May 12, 2021
Drylands
Posted by Thea Astley

In her flat above Drylands s newsagency, Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world s last reader Little has changed in her 50 years, except for the coming of cable TV Loneliness is almost a religion, and still everyone knows your business But the town is being outmanoeuvred by drought and begins to empty, pouring itself out like water into sand Small minds shrink evIn her flat above Drylands s newsagency, Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world s last reader Little has changed in her 50 years, except for the coming of cable TV Loneliness is almost a religion, and still everyone knows your business But the town is being outmanoeuvred by drought and begins to empty, pouring itself out like water into sand Small minds shrink even smaller in the vastness of the land One man is forced out by council rates and bigotry another sells his property, risking the lot to build his dream And all of them are shadowed by violence of some sort these people whose only victory over the town is in leaving it.

  • Title: Drylands
  • Author: Thea Astley
  • ISBN: 9780140283808
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • Drylands In her flat above Drylands s newsagency Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world s last reader Little has changed in her years except for the coming of cable TV Loneliness is almost a religio

    Brenda

    Janet Deakin had lived in Drylands for as long as she could remember She and Ted had been happy Ted had passed away some time back, and Janet was lonely she lived alone above the newsagency where she worked Janet tried to interest the townsfolk in books instead of the usual magazines and local paper, but she was fighting a losing battle After hours were spent writing her own book it was for the world s last reader.But the people of Drylands were struggling the drought was driving people out The [...]


    Kimbofo

    Drylands is Thea Astley at her fine, angry best This novel, which turned out to be her last she died in 2004, aged 78 , earned her the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2000, a prize she shared with joint winner Kim Scott for his novel Benang From the Heart.Astley, it has to be said, is not always an easy writer to read Her prose is dense and rich in metaphors and her ideas are astute and political, the product of an inquiring and intelligent mind.But this book, which is set in a small Australian [...]


    Dillwynia Peter

    This reads like Astley s last book on checking it is This might sound negative, but not so, Astley is still as dry humoured witty acerbic as ever.She thumps her soapbox over the increase in interest of electronic gadgets over reading no one writes, or reads or is interested in world events in Drylands The stock in the newsagency is going yellow and the owner is forced to stocking videos The serious novel is dead is a frequent mantra Astley was watching book stores die as she wrote this I believe [...]


    Thoraiya

    Wow This book is beautiful and devastating It will haunt anyone who has ever lived in a country town And I m not even deducting any stars for the writer character It is that good And literary novels are so short, aren t they Reckon I could snack on half a dozen of these before I get to the end of Under the Dome But there s an unusual number of themes crammed into this short work community, equality, love, envy, loss.Anyway Had trouble getting into Thea s work before If you should pick up Drylan [...]


    Carina

    Beautifully crafted, provoking and insightful A book with overlapping short profiles, that pulled me in so much I wanted novel length chapters on each character Still pondering many aspects.


    Roxann

    A series of vignettes detailing the lives of the residents in a dying town Drylands in Outback, Australia All of them want to stay, want to find hope, community, and a home there, but they are forced out one by one in varying circumstances and ways almost all of them violent in some respect Meticulous, dense prose written by a quintessential Australian writer once you get the hang of it, it s hard to put the book down This book won the Miles Franklin Award in 1999, Australia s leading literary p [...]


    Jane Odgers

    In Thea Astley s book Drylands, Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world s last reader Little has changed here in 50 years, except for the coming of cable TV Loneliness is almost a religion, and still everyone knows your business The town is being outmanoeuvred by drought and begins to empty, pouring itself out like water into sand Small minds shrink even smaller in the vastness of the land One man is forced out by council rates and bigotry another sells his property, risking the lot to buil [...]


    Geoff Wooldridge

    Thea Astley is a prolific Australia writer who has won the Miles Franklin literary award four times She won first in 1962 for The Well Dressed Explorer, and her fourth win was for Drylands in 2000.Drylands is a small, dying, drought stricken town in outback Queensland, that lives up to its name, in relation to both its climate and its culture.Janet Deakin, who runs the local newsagency, still considered a new comer after 5 years, sits in the room above the shop, in the evenings, trying to write [...]


    Joni Cornell

    A collection of short stories, strung together by meanwhile perhaps written by the character Janet Deakin, who is writing a book for the last reader to fill in the loneliness of hot evenings The town Drylands is dying because of the vagaries of the weather, its people emptying out, and its characters not only have bleak lives, but are in the main unlikable Janet, who used to work in a city book store, and who once used to stock books in her news agency, is chagrined that people don t read any, a [...]


    Tracey

    I have never read Thea Astley before and I have to say I was quite overtaken by this novel I was swept into the world and her writing is such that you are just sucked into this lovely rhythm of words The story resonates because so many people have been touched by small country towns that struggle to survive Once the central part of the community the gradual demise due to drought, crime, foreclosures so creeps up and the town becomes a husk There are several character threads that weave their way [...]


    Lisa

    A powerful, angry book, written in 1999 and Astley s last It is fiercely critical of Australian anti intellectualism cynical about justice for victims of white collar crime scornful about attempts to import culture in the form of writing groups and a branch library to the backblocks of Queensland and contemptuous about small town life and society anzlitlovers.wordpress 200


    Tina

    i was reading maybe 3 or 4 books at a time, so it took me a while to get throughfe in these dusty landscapes, that i love, is much less desirable for these characterske waiting for something to happen that never does, or screaming and no one can hear, or like being invisibleme stories are harder to finish than others, not because they aren t good, they just touch us differently maybe not the right kind of escapism


    Bobbie Darbyshire

    This came highly recommended by a friend, but didn t quite do it for me Short stories about inhabitants of a dying outback community, linked by the idea that one of them is writing them as a book for the world s last reader The feminist morals were too predictably pointed, the male baddies too unrelievedly crass Glum and, in the end, uninvolving Glad I read it though.


    Chel

    ANZLL discussion March 02.Residents of Drylands, northern Queensland are leaving due to harshness and isolation of the area.Did not enjoy very much may be not a good introduction to Astley PMQ library.


    Robyn SW

    This was an uncomfortable read because, growing up in a small Australian town, much of this resonated with me Astley s incisive portrayal of brutality, cruelty, prejudice, racism, male chauvinism and apathy was so wonderfully offset by the courage of those women who escaped.


    Susie Anderson

    this was a real nice snapshot of rural life in qld good perspectives of each town member that wove together but not in an obtrusive way protagonist could be gone into and ending less cliche but the overt references to her writing didn t excuse the hackneyed ending


    Anna

    Despite being a kiwi, I had never heard of Thea Astley before she s an Aussie She is such an amazing writer that I will have to read They aren t very easy to find here, it would seem I listened to this on audio Beverley Dunn was incredible These are awfully sad stories


    Geoffrey

    I loved it Full of interesting characters and eccentrics.


    Kate Krake

    A thoroughly enjoyable read Astley captures the lonelieness and desperation that outback living often brings with wry humour, scathing criticism and humanist sensitivity.


    Carmie

    depressing look at country towns dying due to drought


    John

    Excellent book that gave a real sense of place about rural regional Queensland



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