Fiction Malouf, David Dream Stuff

ISBN 13: 9780099289906

Dream Stuff

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9780099289906: Dream Stuff

From the image of a small boy entranced by his mother's GI Escort, yet still hoping for the return of a father 'missing in action', to the portrait of an adult writer trying to piece together a defining image of his late father, these outstanding stories conjure up with sharp intensity the memories and events that make a man.

These powerfully vivid stories range over more than a century of Australian life, from green tropical lushness to 'blacksoil country', from scrub and outback to city streets - evoking dark shadows beneath a bright sun, and lives shaped by the ghosts of history and the rhythms of unruly nature.

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Review:

David Malouf is deservedly heralded as one of Australia's greatest writers, and his novels, short stories and poetry have garnered many awards. Dream Stuff, his powerfully resonant new collection of stories, is worthy of extravagant praise. His narrators--a boy at the beach and a young country girl, a newspaper delivery man on holiday in the outback, a retired judge--all face jittery encounters with themselves or others, with their lost pasts, remembrances and longings, and each are looking for connection.

Without resorting to abstraction, Malouf refracts his characters' experiences through the merest slivers of evocative detail and dialogue to set up a reverberating tension. And what he does so tellingly is to suggest the ways in which the land and nature, their vastness, and the myths and dreams that attach to them, become buried deep in the psyches of his characters.

Indeed, Shakespeare's "We are such stuff/As dreams are made on, and our little life/Is rounded with a sleep" forms the thematic richness of all these stories. In "Closer", the tempest at the heart of Uncle Charles' twice-yearly visit from gay Sodom to his Pentecostal family--allowed to come no nearer than the other side of the gate--is searing in its quiet pain; tragic violence erupts over land rights in "Blacksoil Country" between an aboriginal group and a boy's bigoted father; "Dream Stuff", the title story of the collection, mingles the unsettling strangeness of dreams with the return of an author to Brisbane for the first time in over 20 years--despite the city being the very stuff of his fiction. In "Jacko's Reach" a pocket of scrub is what is to be lost:

...an area of experience, even if it is deeply forgotten, where we will still move in groups together, and touch, and glow, and spring apart laughing at the electric spark. There has to be some place where that is possible ... If there is no such place we will invent it. That's the way we are.
Malouf's sharp but compassionate eye, his generous moral stance, and the sheer force of his descriptive powers make each of these stories a meditation of exceptional beauty. -- Ruth Petrie

Review:

"Remarkable for its range and unsettling dynamism…in their subtlety, power and poetic finesse they are as good as any being written" ( Sunday Times)

"A highly accomplished collection, and one that resonates in the mind long after the book is finished" ( Daily Telegraph)

"A remarkable achievement… These stories are pearls" ( Spectator)

"An excellent collection by any standard…a heart-warming book" ( Sunday Telegraph)

"Confirm[s] Malouf's stature as a writer of the very first order" ( Boston Book Review)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the image of a small boy entranced by his mother s GI Escort, yet still hoping for the return of a father missing in action , to the portrait of an adult writer trying to piece together a defining image of his late father, these outstanding stories conjure up with sharp intensity the memories and events that make a man. These powerfully vivid stories range over more than a century of Australian life, from green tropical lushness to blacksoil country , from scrub and outback to city streets - evoking dark shadows beneath a bright sun, and lives shaped by the ghosts of history and the rhythms of unruly nature. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099289906

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the image of a small boy entranced by his mother s GI Escort, yet still hoping for the return of a father missing in action , to the portrait of an adult writer trying to piece together a defining image of his late father, these outstanding stories conjure up with sharp intensity the memories and events that make a man. These powerfully vivid stories range over more than a century of Australian life, from green tropical lushness to blacksoil country , from scrub and outback to city streets - evoking dark shadows beneath a bright sun, and lives shaped by the ghosts of history and the rhythms of unruly nature. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099289906

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2001. Paperback. From the image of a small boy entranced by his mother's GI escort, to the portrait of an adult writer trying to piece together a defining image of his late father, this book presents stories that conjure up the memories and events that make a man. It uncovers vulnerable selves, moments of innocence or shame, unfinished business, and more. Num Pages: 240 pages. BIC Classification: DQ; FA. Category: (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 198 x 129 x 16. Weight in Grams: 172. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099289906

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