The Swan Book

The Swan Book An inventive cacophonous novel about an Aboriginal girl living in a future world turned upside down where ancient myths exist side by side with present day realities Oblivia Ethelyne was given her na

  • Title: The Swan Book
  • Author: Alexis Wright
  • ISBN: 9781501124785
  • Page: 177
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An inventive, cacophonous novel about an Aboriginal girl living in a future world turned upside down where ancient myths exist side by side with present day realities.Oblivia Ethelyne was given her name by an old woman who found her deep in the bowels of a gum tree, tattered and fragile, the victim of a brutal assault by wayward local youths These are the years leading upAn inventive, cacophonous novel about an Aboriginal girl living in a future world turned upside down where ancient myths exist side by side with present day realities.Oblivia Ethelyne was given her name by an old woman who found her deep in the bowels of a gum tree, tattered and fragile, the victim of a brutal assault by wayward local youths These are the years leading up to Australia s third centenary, and the woman who finds her, Bella Donna of the Champions, is a refugee from climate change wars that devastated her country in the northern hemisphere Bella Donna takes Oblivia to live with her on an old warship in a polluted dry swamp and there she fills Oblivia s head with story upon story of swans Fenced off from the rest of Australia by the Army, its traditional custodians left destitute, the swamp has become the world s most unknown detention camp for Indigenous Australians When Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia invades the swamp with his charismatic persona and the promise of salvation, Oblivia agrees to marry him, becoming First Lady, a role that has her confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city In this multilayered novel, winnter of the Australian Literature Society s Gold Medal, Wright toys with the edges of the world we live in to offer us an intimate portrait of the realities facing Aboriginal people We meet talking monkeys, genies with doctorates, spirit guiding swans, and a whole cast of characters drawn from myth and legend and fairy tales Through symbolism and a dazzling linguistic dexterity the blending of words and phrases from high and low culture, from English, Aboriginal languages, French, and Latin Wright beautifully demonstrates how the power of the human imagination can set us free.

    • Free Read [Humor and Comedy Book] ☆ The Swan Book - by Alexis Wright ✓
      177 Alexis Wright
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Humor and Comedy Book] ☆ The Swan Book - by Alexis Wright ✓
      Posted by:Alexis Wright
      Published :2019-07-16T22:44:15+00:00

    Alexis Wright

    Alexis Wright is from the Waanji people from the highlands of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria Her acclaimed first novel Plains of Promise was published in 1997 by University of Queensland Press and was shortlisted in the Commonwealth Writers Prize, The Age Book of the Year, and the NSW Premier s Awards The novel has been translated into French.Alexis has published award winning short stories and her other books are the anthology Take Power Jukurrpa Books, l998 , celebrating 20 years of land rights in Central Australia and Grog War Magabala,1997 , an examination of the alcohol restrictions in Tennant Creek.Her latest novel, Carpentaria was published by Giramondo in 2006 An epic set in the Gulf country of north western Queensland, from where her people come, the novel tells of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance In 2007 Carpentaria won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, Victorian Premier s Literary Awards, the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, Queensland Premier s Literary Awards, Best Fiction Book, and the Australian Book Industry Awards ABIA , Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year.Biographical information from the Australia Council website.

    262 Comment

    • This I going to be hard to explain, because I am going to refer to a book with ghosts and alternative, maybe split realities and animals who are sentient and not sentient at the same time and a weird jumping around sense of time and place as a very horrifyingly believable book. It is the most believable sort of gloomy, hope-lacking dystopian book. I don’t think at any point of the book there was a moment of relief from the forlorn situation of the suffering and dehumanised “Oblivia” also s [...]

    • Jennifer (JC-S)

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      ‘This is the quest to regain sovereignty over my own brain.’This novel is set in Australia in the future: around the time of the third centenary, in a world fundamentally altered by climate change, and where – following an Army Intervention - Aboriginals are living in a fenced camp alongside a stinking swamp containing the refuse of war. It follows the life of a mute young woman called Oblivia Ethylene. Oblivia is the victim of gang rape, who lives on a hulk in a swamp surrounded by rustin [...]

    • (I would like to acknowledge that Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation, and that I do not know the story of her country or any other in Australia. I have attempted not to presume too much by reading one novel.)This is an astonishing novel — a book that I would recommend more highly than I currently rate it, because I don't think it's finished with me yet. This is one of those books that teach you how to read them, and I am a slow learner. So, between passages of brilliant, beautiful [...]

