Customer Reviews


43 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling book, but one that left me puzzled...
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...
Published on 1 Jun 1999

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of other agreement with other reviewers
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...
Published on 13 Dec 2007 by LS Hamilton


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling book, but one that left me puzzled..., 1 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Riders (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What an odd book, 13 Aug 2003
This review is from: The Riders (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of other agreement with other reviewers, 13 Dec 2007
This review is from: The Riders (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books I've ever read, 25 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Riders (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget the wife - who are the Riders?, 20 Oct 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Riders (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 15 Mar 2009
By 
B. Seed (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Riders (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hold on a second while I swallow my chewwie"..., 6 Sep 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Riders (Hardcover)
said the Australian in his broad accent, and then swallowed. I was worried for his health, having been told as a child never to awllow chewing gum as it would stay in my stomach for 7 years and wrap around my intestines. Winton was wearing jeans, and maroon suit jacket and cowboy boots. His here extended to his waist. He was not what I had expected, but then I wasn't sure what I had expected: I knew he was a house-husband, surfer, born again Xtian, surfer, and award winning author. I also knew Cloudstreet was the best book I had read in '95.
Winton was on a promotional tour of New Zealand for The Riders and he visited the University I was studying at. I guess I'm digressing big time here, so I'd better get to the point. Sure enough, in the course of his visit, someone asked what happened to Fred Scully's wife (as I noticed a few people have done here).
To me this really is missing the point of the story. The story isn't about what happened to the wife, or about the wife at all, its about Scully. Winton depicts characters (and his really are "characters' - good Ozzie blokes) in a way that resounds with truth and sincerity. He pulls no punches and shoots form the heart. Riders is a beautiful story in terms of description, yet stormy (without wanting to be too obvious metaphorically obvious) in terms of plot. Support Australasian authors, read it.
PS: Winton's reply to the question re: Sully's wife, a perfect "I don't know".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written disappointment, 21 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Riders (Paperback)
The first half of this book is very carefully honed, the characters are introduced seemlessly, and by the time Fred Scully is at the airport waiting for his wife we are well aquainted with him, his family, and how he thinks.
(if you do not want the plot outlined, stop reading now)
His wife is not on the plane, and his daughter won't or can't tell tell him why not. Scully finds out his wife has reached Europe and sees her non-appearance as a sign that he should go and find her.
He begins a wild-goose chase through Europe which is at first barely credible, and then goes beyond credibility. As a reader I had the sense that the plot was merely created to enable the author to describe the places he had visited.
Sometimes very heavy handed devices are used to keep the plot moving. For example he receives a telegram from his wife at an American Express office in Florence even though his wife has no idea where he is, and telegrams ceased to exist in rich countries from about the mid 1980s anyway. Scully is forced to muse to himself "perhaps she sent them to every American Express office in Europe".
If you are able to put issues of plot credibility to one side, this is a beautifully written book, an incisive description of how people in Europe live. Unfortunately for this reader, the plot inadequacies were too annoying to allow much enjoyment of the author's fine eye.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good but precious writing yields depressing empty story, 15 Sep 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Riders (Paperback)
This is the story of a good but simple man whose wife is supposed to join him with their 7 year old daughter in the new home which he has rebuilt in Ireland. When the dazed daughter shows up without his wife, he starts a frantic, disorganized and eventually drunken search for her all over Europe. We watch the rapid descent of the hero into a state in which his 7 year old provides the only direction and stability of his life. He is only barely believable as a character and his daughter is even less credible. The writing is rich and often elegant but contains too much material that I would have considered daring as a teenage in the 60's but now seems trite. The story does not really develop, it just ends. Perhaps some would consider this book avant-garde but I just thought it bad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars you must be joking, 9 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Riders (Kindle Edition)
I found this a very disappointing book. Winston can write but I want more than an endless stream of descriptions of trees, smells, cold and travel. There are some good characters and the beginning of an intriguing plot, but then it goes steadily downhill and you realise the author simply ran out of ideas.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Riders
The Riders by Tim Winton
£4.49
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews