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Description - Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

From the author of the no.1 New York Times bestselling novel The Book Thief.

"An amazing talent in Australian literature" Sunday Telegraph

The Dunbar boys bring each other up in a house run by their own rules. A family of ramshackle tragedy - their mother is dead, their father has fled - they love and fight, and learn to reckon with the adult world.

It is Clay, the quiet one, who will build a bridge; for his family, for his past, for his sins. He builds a bridge to transcend humanness. To survive.

A miracle and nothing less.

WINNER INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ABIA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019

PRAISE FOR BRIDGE OF CLAY

"I am pleased to recommend...Markus Zusak's extraordinary novel Bridge of Clay, which I suspect I'll reread many times. It's a sprawling, challenging, and endlessly rewarding book. But it also has the raw and real and unironized emotion that courses through all of Zusak's books. I'm in awe of him." John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska

"Exquisitely written multigenerational family saga...With heft and historical scope, Zusak creates a sensitively rendered tale of loss, grief, and guilt's manifestations." Publishers Weekly

"An evocative, compassionate and exquisitely composed coming-of-age story about family, love, tragedy and forgiveness. Zusak's prose is distinct: astute, witty, exquisitely rhythmic, and utterly engrossing." Australian Books+Publishing Magazine

"Zusak is a writer of extraordinary empathy and he excels in his understanding of adolescent boys...in his portrayal of the gently traumatised Clay he has created a memorable character to savour... in Bridge of Clay, as earlier in The Book Thief, Zusak has succeeded in creating a story so vibrant and so real that the reader feels enveloped by it." The Australian

"This vast novel is a feast of language and irony. It is such a compassionate book that it is hard not to fall a bit in love with it yourself. Bridge of Clay shares with Zusak's The Book Thief an underlying sense of the possibility of joy and human dignity even in dehumanising situations." Sydney Morning Herald

"A complex, big-hearted, multi-generational Australian epic, highly evocative and rich in idiom that sprawls across 580 pages, much in the manner of Colleen McCullough, or Tim Winton's Cloudstreet." Good Weekend Magazine

"In 2005, the Australian writer dazzled readers and secured a perch on bestseller lists with The Book Thief ...this book too is a stunner. Devastating, demanding and deeply moving, Bridge of Clay unspools like a kind of magic act in reverse, with feats of narrative legerdemain concealed by misdirection that all make sense only when the elements of the trick are finally laid out. In words that seem to ache with emotion, or perhaps, more aptly, with the suppression of it, Mr. Zusak moves us in and out of time. Grief and sacrifice lie at the heart of things, and we can feel it through Mr. Zusak's writing even before we understand the story's real contours." Wall Street Journal

"What truly stands out about Bridge of Clay is the intensity of the prose - the potency of the heartbreak. The depth of grief and loss is so palpable you can all but feel the blood, sweat, and tears that went into crafting the story." Entertainment Weekly

"As with The Book Thief, much of the appeal of the novel lies in Zusak's heartfelt love for his characters and for language. The book sings in short musical sentences like poetry, and words stop you in your tracks." Herald Sun

Buy Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781760559922
Format: Paperback / softback
(232mm x 156mm x 43mm)
Pages: 592
Imprint: Picador Australia
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publish Date: 9-Oct-2018
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

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Book Review: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak - Reviewed by (18 Mar 2019)

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak was ten years in the making so I was expecting big things from this story and I wasn’t disappointed.

The story opens with Matthew, the oldest Dunbar boy, bringing home the old TW, the typewriter of a Grandmother they never knew.

Let me tell you about our brother. The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay. Everything happened to him. We were all of us changed through him.

This is Clay’s story as told by Matthew in an omniscient point of view. Whilst Matthew insists this is Clay’s story it is in fact a story of the Dunbar family and how they came to be. This is Penelope Lesciuszko’s story, Michael Dunbar’s story and also their combined story with the lead up of what was to come and what it is now; a family of ramshackle tragedy.

Zusak’s short sentences read like poetry and you often need to stop and take in the meaning behind the words.

Both parents were readers, for their mother it was The Iliad and the Odyssey, for their father it was the Quarryman. The books are mentioned often and have great significance in the parents’ lives and that of the Dunbar boys. They were also great storytellers passing down to the boys not only their love of books but the stories of their own lives.

As much as you would think a story of five boys bringing themselves up would be rambunctious and unruly it is in fact tender, loving and intimate. That’s not to say the boys don’t bicker, fight and sometimes drink too much.

The story jumps around in time however the authors phrasing at the start of each new chapter makes it easy to tell exactly where you are in time.

This is a story of love, heartbreak, togetherness, family, despair, life, death, forgiveness and reconciliation. A family saga without all the unnecessary words.


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