    • I have been waiting for this book all my life. Just wonderful. Real Australian science fiction. Not the Australia of the past 200 years projected into the future, but the Australia of the past 50 000 years projected into the future in a work that is vivid, poetic, incisive, intelligent and memorable.

    • A mess of rambling descriptions, symbolism and mythology that didn't go anywhere and was well above my comprehension levels. The plot description sounded so promising – but for me, this book was just hard work.

    • Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      Beutiful writing, zero plot. Not for me.

    • Jane (yesmissjane)

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      Wow. I've finished. Now I just need someone to explain this to me.

    • Get set for a wild ride with Alexis Wright’s new novel, The Swan Book! It’s exhilarating, confronting, funny, touching, angry, wise and unforgettable.I am mildly worried that perhaps I should have re-read it in its entirety more than once before tackling writing about it, because I suspect that repeated readings will reveal all kinds of aspects that I’ve missed or misunderstood. Indeed, I kept thinking of James Joyce’s Ulysses as I read: it has the promise of the same kind of riches that [...]

    • Unfortunately I was required to read this book for a university course, so therefore I was not able to simply abandon it like I wanted to every second that I was reading it. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but when did a syntactical jumble of words become "good" writing? I can appreciate that Wright has many important things to say about Australia as a country and the Indigenous people, however I feel as though she could have gotten her point across better and more effectively if she had put down the t [...]

    • Michael Livingston

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      I'm not sure I can really review this book fairly as I'm pretty sure that a lot of what is going on here passed me by. There's some glorious language, some snippets of blistering satire and the bones of a richly allegorical novel here, but it's swamped by cultural references that I mostly missed, shifts in tone that left me baffled rather than engaged and a kind of stream of conscious approach that overwhelmed me. I got a lot out of Wright's previous book (Carpenteria), but here I think she's ki [...]

    • I won't pretend I fully understood everything, but there was a beautiful rhythm to the lyrical prose. It was funny and intense and sharp. It felt really politically astute, too -- Tony Abbott's comments about lifestyle choices could easily have fitted in this novel. It took a long time to read because I needed to give it my full attention and read it chapter by chapter-- not a few pages here and there, and not when I was tired or distracted.

    • 4.5 stars. Getting through this book was hard work. It's myth and folklore and reality. It's written in English and Waanyi and Latin, and the rules of grammar and syntax are broken at will. It's confronting. It's farcical. It's despairing. It's angry. It's a piss-take. It's future-set but so very current. This novel challenged me as a reader, as an Australian, as a human being.

    • Seregil of Rhiminee

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      Originally published at Risingshadow.Alexis Wright's The Swan Book is a significant addition to literary speculative fiction. It's a genre-bending masterpiece of evocative prose and powerful imagery that blends ancient myths and legends in a powerful and thought-provoking way. It's a novel that has both style and substance.The Swan Book was originally published in Australia in 2013 and later in Great Britain in 2015. It's great that Atria Books has published it in the USA and expanded its market [...]

    • I can't read it. I've tried. I've tried the paper book. Abandoned. So I've tried the audio book, abandoned and actually annoyed by it.I am sorry. I have had this in my list for a while. I have loved many of the authors books before. But This one is either not for me or the wrong time.

    • I've just finished this. I must have read hundreds of books over the last 50 years and haven't been so blown away since Titus Groan (Mervyn Peake). Not merely outstanding, this slotted into my top ten before I'd finished the opening.I don't know where to start except to suggest that, if the opening doesn't grab you, you'd best put the book down. It's not going to be watered down anywhere.Superbly lyrical and bold, you're walking through a surreal landscape - and yet it is so real. This is a worl [...]

    • RubyTombstone [With A Vengeance]

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      I really wanted to love this book. It has all the elements I'm interested in, but the writing is just terrible. I've noticed since moving to Northern Australia that a lot of people up here only read a few words from every sentence, and assume that they know what comes in between. This book is written in that way. If you just skim the words, you get a feel for what the author's trying to say. If you actually read all of the words, you find that they're often the opposite of the author's intended [...]

