley, Moorang and Kambala. Then, as the Kambala publican's wife gives birth, the narrator tells us that the towns were founded as a consequence of gold prospecting, and still have some inhabitants of Chinese descent. It's a peaceful place that Clem Hagan has to work at, as overseer for the Furlows. Or is it? As the reader is drawn in from the panoramic view of the hawk, to the specifics of the town of Happy Valley and its inhabitants it seems that peace is an illusion for many. Most want to escape.

`Mr Furlow hadn't a mind, only a mutual understanding between a number of almost dormant instincts.'

The Furlows are the wealthy landowners of Glen Marsh. Their daughter Sidney wants to escape, but not by marrying the man selected for her by her mother.

`Miss Cortine prepared her girls for life with a course of tea-pouring and polite adultery.'

In the town of Happy Valley, Amy and Arthur Quong own the general store and the picture theatre, while their brother Walter owns the garage. Other characters include Walter's daughter Margaret, the local doctor and his family (the Hallidays), the asthmatic school teacher and his wife (the Moriartys), the piano teacher Alys Browne, cart driver William `Chuffy' Chambers, and Mrs Belper the bank manager's wife, who `in spite of breeding dogs had her Artistic side'.

`Autumn was a season of preliminary cold and suppressed winds.'

And in this small community, there is adultery, tragedy and murder. Some lovers come to their senses, while others strike bargains in order to escape. Happiness is elusive for many, impossible for some. Duty and poverty can be hard to escape.
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By maryrose on 27 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had not read this early P White and greatly enjoyed it. Not up to the standard of
the later
books but well written as alwys
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A pleasant surprise 11 July 2013
By m.c.stone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Generally I do not click with Patrick White's writing. This time I read Happy Valley because it is a book that he did not want published in his life time and I was curious to find out why. Within the first 5 pages I was engrossed. The writing was beautiful; the descriptions of the countryside were vivid and took no effort to interpret in my visual mind; the character descriptions were brilliant and related so well with the story line. Happy Valley is not a light easy read but well worth tackling for it deals with a time (1920s I think) in rural Australian history with great clarity. A true classic
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous but a bit long 23 Dec. 2012
By HeatherB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Superb. Depiction of the time and the Australia of which we wish had a personal memory but that we have a common nostalgia for. And a good story too.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
`Waiting, waiting for what, Happy Valley waiting in the dark is the question without answer.' 14 Sept. 2012
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The novel opens with a hawk's-eye view of the (fictional) Snowy Mountains townships of Happy Valley, Moorang and Kambala. Then, as the Kambala publican's wife gives birth, the narrator tells us that the towns were founded as a consequence of gold prospecting, and still have some inhabitants of Chinese descent. It's a peaceful place that Clem Hagan has to work at, as overseer for the Furlows. Or is it? As the reader is drawn in from the panoramic view of the hawk, to the specifics of the town of Happy Valley and its inhabitants it seems that peace is an illusion for many. Most want to escape.

`Mr Furlow hadn't a mind, only a mutual understanding between a number of almost dormant instincts.'

The Furlows are the wealthy landowners of Glen Marsh. Their daughter Sidney wants to escape, but not by marrying the man selected for her by her mother.

`Miss Cortine prepared her girls for life with a course of tea-pouring and polite adultery.'

In the town of Happy Valley, Amy and Arthur Quong own the general store and the picture theatre, while their brother Walter owns the garage. Other characters include Walter's daughter Margaret, the local doctor and his family (the Hallidays), the asthmatic school teacher and his wife (the Moriartys), the piano teacher Alys Browne, cart driver William `Chuffy' Chambers, and Mrs Belper the bank manager's wife, who `in spite of breeding dogs had her Artistic side'.

`Autumn was a season of preliminary cold and suppressed winds.'

And in this small community, there is adultery, tragedy and murder. Some lovers come to their senses, while others strike bargains in order to escape. Happiness is elusive for many, impossible for some. Duty and poverty can be hard to escape.

`The air was intricate with conversation.'

Patrick White was 27 when this, his first, novel was published. He did not allow it to be republished in Australia during his lifetime and for many, this 2012 republication will be a first opportunity to read it. It's not perfect - I found some scenes jarring - but it's indisputably Patrick White. His depiction of children - especially Margaret Quong and Rodney Halliday - is unsentimental, and sometimes unsettling. Alys Browne is, to me, the finest character. I could wish that she and Margaret Quong could escape and leave Happy Valley behind them. In this novel there is more than a hint of the great novels yet to come.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Overblown ... but valuable 13 Sept. 2012
By Harry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Happy Valley was Patrick White's first novel - and it is one for the lovers of his work, I would not recommend it for those who are new to his writing. Patrick White brings to life the glorious feel of an Australian place and takes us on a journey through the intense character development so typical of his later work, but it also has much of that stream of consciousness writing which he explored in his early days - overdone in this book, more effective in his next novel, The Living and the Dead. Happy Valley is a place where "nothing much appeared to happen ... though a lot was really happening all the time." We are presented with an interesting range of everyday characters, most with troubled souls, all interlinked in some sort of an `un-virtuous circle' - perhaps just a fact of life in a small, remote town. The many insertions of stream of consciousness add a sense of dream to the story, but there is too much, leaving the story verging on delirium - an unfortunate distraction which may have contributed to the author's subsequent decision to repress further publication of the book. Still, the book was a Gold Medal winner in 1941, it reflects the times (sadly, including the racism) and it is a worthwhile read for all of us who admire Patrick White's contribution to great literature.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Classic Australian Story picture 16 Jan. 2013
By Margaret Schwantzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
well written picture of Australian outback life,
interesting characters
I have read several of his books and recently enjoyed the movie The Eye of the Storm
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