THE MULTIPLE EFFECTS OF RAINSHADOW book cover   The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow
Thea Astley

Cover image courtesy of Horizon Photography Library

Dustjacket synopsis:
"In the little hours of a January morning in 1930, on an island off the Queensland coast, a man goes berserk with a rifle and a box of gelignite. Is he evil? Or crazy? His violence is in fact a mirror for the brutality of Australian life - and is a dim reflection at that, in a country where atrocities by whites against blacks are so ingrained few question them.

"The effects of the rampage ripple out from the island to link the fates of those who witnessed it, across the north and down through the decades. It is a time when silence in the face of tyranny is at its loudest. When allegiance to English niceties is confounded by the landscape and by the weather. And change is a slow wind that brings little real difference."

"Rainshadow is Astley at her best - witty, acerbic, psychologically prceptive and tough - and is a good yarn as well." - Sun Herald
"There has never been a better moment for this book." - The Age
"Astley is formidable...uniquely provocative, acerbic and glittering. Not an easy ride, but the dangerous rides offer the greatest rewards." - The Australian
"Astley has rarely left us so moved." - Adelaide Advertiser
"The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow - Astley at her best." - Australian Book Review
"The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow throbs with as much passion, brilliance and originality as the best of her previous work." - Sydney Morning Herald

First paragraph:

The blue fire, he said. The blue. Burn my heart it jump like fish jumpin straight down sky. Marl-gan! Sky-fire! Cum-oo, he said. He yelled. Go-ah go-ah go-ah! Rain! Talking Gugganyji. Talking language. Talking migaloo, whiteman talk. Made talk migaloo after the big wind at the Heads. Shacks blew down. All shacks. In the mornin after they creep out from behind the rocks where they shelter all night, the bodies. Mumma, he whimper, mumma, stickin his pink and brown paw into hers. Uncles killed. Tribal cousins. Even the big boss house scatter along rain-soaked grass and the rain still comin and no one to tell them what to do.

From the Penguin paperback edition, 1997.

This novel was shortlisted for the 1997 Miles Franklin Award.

This page and its contents are copyright © 1999-2006 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: January 26, 2006.