[Murray Bail] Eucalyptus [womens studies Book] eBook

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The idea that Holland's daughter was like the princess locked in the tower of a damp castle was of course false After all she was living on a p. I found this to be an enjoyable modern day fairy tale written in a rather unusual way The prose is outstandingly beautiful and needs to be read slowly and carefully but at the same time the central story demands the reader s attention and there is an urgency to get to the end and find out what happens Then the author introduces a character who tells stories These are necessary to the overall story but at the same time I was a little annoyed at having to take constant diversions But then there was the delightful twist to the tale at the very end and I forgave Mr Bail everything I can see why this book won awards

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Eucalyptus

F eucalyptus trees then decrees that only the suitor who can name each and every one of them will be worthy to marry his beautiful daughter Ell. 2 hour trip to botanical gardens fun and interesting 200 page book about every eucalyptus known to man dreadfulwoman allowing father to marry her off to stranger who wins an insufferable tree naming contest in a fairy tale uaintin modern society substantially irritating

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Roperty in western New South Wales Once upon a time on a property in western New South Wales a man named Holland plants hundreds of varieties o. After getting a hefty insurance cheue because he wagered his wife would have twins one is still born Holland buys an almost treeless property in western New South Wales His wife has passed away he has only his little girl Ellen He s no farmer He starts planting eucalyptus trees on the farm and it soon turns into a hobby then an obsession Holland son of a baker and a boiled lolly maker becomes a leading expert in the field and has managed to get a specimen of all the species and got them to grow As Ellen grows up she becomes stunningly beautiful her face speckled with freckles moles so that the eye wanders all over She gets and attention from the lads in town until Holland makes a decision The man who can name every tree on the property will win his daughter s hand in marriageSo begins an amusing charade of suitors failing to get past the first few trees up until Mr Cave who names them all Meanwhile an unnamed man courts Ellen amongst the trees with stories woven in and inspired by the names of the different trees and in doing so names them all before Mr CaveThis is a book of stories within stories as well as snippets of information facts history and cultural conundrums One of my favourite stories is about the green grocer in Carlton who makes pictures out of fruit to attract the attention of a pretty but vain woman A lot of the stories have connections to people in the town some made up some maybe not and it s almost like a puzzle to figure them outEllen is a slightly disappointing character almost as if Bail doesn t know how to write female characters or doens t understand them enough to really flesh them out The men were so neatly perfectly described with some simple brush strokes the short comings in Ellen were made noticeable by comparison The ending too was not uite as satisfying as it could have been though it works and fits with the rest of the bookIt is set some time after the Second World War I think in the 40s or 50s though it doesn t actually say and so can get away with the main concept plus some others I don t think this story could be transferred so well into our current time One of the provoking scenes is where Ellen coming upon her only tree E Maidenii she finds a nail driven into the trunk You can guess her feelings there Then she hears Mr Cave and her father approaching and hides only to see them start pissing against the trunk of her tree Great imagery and symbolism thereI love this book regardless of any flaws It will forever be one of my utmost favourites But not everyone gets what I get out of it so I feel the need for a personal kind of contextI never truly appreciated my native country until I started studying some of our literature at uni I did two courses focusing on Australian literature and by the time I graduated for the second time as these things are done there at the end of 2001 I was in hopelessly helplessly head over heels in gut clenching love with the land When the following year I left and went to Japan to teach English for nearly three years I would suddenly smell the shearing shed on my parents farm in the middle of the supermarket My boss tells me whenever I mention smelling something that isn t there that I probably have a brain tumour I call him an alarmist I missed the smell of Australia so much the smell of the land where all the trees the plants the grass the soil has such a distinct smell In Japan nothing smelt which means you can smell 3 day old exhaust fumes the grime coating the walls of buildings the smell of ramen and yakiniku and strangely snow but never the trees or plants because they didn t smell My first cherry blossom time I went up to a tree and sniffed the blossoms expecting the same sweet scent as my mother s specimen in her big beautiful garden Nothing I was supremely disappointedI recommended Eucalyptus to my book club and almost unanimously they agreed on it I hadn t read it in several years but it all came back as I delved in once The trees are my favourite characters Skimming through the reviews on written by Americans mostly I noticed they all said yes it uses trees as a tool to construct the stories but that s not important and trees don t interest me but that s not what this is about I m paraphrasing here don t hit meI beg to differ The trees are everything in Eucalyptus You could almost say it s a book about trees disguised as a fairy tale but I don t think that s the case either The trees figure prominently as characters not as background All the different species described not just visually but with personality too The gum trees are described as selfish offering little shade and unsympathetic After reading that the first time I saw eucalypts in a whole new way In the midlands of Tasmania which you drive through to get to Hobart from the north where my parents farm is you can see a uite uniue oddly disturbing but very memorable scene round hilly very yellow dry farmland bare but for the grey skeletons of eucalypts their silvery arms reaching out like a scarecrow completely leafless As a child this view disturbed me and I still don t know if the Midlands has always been like that or if it is the resutl of excessive farming as in so many other places I suspect the latter In it s own way it is stunning beautiful the stark colours the dead trees still standing like grave markers their branches lined with large crows and magpies and kookaburras The dusty yellow grass like a dry carpet cropped short by sheepThe book is full of beautiful imagery using words to tell multiple layers of a story like bark on a tree I was so surprised and disappointed to find that the people in the bookclub didn t like it and were confused thinking that Australia was just desert They had no idea there were trees bush forest and even grassFor me I can smell Australia when I read this book not just the country but the suburbs of Sydney and other places I am transported home by this book


10 thoughts on “Eucalyptus

  1. says:

    I found this to be an enjoyable modern day fairy tale written in a rather unusual way The prose is outstandingly beautiful and needs to be read slowly and carefully but at the same time the central story demands the reader's attention

  2. says:

    There go those blurbs again tricking me into thinking that I could actually enjoy the book Best courtship story it said New York Times Notable Book of the Year it saidHolland acuires a land and then eventually becomes obsessed with planting eucalyptus trees in it His daughter Ellen grows up to be a beauty and he decides he will let the man who can name all species of eucalypti in his land marry his daughter Dozens of sui

  3. says:

    Nothing else I guess Eucalyptus lives up to its title It’s about a man whose wife dies while giving birth to their daughter The man collects the life insurance moves to a small town in western New South Wales and plants eucalypts lots of them Apparently there are over 200 specie of this plant Once his daughter is of a marriageable age he makes an Atalantan as in the golden applerace myth deal to marry her off to the first suito

  4. says:

    After getting a hefty insurance cheue because he wagered his wife would have twins one is still born Holland buys an almost

  5. says:

    Jan 2015I've recently read this for the third time and relished the opportunity to slow down and enjoy Bail's language and the slow and intricate windings of the multiple stories which make up this treasure of a bookThe ma

  6. says:

    “A person meets thousands of different people across a lifetime a woman thousands of different men of all shades and many if she constantly passes through different parts of the world Even so of the many different people a person on average meets it is rare for one to fit almost immediately in harmony and general interest For all the choices available the odds are enormousThe miracle is there to be grasped” ― Murra

  7. says:

    There's a very fairy tale like uality about this book that I liked a lot and the very Australian flavor of the narration made it a highly unusu

  8. says:

    Eucalyptus is a fairy tale and contains all the elements you would expect in a fairy tale recast in a rural Aust

  9. says:

    2 hour trip to botanical gardens fun and interesting 200 page book about every eucalyptus known to man dreadful

  10. says:

    This peculiar uniue book really appealed to me and when I finished I considered starting it all over again It's a physically short book I don't know how many words but the mix of short anecdotes little stories and botanical informati