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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 property 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 of 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, Ellen. Men try and fail: there is the gentle schoolteacher who "had correctly named eighty-seven eucalypts and was doing it well when he went blank at the fatly handsome Jarrah up against the fence behind the house"; and the New Zealander who "came up against, and was defeated by, one of the many Stringybarks..." Old men, young men, commercial travelers, sheep-shearers--even a "smiling Chinaman ... all the way from Darwin." Not one is successful. Then, one day, along comes Mr. Roy Cave, a man renowned in the eucalyptus world, someone who "employed with lip-smacking relish the terms 'petiole,' 'inflorescences,' 'falacte' and 'lanceolate,' and he was also comfortable with 'sessile', 'fusiform' and 'conculorous.'"
Even in so wonderfully fractured a fairy tale as Murray Bail's Eucalyptus, it's obvious that Roy Cave is hardly the stuff romantic dreams are made of. Indeed, despite her father's warning to "beware of any man who deliberately tells a story," Ellen's Prince Charming turns out to be a mysterious young stranger who finds her wandering among her father's trees and spins her tale after tale, each one tied to a different kind of eucalypt. As the weeks go by, Mr. Cave continues to successfully identify every tree on the property, thus drawing ever closer to his prize. Meanwhile, Ellen's other suitor captures first her imagination and then her heart with stories of apprentice hairdressers who fall in love with plain-Jane heiresses; solicitors' daughters involved with married men; and lonely canary breeders who almost find happiness with spinster piano teachers. What all of these off-kilter stories have in common is a theme of missed opportunities, and lovers who realize too late that they were made for each other. Will Ellen, too, end up like one of these the sad-hearted heroines, or will her would-be lover find a way to thwart Mr. Cave's relentless victory march through the Eucalypts to claim her hand?
There is so much to love about Bail's novel that it's difficult to identify exactly which of its qualities make it such a complete delight. Is it Ellen's "speckled beauty ... so covered in small brown-black moles she attracted men, every sort of man"? Is it the detailed descriptions of the landscape? The way Bail uses them to comment on human nature, on the nature of storytelling and of language itself ("a paragraph is not so different from a paddock--similar shape, similar function")? Or is it the wacky charm of the Scheharezade-like suitor's urban tales? ("Still in the vicinity of low-height eucalypts he went on to mention, in a thoughtful voice, how in an outer suburb of Hobart an actuary with a well-known insurance company needed a stepladder to woo a widow who passed by his house every day.") Whatever the source of Bail's peculiar magic, Eucalyptus casts a spell that will carry readers from first page to last and leave them wishing for a thousand and one more stories just like it. --Alix Wilber -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
"One of the great and most surprising courtships in literature" (Michael Ondaatje)
"Bail tells a story which is encrusted with delicious detail, and writes in an affecting mood of rapt tenderness. The book will haunt its readers long after more perfectly-finished fictions have faded from their memories" (Andrew Motion Observer)
"Tall trees inspire tall tales. Eucalyptus makes most other novels seem weedy by comparison. It is a towering achievement" (Mark Sanderson Time Out)
"His sentences have a perpetually off-balance wit which gives you life's jumble, its mystery, its unexplained compactness. You take in the humour first, but then they deepen and deepen. Buy the book. You won't have read anything like it" (Francis Spufford Evening Standard)
"A most unusual, enchanting work...a novel of most beguiling originality" (Carmen Callil Daily Telegraph)
The story could be told on less then 30 pages, boring and I cant get close to the central figures.Veröffentlicht am 14. August 2007 von Kundin
It's not merely an enchanting story of a most unusual courtship.
After all, it's a most witty parable on the intricacy of mating
altogether, set in the almost... Lesen Sie weiter...
A novel about Eucalyptus you ask? Yes and much more. I found the fable/fairy tale form of the plot intriguing. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2000 von choiceweb0pen0
A book club of which I am a member picked this book as a selection due to the rave editorial and critical reviews. All six of the club members hated, yes, hated, this book. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 1. April 2000 von Tanya Rhodes
Seduced by the rave reviews and awards that this book has gathered, it was with the anticipation of a great read that I began the story. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 17. März 2000 von Lesley West
I bought this book in Adelaide and read most of it during a long bus ride from Alice Springs to Darwin. I felt completely immersed in the natural history and culture of Australia. Lesen Sie weiter...Am 12. Februar 2000 veröffentlicht
This is a book worth reading. It pulls you along and the spare prose of the author works wonders to bring the whole story to life. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 25. Oktober 1999 von Joe Mellott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I was glad to finish this novel. I value the beauty of writing that this novel was attempting to undertake, wordy, poetic rather than prose, but I found this over hyped over... Lesen Sie weiter...Am 22. Oktober 1999 veröffentlicht