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Elemental Paperback – 1 Feb 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Feb 2014
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: University of Western Australia Press (1 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 174258506X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742585062
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,703,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Amanda Curtin's prose has the quiet valiance of the 19th century masters, but it is in her mastery of empathy and grace that her work mirrors the master himself: Thomas Hardy.' -- Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen 'You can almost taste the salt on your tongue and feel the sea on your skin in this windswept saga ... An exhilaratingly raw, idiosyncratic voice.' -- Claire Allfree Daily Mail 'Elemental is an exquisite novel. Every word of it is tightly crafted and pregnant with possibility ... Yet, at the same time, there is something almost old fashioned and timeless in its deep perceptions and observations, and in the sheer, slow beauty of its prose.' The Compulsive Reader 'Assonantal and alliterative, and peppered with Scots and Doric vocabulary ... Meggie's voice is poetic and convincing, while a gentle metaphorical undertow invites the reader to make connections that may not be immediately apparent.' The Australian 'Elemental features a supple poetry of prose, a music that is both unique to time and circumstance and yet timeless and universal ... It's an example of the way language and dialect work like grace notes giving wings to a four-square dance.' The West Australian 'Elemental continues Amanda Curtin's fruitful fascination with memory, history and the generational legacies of family, following her debut novel The Sinkings and her collection of short stories Inherited...this is another moving novel from a unique Australian fiction writer.' Books+Publishing Magazine 'Meggie's voice is entirely convincing, and her life story is absorbing: the reader is soon pulled into the slow tide of the narrative, rolling with the rhythms and lilt of the Scottish tongue ... Curtin has produced a beautifully realised character in Meggie Tulloch, and Elemental is deeply satisfying and gracefully composed.' Australian Book Review 'One of my favourite books of the year ... A gripping read, historically detailed and a fascinating story.' Madhatter Bookshop --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'Amanda Curtin’s prose has the quiet valiance of the 19th century masters, but it is in her mastery of empathy and grace that her work mirrors the master himself: Thomas Hardy.' (Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen)

‘You can almost taste the salt on your tongue and feel the sea on your skin in this windswept saga … An exhilaratingly raw, idiosyncratic voice.’

(Claire Allfree Daily Mail)

'Elemental is an exquisite novel. Every word of it is tightly crafted and pregnant with possibility … Yet, at the same time, there is something almost old fashioned and timeless in its deep perceptions and observations, and in the sheer, slow beauty of its prose.' (The Compulsive Reader)

'Assonantal and alliterative, and peppered with Scots and Doric vocabulary … Meggie’s voice is poetic and convincing, while a gentle metaphorical undertow invites the reader to make connections that may not be immediately apparent.' (The Australian)

'Elemental features a supple poetry of prose, a music that is both unique to time and circumstance and yet timeless and universal … It’s an example of the way language and dialect work like grace notes giving wings to a four-square dance.' (The West Australian)

'Elemental continues Amanda Curtin’s fruitful fascination with memory, history and the generational legacies of family, following her debut novel The Sinkings and her collection of short stories Inherited…this is another moving novel from a unique Australian fiction writer.' (Books+Publishing Magazine)

'Meggie’s voice is entirely convincing, and her life story is absorbing: the reader is soon pulled into the slow tide of the narrative, rolling with the rhythms and lilt of the Scottish tongue … Curtin has produced a beautifully realised character in Meggie Tulloch, and Elemental is deeply satisfying and gracefully composed.' (Australian Book Review)

‘One of my favourite books of the year … A gripping read, historically detailed and a fascinating story.’

(Madhatter Bookshop) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What a fascinating story about the herring gutting quines in the North of Scotland. The memories of a grandmother writing her memoirs to her granddaughter from the age of 14 when Ginger Meg left home to be a 'gutting quine' met Magnus, whom she married. But she had some tragedy, losing her mom, beloved sister Kitta, her son Stephen and Magnus. I enjoyed this book very much, it was a nice change to read a book without and bad language in it. 5/5

A book full of almost unbelievable hardship and sadness. Giving the reader an insight of what life was like just before our time. The book is really well written and the characters are totally believable. The story seems to be fact and not fiction. I loved the book. 4/5

I enjoyed this book and found the description of life in North East Scotland's fishing industry fascinating. The imagery for the life was excellent, the book seemed to be going somewhere, but that remained a mystery. The tragedies seemed without end with far more downs than ups. The story will stay with me although any attempt to deepen the meaning was lost in the narrative. The explanation of Darwinism and altruism was an interesting concept. 5/5

This was such a dark and depressing tale but stunningly and eloquently told as well as being thoroughly researched. I appreciated the glossary. The language was exquisite, poetic and told with such detail and depth of thought and emotion that it was for me, a real page-turner. I was however rather turned off by the last section 'Fire', which didn't follow on smoothly - the offspring of offspring were too far removed from the original characters and I found their relationships confusing. Nor could I feel any empathy with them. The language was comparatively dull.
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Format: Paperback
Maggie Tulloch writes her life story in a series of notebooks for her grand-daughter, before she dies. She charts her life growing up in the North-east of Scotland at the turn of the 20th century, to her time as a herring girl and then her emigration to Freemantle in Australia.
I loved the quality of the writing and the imagery of the dramatic terrain, the harsh life and the poor prospects for women in the fishing village, how men dominated their wives and daughters and how much archaic superstition still dominated all their lives.
I would highly recommend this book for its wonderful historical detail, the evocation of the bleakness of the life of a fisherman’s daughter and the atmospheric writing. It is a saga on an epic scale with fine attention to detail - a gripping and intimate account of one woman’s life and her struggle to be independent and to leave the grinding poverty and oppression of her childhood behind. She seemed however to be dogged by misfortune; wherever she goes, whatever she does is overshadowed by sorrow and death.
I found it engrossing, tremendous, evocative and informative.
I liked the change of voice at the end to the grand-daughter, the vocabulary changed accordingly; I missed the Scottish dialect words that peppered the account written by Meggie. The novel is full of well rounded and fascinating characters which add richness and depth to an engrossing story.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating story of Meggie's life both in the North of Scotland and Australia. It was a bit slow at the start but once you got into it, it was very moving and tragic but totally compelling to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Engrossing read- very moving. Fisher Meggie's life story is full of hardship & struggles. She finds love and a new beginning in Australia.
Great insight into life in early 1900's.
Thoroughly recommend.
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