An astonishing examination of male friendship, set in Australia's wheatbelt.
Western Australia, the wheatbelt. Lew McLeod has been travelling and working with Painter Hayes since he was a boy. Shearing, charcoal burning - whatever comes. Painter made him his first pair of shoes. It’s a hard and uncertain life, but it’s the only one he knows.
But Lew’s a grown man now. And with this latest job, shearing for John Drysdale and his daughter Clara, everything will change.
Stephen Daisley writes in lucid, rippling prose of how things work, and why; of the profound satisfaction in hard work done with care, of love and friendship and the damage that both contain.
What members say
Life on a Sheep Station
This is a new author for me. The story takes place on a sheep station in Western Australia in the 1950s. There are actually two narratives: one of Lew McLeod and Painter who are sheep shearers, and the other is an animal story about a pregnant dingo and her fight for survival.
The book is well written. I particularly enjoyed the story of the dingo’s fight for survival in an extremely harsh environment. The life on the sheep station is in many ways equally harsh. The characters are interesting and complex. Daisley’s descriptions made me feel as if I was on the station or hunting with the dingo. My only dislike about the book was the foul language. At least I did not feel the author overdid it. It was kept within the violent scenes or drunken ramblings of the two men.
I understand this book won the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for fiction.
The book is almost seven and a half hours. Paul English does an excellent job narrating the book. English is an actor and audiobook narrator.
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