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Eucalyptus (Panther) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Mai 1999

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  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: New Ed (20. Mai 1999)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1860464955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860464959
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,8 x 20 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (23 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 137.538 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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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)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 29. April 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The book certainly had a magical quality about it, with the isolated setting of a private ranch, all the eucalyptus trees, the stories told by the mysterious stranger. I actually enjoyed all the botanical information about eucalyptus trees, as I have never considered them before.
However, I didn't fully understand where the story went. The father seemed a likeable enough character, but why did he impose such an impossible task to secure the marriage of his daughter-it seemed a draconian measure for someone who obviously loved her and would have wanted to see her happy. I wasn't sure what kind of person the daughter was and didn't have much personal feeling for her. I'm not sure how sympathetic I felt towards her- could she not have done more to avoid the fate imposed upon her by her father?
All in all, I enjoyed some of the fantasy-like qualities of the book, but felt it was unfocused in the message it was trying to put across.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Frank Di Marco am 12. August 2005
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Of course, Eucalyptus has nothing to do with anything botanical. Bail explores the different approaches to epistemology. Underneath the fairy tale surface we find in the subtext the discussion about how to represent reality - empirically or via narration. The complex texture does in no way disturb a pleasent read - a great achievement indeed. So Bail ist at his best in Eucalyptus and is an outstanding representative of innovative literature, not only in an Australian context.
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Von Ein Kunde am 12. März 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Hailed as a masterpiece of original fictional writing by literary critics worldwide, I began reading Murray Bail's "Eucalyptus" - 1999 winner of the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize - with high expectations but regret to say that it was a major let down for me. The story of a father offering the hand of his daughter in marriage to the man able to correctly name all the eucalyptus trees in his orchard, has the makings of a fascinating premise for a fable. Bail's intimate knowledge of the Australian outbacks and well researched command of his subject is certainly impressive but to the non-native reader seems only overindulgent. Compounding the difficulty for me was the obscurity of his language and his vision. His sentences don't flow. Neither does his thought process, which makes reading the novel a jerky and uneven experience. His characters (Ellen and her father, Holland) are curiously underwritten. We don't understand what goes on in their minds and cannot empathise or like them. The fable remains ultimately an enigma. Even the wooing of Ellen by the unnamed lover with a stream of fantastic but unconnected stories as they encircle and cavort with each other from tree to tree became hard work and tedious for me. A fellow online reviewer helpfully explained that these stories all hinted at unfulfilled love but I can't say they made that connection when they tumbled into my consciousness. I realise the reviews of "Eucalyptus" from both critics and public alike have been wildly ecstatic. I only wish I felt the same but I don't. I found it a less than pleasurable read - disappointing and obscure. Sorry.
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On many levels this story fascinated me. As a budding writer I was envious of the amazing story which unfolded as I read. As a gardener and naturalist I was fascinated by the details of Australia's trademark trees and the way they were woven into the story to explain life and people's relationships with one another. I admired the "simplicity" of the writing style and the brevity of words. However, one thing puzzled me. I couldn't really get into the heads of the characters and feel what they were feeling. I only experienced their feelings through a kind of misty gauze. Something - a vital link - was missing between reader and characters to complete our understanding, to make our experience of this wonderful story complete. To me, the characters did not fully come to life. However, I have no regrets having read the story. I'm glad I did and have recommended it to others. I am honoured to somehow share the same landscape which had inspired Murray Bail, because like the obsessed characters of this book I too love the many forms the eucalyptus takes across this huge island. And I love his writing style. In a funny way, the flatness of the characters did not spoil my reading of the story, but gave me something to ponder when my reading was complete. What really were their feelings like? How would I have felt if I had been one of them? I can only imagine....and the story will continue to haunt me for years to come. Thanks Murray!
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Coming at the people through trees is a compelling idea. Since reading this book, I've noticed more the trees around me, and could those on the corner really be eucalypts here in eastern France? But poor Ellen was way too passive for this reader, so I can't give it more than 3 stars. I wanted her to DO something, to ACT, to be the maker of her own destiny, instead she reacts to the men around her then nearly succumbs to her own passivity. Overall though this is a compelling read full of striking language and nice touches like the nail in the maiden tree and what the men do there... I would have liked more mention of Australia's wonderful and diverse wildlife. No koalas in those gum trees, Mr. Bail? No kookaburra cries haunting the forest? Also the Knight in Shining Armour is only metal-plated! Too bad! Rather an ephemeral specter, isn't he? And he cheated, the way he named the trees doesn't count, but I'm happy for Ellen. Who would want grim old Mr. Cave when you could listen to stories all your life?
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