corner corner The Time We Have Taken

Medium

The Time We Have Taken
by Stephen Carroll | Literature & Fiction
Registered by tqd of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on 5/31/2008
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by tqd): permanent collection


6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, May 31, 2008

This book has not been rated.

One of the Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlisted books for 2008. Registered as part of DrCris's Miles Franklin reading challenge.

Bookring order:

Fleebo
jubby
livrecache
freelunch
DrCris
then back to me: tqd

UPDATE 19 June 2008: And this one is the winner! 


Journal Entry 2 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

8 out of 10

A beautifully written and crafted novel, although not exactly fast paced.

It is the early 1970s, change is in the air, and this is an elegaic farewell for a certain era of Australian suburbia.

I've never lived in suburbia, I've never wanted to live in suburbia, so I found it a rather fascinating insight into something that most people have experienced. And, at the end of the book, I was rather sad to see this time passing, even though it wasn't the most beautiful of times: the lack of privacy, unhappy families, ennui. Now, that is good writing, to make me miss something that I never even wanted in the first place.

Every phrase is beautifully crafted to give the impression of emotions, moods, feelings. It's like Carroll has painted a portrait, rather than written a book. The lack of dialogue and of many events heighten this feeling.

Of course, the downside of this is that it's a rather slow read, and several times I was regretting the lack of plot. Not that there wasn't plot, but so much happened behind the scenes, and we were just left with the characters' impressions and emotional states.

I was a bit puzzled by the references back to train driving and speed, given his previous well regarded novels are The Gift of Speed and The Art of the Engine Driver: I was wondering if he maybe just wrote the same stuff over and over again. However, it turns out this is the third book in a trilogy. I don't think it matters reading them out of order (I definitely didn't feel as if I missed out on any vital back story), and I am curious to find and read the first two books.

I have this and another Miles Franklin shortlisted book to pass on to fleebo: I'll probably pass them on at the same time. 


Journal Entry 3 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, November 10, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (11/11/2008 UTC) at Sydney, New South Wales Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Passing this one on to fleebo at tonight's meetup (bookdrinks!).

Happy reading! 


Journal Entry 4 by Fleebo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received from tqd, during bookcrossing drinks at the Crown Hotel. Thank you! 


Journal Entry 5 by Fleebo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, December 14, 2008

6 out of 10

Okay, perhaps I was a little (very) harsh when, part way through reading, I told tqd that the book was "boring me s#)^less"... it is in fact beautifully done, it's just very... um... drifty? The author's habit of telling you outright what was going to happen in the future (not foreshadowing) annoyed me enormously, particularly the frequent statements about the end of Michael's relationship. Although the book works up to the unveiling of the mural, sort of, Mulligan's intentions are kept completely shadowed, with the result leaving me about as nonplussed about it as the suburb's inhabitants are.
Even though everyone was connected through the suburb, they may as well not have been, for all the interaction they have - even Rita's family barely touched each other. I saw no reason to include Vic in the book at all, for example. The future-statements (lots more of them!) about Vic and death were just plain depressing. I suppose if you had read the previous books his life might interest you, but he is just too remote for this one.
Still, a worthy Australian book, as long as you are content to observe quiet lives at a large distance. 


Journal Entry 6 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received in the post today.

Thank you. 


Journal Entry 7 by jubby at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (3/24/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Oh dear! I have held onto this book for far too long.

I attempted to read it for an online reading group, but found that I was falling behind with family and work commitments. And then I had another book to post to Livrecache, so I held off... anyway, it left the my hands today.

I got half way through the book, and must say that I found the language beautiful and poetic, but felt that the title was a reference to the time it was taking me to read it!

So, I will never find out why Michael's relationship didn't work out with his girlfriend, why Bunny Rabbit and her boyfriend were called such funny names, or what Mulligan painted on the wall of the Town Hall... unless I borrow the book from my local library and finish it... and frankly, I can't see that happening any time soon...

Thank you for sharing this book with me TQD and for being so patient.

Posted off to Livrecache this morning. 


Journal Entry 8 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Monday, April 06, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely today to join a mountain of bookrings . . . I shall try to read it soon. 


Journal Entry 9 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, April 10, 2009

8 out of 10

Interesting book. I haven't read what others have made of it. I felt a real sense of alienation permeating it, and I knew the mural must reveal truths that the suburbanites hadn't expected. Still, the characters were interesting, although I thought Michael was a bit 'wet'. And I got really cross when 'Pussy Cat' was using metaphors, and "Bunny Rabbit' was being applauded for the use of not using sloppy language. I didn't feel Michael and Madelaine's relationship was 'real' enough for the era. Come on! Everyone was doing 'it' in the early 70s. No wonder she went.
However, there were some great moments in the book, whether I believed in them or not.

Hmmm. I may have to think about it some more: Mrs Webster's status with Rita, originally her 'daily'.
Without going further, I do think it's about alienation, and the hints (well, knowledge) of about what's about to come anchors it in History's reality, if not this un-named suburb as being an allegory for what is to come.

 


Journal Entry 10 by livrecache at Caulfield North, Victoria Australia on Friday, April 17, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (4/16/2009 UTC) at Caulfield North, Victoria Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to the ring's next reader. 


Journal Entry 11 by freelunch from Cairns, Queensland Australia on Sunday, April 19, 2009

This book has not been rated.

received today, thanks livrecache... and thanks too to tqd for making this book available.

I started and abandoned Steven Carroll's The Art Of The Engine Driver las year - here's hoping I have better luck with this one. 


Journal Entry 12 by freelunch from Cairns, Queensland Australia on Monday, May 25, 2009

7 out of 10

This book probably deserves a clever or insightful comment but I can't come up with one. As mentioned by others it was slow yet compelling and each time I picked it up I found it hard to put down.

A few months ago I stated, then quickly abandoned, The Art of the Engine Driver but after finishing this book I think I might seek that one out again.

I have a couple of books which need to travel with this one - I expect to send it on sometime next month... 


Journal Entry 13 by freelunch from Cairns, Queensland Australia on Sunday, June 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

posted to DrCris on June 9th 


Journal Entry 14 by DrCris from Templestowe, Victoria Australia on Monday, June 15, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Arrived with a bundle from Freelunch. I will work my way through them, probably slowly. 


Journal Entry 15 by DrCris from Templestowe, Victoria Australia on Monday, September 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I still have this book. I was about to send it on, then read the blurb and can't resist holding onto it to see if I can get the chance to read it. 


Journal Entry 16 by DrCris from Templestowe, Victoria Australia on Sunday, October 18, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I am simply not getting to reading this, so I am going to send it home. Hopefully, I will come across it again one day when my reading karma is better! 


Journal Entry 17 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, October 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

This bookring is now back home, safe and sound.

Thanks everyone for taking care of it on its journey around Australia! 


Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.