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The Riders Paperback – 2 May 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (2 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330339427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330339421
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. He has written novels, collections of stories, non-fiction and books for children. He is four times winner of Australia's Miles Franklin Award, most recently for his novel Breath, and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).

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Review

"One of those rare novels that warm the heart, as well as spark the imagination." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Nothing short of magnificent ... a wonderful read." (Time Out)

"Winton is just one of the best." (The Independent)

"With sensitivity and vision, novelist Tim Winton creates an Australian classic that takes the listener into the world of two wholly believable working-class families in post-WWII Perth. The Pickles family inherits, but cannot afford to keep, Cloudstreet, a rambling, ramshackled house – so they take in the Lambs as their boarders. The Pickles are an irreligious, indolent lot, while the Lambs are pious and hard-working. Peter Hosking's performance is true to Winton's unsentimental exploration into humankind's ability to love and survive amid adversity. Hosking handles the mundane and the mystical with equal assurance. His characterizations, including an Aboriginal ghost and a talking pig, are earthy, real, and frequently hilarious. Hosking makes the most of Winton's honesty, wit, and original imagery." (AudioFile Magazine) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

The modern Australian classic. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
Winton is clearly an outstanding writer. I could not put this book down, and yet I continually felt a little at sea, wishing someone would explain to me what was going on. The book is written with such passion that the reader enters into a kind of situational madness, in which she or he descends with the protagonist, Scully, into the emotionally-charged confusion brought about when his wife disappears. Apparently she has abandoned him and their child, but why, and for what? Scully chases around Europe with their child as he tries to find his wife and the answers to these questions. I only wish Winton had cleared up more of the mystery.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Booksthatmatter on 13 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
There is so much that is strange and unresolved in this book. So many questions are posed and left unanswered, that I feel I ought to hate it. In theory it is in many ways deeply unsatisfying and I don't even particularly like Scully as a character. But somehow The Riders continues to haunt me and stay with me in a way that many novels don't - i can't put my finger on what makes it work, but despite everything it does. Perhaps it is that you question why on earth Scully does what he does, and nag away at the problem, rather than just reject it as implausible. Don't read this with any expectations and you'll probably get on with it better: be prepared to be provoked and troubled. What is clear though is that Tim Winton remains a serious and challenging writer - I'm just about to read Dirt Music so very curious to see what that is like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LS Hamilton on 13 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
I finished this book last night and felt rather cheated! Please don't read this if you don't want to know what happens, but as others have already outlined it perhaps it is already too late!

You tear through the last few pages longing for some kind of conclusion and it just doesn't come. Maybe this is Tim Winton's way of saying that sometimes in life there is no conclusion but how annoying that is in a novel.

There are too many symbolic things which don't mean anything (or didn't to me!); the weird riders, the tree with the things stuck onto it and other short passages of writing which you had to skip as they just didn't make sense. You could tell the writing was good because there were lots of long words used in interesting ways but sometimes I felt they weren't there for any good reason - I just wanted to get to the essence of the story.

Also as someone has already said it was SOOOO annoying that Scully wouldn't talk properly to his old friends; everyone seemed to be speaking with double meanings and I kept wanting to shake them and say SPIT IT OUT! I think it would have been pretty impossible not to get more infuriated with Billie and her muteness.

I think maybe there are deeper layers and meanings that I (and most other reviewers here) didn't pick up on, maybe an A level English teacher would have been helpful to help me decipher the text and explain the symbolism!.... I enjoyed Dirt Music by the same author much more. It seemed much less pretentious.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
And I've read it three times.
The characters are real people - imperfect, irrational, insecure.
There are no trite endings.
I loaned it to my mother while she was visiting me, and at 1pm in the morning I found her in the kitchen with the light on, tears streaming down her face - "I can't put it down, what's going to happen next.." This book tapped into my mother's worst fear, that her partner might desert her.
My favourite character is Billy, the young daughter. There are few adult books out there that describe children in such non-patronising terms. And her relationship with her father is something to aspire to.
This book is different, thought-provoking, and life-affirming. Give it a chance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Oct 1997
Format: Hardcover
Forget what happens to the wife. What I want to know is, who are the riders?
Scully seems like an ordinary guy, but then how many ordinary guys do you know who keep getting visits from mysterious black-cloaked horsemen who just stand around and then ride off into the night?
This novel kept me guessing and guessing, and I'm still perplexed a year after I read it. By the end I felt for Scully and his daughter almost as though they were my own family. But as to what's going on, I've still no clue. Oh...I see...maybe that's the point.
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By B. Seed on 15 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a disappointment, especially having enjoyed Tim Winton's Cloudstreet hugely. The worst thing was knowing from the outset exactly what was going to happen - if you've not read the book yet, then take my advice & just dive in without reading the back cover - as the central event in terms of the plot takes place quite a way through the book, and I think that sharing the main charachter's emotions at the point of discovery would go a long way to making his bizarre behaviour in the latter stages of the story more credible.

The first part of the book is infinitely more satisfying than the second, which stretches ones credulity to breaking point on several occasions. There's also an odd supernatural bit which, although it's echoed later on in the story, is never explained or explored and there seems no real reason for it being there, unless it's to underline Scully's similarity to his daughter & vice-versa - something that has already been copiously rammed down our throats.

Not Tim Winton's finest hour, although the first half of the novel is good. Unusually no-one in our bookgroup was really taken by this book - there's usually at least one person who really likes whatever we've read.
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