    • This is a brilliant book.It's political - telling the story of various Australian governments and the general arrogance and ignorance shown towards Aborigines.It's a love story - between Oblivia, Swans and the land.It's about language - Alexis Wright effortlessly uses a variety of English, Aborigine, Latin. French, common speak and in the words of business and politicians.It's science fiction - based in 100 years time after climate change and various wars have created a world of nomadic people.I [...]

    • I was completely immersed in the language - the poetry, the jolts of vernacular, the flow from one into the other. While the plot follows young Indigenous woman Oblivia Ethyl(ene) when she is removed from her Country, this is really a novel about displacement and belonging for all of us. In a world gone haywire thanks to climate change, nobody belongs anywhere anymore. Everything is foreign - the plagues of wildlife, the once reliable weather, the increasing flood of climate refugees. The settin [...]

    • loved it but I need to think about it for awhile.

    • Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader)

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      Well, I've finished! And right now I have NO idea how to rate this! Hopefully more thoughts to follow.

    • overland/2013/09/the-ra

    • This book reads like a dream - atmospheric, confusing, murky, magical, profound. However, like a dream, in parts it is too obscure to navigate clearly and too long not to drift into other thoughtscapes

    • MisterHobgoblin

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      The Swan Book is a difficult read. There are metaphors within metaphors, literary references referring back to various cultures and ages.Broadly, The Swan Book follows the life of an Aboriginal girl, Oblivia Ethyl(ene) Oblivion. Oblivia is rescued as a child from a hollow treetrunk and grows up living in the hull of a ship in a semi-dried lake, being raised by a white woman, Bella Donna. The community seems to be a mixture of exiled aborigines, deemed troublesome by the authorities, and migrants [...]

    • The Swan Book is set in a dystopian future where climate change has wreaked havoc on the Australian (and international) landscape. The countryside is dominated by insects and rodents and those that feed on them; the weather is drastic and erratic, floods are interspersed with drought.The book is centred on Oblivia, a young girl who, after being gang raped, went missing for some time from a remote Aboriginal community. Oblivia chooses to be mute after her traumatic experience – she can’t even [...]

    • Francene Carroll

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      Wildly inventive with some haunting imagery that will stay with me for a long time. I found it easy to get into at first but after putting the book down for a few days it was a real struggle to get back into the flow. By the end I just wanted it to be over. There are presumably many deep meanings to be found in this story for those with the time and inclination to look, but for the average reader it is nonsensical and also quite repetitive in some ways (it will be a long time before I care to re [...]

    • Every once in a while you pick up a book that you immediately want to buy copies of for half (or all) of your friends. This is one of those books."The Swan Book" is set in a future Australia, where much of the world has been devastated by global warming and subsequent climate change. Whole nations have been swallowed by the sea, and entire peoples made refugees. Australian Aboriginals are living underneath the Intervention, essentially locked into camps in the north of the country.Obilivia Ethyl [...]

    • ‘The Swan Book’ is a lengthy prose poem about Australian colonialism and climate change. It certainly read like poetry to me, despite being presented as a novel. A representative paragraph:The light that came from the sky at night was relentless. It was the Army swinging around the searchlights. Where was the joy in this? Ungovernable thoughts unfurled into the atmosphere from the heads of people hiding beneath folded wings that might have belonged to the black swans that had died in the swa [...]

    • Fantasy Literature

      (Mar 31, 2020 - 10:09 AM)

      Did Not Finish from Bill, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATUREI really wanted to like The Swan Book by Alexis Wright. I mean, it has so many elements I would usually find enticing by themselves or a few at a time, let alone all at once: magical realism, non-linear structure, multiple POVs, moments of high-flying lyricism, biting wit and satire, dystopia, sharp dialogue, a social conscience. But man, did I struggle with this one from just about the beginning. But I kept going. Like I said, [...]

    • I found this novel extremely laborious. While Wright writes beautiful sentences, the actual prose was so fragmented to the extent that I needed to keep re-reading passages to fully understand what was going on. The sense of place was also incredibly vague.That's not to say that her writing is without merit or profundity, but the only way I will ever understand this novel is if someone unpacks it for me.I'm curious to see if her other novels are as abstract as this one.

    • This was a beautiful book that I loved completely, although it was a very difficult and slow read. It was at times hard to follow what was going on, and in fact at the end I wasn't entirely sure what had happened, but the journey was incredible. There is so much in it that is important - beauty, ideas, opinions. A truly incredible book.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *