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THE SHIRALEE von D'ARCY NILAND
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THE SHIRALEE (Original 1955; 1955. Auflage)

von D'ARCY NILAND

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1846115,052 (3.95)9
A shiralee is a swag, a burden, a bloody millstone - and that's what four-year-old Buster is to her father, Macauley. He takes the child on the road with him to spite his wife, but months pass and still no word comes to ask for the little girl back. Strangers to each other at first, father and daughter drift aimlessly through the dusty towns of Australia, sleeping rough and relying on odd jobs for food and money. Buster's resilience and trust slowly erode Macauley's resentment, and when he's finally able to get rid of her, he realises he can't let his shiralee go. In evocative prose that vividly conjures images of rural Australia, The Shiralee reveal an understanding of the paradoxical nature of the burdens we carry, creates a moving portrait of fatherhood, told with gruff humour and a gentle pathos.… (mehr)
Mitglied:ve.johnson85
Titel:THE SHIRALEE
Autoren:D'ARCY NILAND
Info:William Sloane Associates (1955), Unknown Binding
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:****
Tags:fiction, australia

Werk-Details

The Shiralee von D'Arcy Niland (1955)

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A book first published in July 1955, the month after I was born! Buster, a four year old girl snatched from a negligent mother by her father, starts life on the road with her dad, Macauley, a man she barely knows. Taking Buster to get even with his wife backfires a little and Macauley finds his feelings change as he gets to know his daughter who is now a little burden, his responsibility, his shiralee. Life on the road is not much suited for a little girl, and as a man with a quick temper he finds more than his fair share of trouble along the way. He's a big honest Aussie bloke who's prepared to work hard and long for a day's pay, but work is hard to find. He and Buster have to walk long miles, living on billy tea and meals cooked on an open fire down by the creek on the outskirts of small country towns. D'arcy Niland has given them some true blue characters to meet along the way, and although the language is a bit dated I imagine it's true to the year in which it was written. The final chapter holds an unexpected twist for both Buster and Macauley and for Macualey and his estranged wife, a twist that sets all their futures on a new path. ( )
  Fliss88 | Dec 17, 2017 |
It was curious to listen to this audio book straight after reading Penelope Lively’s analysis of social changes in A House Unlocked…because I might not otherwise have realised with such clarity how The Shiralee (1955) represents a view of fatherhood that had almost become obsolete before I was born.

It is the story of a swagman called Macauley during the Great Depression. He walks the outback looking for work but comes home to find his wife in bed with another man. To revenge himself, he takes their daughter, four year old Buster – not because he loves her nor to rescue her from ‘moral harm’ but because he wants to hurt his wife by taking what he thinks she loves.

Having taken this child for the most reprehensible of reasons, he is then saddled with her in his travels. He knows nothing about the needs of a four year old, and regards Buster as a burden. ‘Shiralee’ means ‘swag’ or burden, but since a swag also holds the basics of survival and is the source of life on the road, Shiralee is also a metaphor for the paradox represented by this little girl. Betrayed by his wife, Macauley’s emotional survival depends on Buster’s love, but she is also his burden. At times he is very hard on the little girl, and his spankings certainly jar a 21st century sensibility, but gradually this man with a tough exterior develops a love for his child that was not there before. (The fight scenes jar too, but in the context of the period, they are used to establish Macauley as a ‘man’s man’.)

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2009/05/16/the-shiralee-by-darcy-niland-read-by-ivor-ka... ( )
  anzlitlovers | Oct 19, 2016 |
It may be unpatriotic of me, but I dont read much Australian literature, probably because having been force-fed Australian history at school (and now believing that a mere 200 years does not actually constitute "a history") turned me off for life. However I'll certainly slip in a good word for this unpretentious little charmer. It certainly wont excercise your thinking apparatus very hard, but it's sweet, funny and has two of the most engaging lead characters I've come across. Think of it as Australia's answer to "Of Mice and Men" (minus the sexual innuendo and violence) and you won't be far off. ( )
  drmaf | Sep 5, 2013 |
This book gives insight into Australia.

It is a real classic and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Well worth reading and beautiful. Set in 1920s Australia. I think it is suitable for Year 12 and 13, maybe year 11 as well. Great for wide reading and 'theme studies' . ( )
  nextbook | Jan 3, 2012 |
An Australian classic. It's a facinating insight into life on the road through the Australian outback in the 20's. Definitely worth a read although the politically correct may have issues with it in a few places..still it's a reflection of the times when it was written. Niland writes with strong straightforward prose and the plot is unfolded without sentimentality which makes it all the more moving. ( )
  yannilack | Dec 7, 2010 |
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A shiralee is a swag, a burden, a bloody millstone - and that's what four-year-old Buster is to her father, Macauley. He takes the child on the road with him to spite his wife, but months pass and still no word comes to ask for the little girl back. Strangers to each other at first, father and daughter drift aimlessly through the dusty towns of Australia, sleeping rough and relying on odd jobs for food and money. Buster's resilience and trust slowly erode Macauley's resentment, and when he's finally able to get rid of her, he realises he can't let his shiralee go. In evocative prose that vividly conjures images of rural Australia, The Shiralee reveal an understanding of the paradoxical nature of the burdens we carry, creates a moving portrait of fatherhood, told with gruff humour and a gentle pathos.

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