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Watching the Climbers on the Mountain [Paperback]

Alex Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 July 2012
A novel of passion and brooding suspense, Watching the Climbers on the Mountain is set in the remote Central Highlands of Queensland. It is the story of Ward Rankin, the disaffected station owner, and Ida, his unhappy wife, who sees the solution to her problems in her love for the young English stockman Robert Crofts, whose arrival on the station changes their lives forever. And against the backdrop of heat, torrential rain and the strange and lonely landscape, rises Mt Mooloolong, the scene of the novel's thrilling conclusion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1743311095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1743311097
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,754,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. His books also include Conditions of Faith, Lovesong and Landscape of Farewell.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching the Climbers on the Mountain 9 Dec 2013
By D. Dean
Miller's debut novel (actually his second to be written - 'The Tivington Nott' preceded this but was published a year after 'Watching the Climbers on the Mountain') draws on his own experiences as a stockman on stations in Queensland's Central Highlands after he emigrated to Australia, aged 16, as a 'ten pound pom'.
It is an oft-used (indeed, over-used) phrase in book reviewing to say a novel does not read like a debut, but Miller's truly does read like the work of a mature and experienced writer. Which of course he was: Miller was already in his fifties when this was published in 1988, and whilst it differs somewhat in terms of style from his later works, it escapes many of the pitfalls associated with debuts. Indeed it has a timeless, elemental quality that feels almost akin to myth (and which means he gets away with the use of some symbolism that in lesser hands could have felt heavy-handed).

This is the eighth of Miller's eleven novels I have read, and it was interesting to see the ways in which it foreshadows some of his later works: in his empathy for female characters that is such a notable feature of his work; and in his handling of landscape and of silence - both in the landscape and within and between characters - it prefigures works like 'Journey to the Stone Country', 'The Landscape of Farewell', and also the use of physical absence in 'The Sitters'. It also, in its set-up and some of the character dynamics, feels like a forerunner to his most recent novel, 'Coal Creek'.

What this novel is primarily about though is sex.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A young English stockman joins a dysfunctional family on a station in the Australian Outback 3 Sep 2014
By tonto - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i have never read Alex Miller before. My usual reads are Thrillers so this was a departure for me. It was slow getting into but eventually was almost unputdownable (if there is such a word). The characters are wonderfully drawn and the writing is superb. A serious read which has to be read slowly to be savoured. When I finished it I went back to the beginning and started again picking up nuances i had missed or glided over originally. Recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars reality in the outback 19 Mar 2014
By Jane howe - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great read, with believable characters. Interesting psychological insights into all the characters. I have traveled to this area if the country and it is beautifully described.
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