Happy Valley Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012
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"Miraculously good." -- Kate Saunders The Times "Grant's salty sweet memoir...is inflected with the Jamaican patois spoken by his parents, and is a classic of its kind." -- Nicholas Shakespeare Daily Telegraph "White won the Novel prize for literature in 1973 but has been poorly neglected since; perhaps [this book] will help put the record straight." -- Claire Allfree Metro "To read it now is like encountering a new work by, say, William Faulkner." -- Nicholas Shakespeare Daily Telegraph "Assured and finely textured." -- Oliver Dennis Literary Review
'The outstanding figure in Australian fiction.' (The New York Times)
'One of the greatest magicians of fiction ... White's scope is vast and his invention endless.' (The Observer)
'Patrick White is, in the finest sense, a world novelist. His themes are catholic and complex and he pursues them with a single-minded energy and vision.' (The Guardian) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
`Mr Furlow hadn't a mind, only a mutual understanding between a number of almost dormant instincts.'
The Furlows are the wealthy landowners of Glen Marsh. Their daughter Sidney wants to escape, but not by marrying the man selected for her by her mother.
`Miss Cortine prepared her girls for life with a course of tea-pouring and polite adultery.'
In the town of Happy Valley, Amy and Arthur Quong own the general store and the picture theatre, while their brother Walter owns the garage. Other characters include Walter's daughter Margaret, the local doctor and his family (the Hallidays), the asthmatic school teacher and his wife (the Moriartys), the piano teacher Alys Browne, cart driver William `Chuffy' Chambers, and Mrs Belper the bank manager's wife, who `in spite of breeding dogs had her Artistic side'.
`Autumn was a season of preliminary cold and suppressed winds.'
And in this small community, there is adultery, tragedy and murder. Some lovers come to their senses, while others strike bargains in order to escape. Happiness is elusive for many, impossible for some. Duty and poverty can be hard to escape.
`The air was intricate with conversation.'
Patrick White was 27 when this, his first, novel was published. He did not allow it to be republished in Australia during his lifetime and for many, this 2012 republication will be a first opportunity to read it. It's not perfect - I found some scenes jarring - but it's indisputably Patrick White. His depiction of children - especially Margaret Quong and Rodney Halliday - is unsentimental, and sometimes unsettling. Alys Browne is, to me, the finest character. I could wish that she and Margaret Quong could escape and leave Happy Valley behind them. In this novel there is more than a hint of the great novels yet to come.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have read several of his books and recently enjoyed the movie The Eye of the Storm