Adaptation of Colleen McCullough's epic novel about an Australian priest torn by personal desires and ambition. This title has been repackaged. Disc one contains episodes 1 and 2; disc two contains episodes 3 and 4; disc three contains extra content.
A poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit, Colleen McCullough's acclaimed masterwork remains a monumental literary achievement—a landmark novel to be cherished and read again and again.
Sadly, because I hate to see any book damaged in any way, this book was also a victim of the freak wave. As it was in a bag, though, only the first fifty pages or so are wrinkled--and that, thank goodness, is ALL!
I'm not too distraught over this one, however, as I stopped reading it once I got to chapter two, Ralph.
I had been ho-humming it from the beginning, really, and had been forcing myself through because it was a gift and I actually wanted to be able to talk about it with the giver (ha ha. corny book joke).
I can't bring myself to go on with it, however. It's boring.
I know it's a super big classic, but my TBR pile is just so huge that I can't bring myself to endure this story when there's so much potential waiting for me.
This review is a post on my blog.
A hopelessly overstuffed, flabby book with whole sections (Justine in London for example) could have been dropped entirely. Yawn yawn yaaaaaawn. One of my all time least favourite books.
Fourteen years after my first reading of this book, my opinion of it has changed somewhat. One of the things I remember most about it was that there was a lot of sex in it—and I mean a lot. This time around, I kind of skipped through all that stuff in order to get to the heart of the story—Meggie and Ralph. I must have been much more of a romantic the first time I read this book, because this time I found myself rolling my eyes at the dialogue and at how many times the reader was told how good looking Meggie and Ralph both were.
But despite the cheesiness of some parts of this book, the story is actually quite good. I especially enjoyed Justine’s story and her relationship with Rain. However, Luke drops off the face of the planet once Meggie leaves him; I would have liked to have seen more of a resolution to that story. It just didn’t make sense to me that someone like him would have taken Meggie’s defection so lightly. The relationship between Meggie and Ralph becomes almost nonexistent as Justine and Dane’s stories take center stage. And Dane, frankly, isn’t all that interesting!
From my first reading, I don’t remember Australia having so much of a role in the book, but actually it’s almost a character unto itself. McCullough’s descriptions of the places she writes about are beautiful. The story moves at a fast pace and it only took me a few days to finish; still, it’s not quite as good as I remember it being from the first time I read it. But people change!
They do get together, but of course it can't be.
Very interesting storyline...makes you laugh, cry, and hope.
The book is deep on characters and the way of life in Australia in the early 1900s. I find myself caring for the people that Ms. McCullough has created, and am drawn in time and time again to their personalities, foibles, faults, including the inability to escape from that which draws you...
I loved the descriptions of the Australian outback - the drought, the floods, the fire, the arid landscape, the sheep, the insects, the dry heat in one part of the country and the overpowering humidity in another - but most of the characters made me feel either nauseous or angry. Only Meggie's daughter Justine had any life about her, and I had to wade through two generations to meet her. All the women are strong but cold, and the men either weak or creepy. Matriarch Fee Cleary pops out six boys, including the obnoxiously nicknamed Jims and Patsy, and one girl, Meggie. Irish priest Ralph Raoul de Bricassart takes a shine to the ten year old girl on his first visit to the family homestead Drogheda, and commences to 'groom' her - there really is no other word - to be his ideal of innocence and beauty. Nothing more, because he's a priest, not a man! (So he keeps telling himself.) Of course, Meggie is ruined for life, and must have beautiful, charming, compassionate, multilingual Ralph for 'her man', and if she can't have him, she'll have his son, Dane, who is like Jesus to Ralph's God - sorry to blaspheme, but I finally figured out where Mccullough was heading with her two perfect specimens of manhood, and the comparison made me gag. Ralph is a ridiculous, overinflated romance hero - part of the reason I liked Justine so much is because she could see straight through him, and called him 'smarmy'. And McCullough leaves her readers in no doubt as to who they are supposed to love, and who to hate - she takes the 'omniscient' narrator to a whole new level!
So really, that's the book in a nutshell - fifty years and three generations of life on a station in the Australian outback, starting after the Great War and hop, skip and jumping through to the 1960s. Meggie falls in love with a priest, various people die bizarre deaths (the wild boar was my favourite), and the women stay strong for their undeserving men. As a portrait - or maybe a landscape - of Australian life, McCullough's book is a masterpiece, but it fails miserably as a moving, believable romance.
Audio Book - I read this a few years ago and remember enjoying it (so much that I went on to read other Colleen McCullough novels). Since I have a difficult time listening to new fiction titles, I've been going back to the books I liked pre-Goodreads/LT and listening to them.
The story still doesn't disappoint. It's so heartbreaking, but so good. It did take a little while for me to adjust to the narrator -- not one of my favorites. It's definitely a long one (22 hours), but worth a listen if you're a fan of family sagas.