Most Helpful First | Newest First
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page by page accretion of worldly wonder,
This review is from: The Tree Of Man (Paperback)I read this book a couple of years ago now and it was one of the most satisfying books I have ever read.
It tracks the life of a husband and wife who settle in the fringes of the outback. It works through their hopes and aspirations, the birth of their children, their middle-aged disillusionment and their ultimate ends.
In point of fact nothing really happens in the book at all; these are just ordinary people, for the times. What does happen is that you are presented with an extremely powerful emotional picture of the main protagonists and their interaction with their environment. It tells us how the everyday, ordinary events these people experience turn them into what they are. The result is a gloriously truthful and unaffected portrait of humanity.
I don't know what the official rationale for the books title was, but what I think White is trying to say is that, here is man, occasionally glum, occasionally glorious, mostly mundane and of such stuff are we all made.
Read this when you finally get sick of all the fantasy heroes and heroines. Here's the real thing.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White's best?,
This review is from: The Tree Of Man (Paperback)Protean and timeless, White's 1955 version of the creation story, here transposed to the Australian bush must be a good candidate for the best ever novel written by an Australian author. The plot is simple, elemental even, but something in the accumulation of details of the lives and thoughts of Stan and Amy Parker and the house and they create together in the stillness of the Australian outback manages to transform this novel into something magnificent. Stan's epiphany in the garden of the family homestead, as death claims him, is as moving as anything I have read. A worthy Nobel laureate.The Tree of Man
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proof-reading?,
This review is from: The Tree Of Man (Kindle Edition)Of course, the book itself is a masterpiece, and I am delighted to have it in e-book form, but did the publisher take the trouble to proof-read it before making it available for download? One can excuse a few typos in a free book which has been scanned by enthusiasts but not in a professionally published book for which real money is being charged. It is an insult not only to the writer but to the reader also. White is a writer one needs to read with care, and thus the typos are particularly hard to take. Five stars for the book but only three for the edition.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life,
This review is from: The Tree Of Man (Paperback)Firstly, in all fairness I should give a warning about this novel, if you only really go in for fast paced narratives and books that speed along, then this will not be for you. This book is slow paced, both in its narrative, and in that it makes you think and ponder over life.
Young Stan Parker inherits a piece of land that he goes to live on, building a house and farm, then he takes a wife, and eventually they have children, which we then see grow up. That is the basic plot of this tale, but there is so much more. When Stan first moves to the area it is pretty isolated, but over the years more settlers come, and a village as such builds up in the area, along with this the family have to learn to deal with nature, there is torrential rain and floods, winds and storms, drought and bush fires.
As we follow the family we see their ambitions and their failures, showing all their flaws, as well as that of their neighbours and friends. All this taking place in the early part of the 20th Century, this has to be the greatest novel to ever have come out of Australia. Quite simply, this is a novel of life, with all its ups and downs, making this tale timeless.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written but ....,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Tree Of Man (Kindle Edition)This book is beautifully written. White draws you into the Parkers' innermost thoughts and creates a world of dysfunctional characters - but I never felt a connection with anyone. This is probably because the Parkers are every man and woman, wanting to share their thoughts with each other but unable to. They love each other but settle for the reassuring rut of habit and accept affection
Although there are amusing scenes - normally thanks to Mrs O'Dowd, there is an unrelenting sense of loss, human vulnerability and "if only". The reader always knows that there will be no fairy tale ending. It is true to life.
He is quite Dickensian in many ways. Stunning descriptions of the Aussie countryside and deliciously observed people. A rewarding but draining read - probably because it gets close to the essence of being human.
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book ever,
This review is from: The Tree of Man (Modern Classics) (Paperback)the book covers everything. the best i have ever read. the only book i have which is falling to pieces.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Tree Of Man by Patrick White (Paperback - 27 Oct 1994)