Oyster

Oyster Outer Maroo a small opal mining town in the Australian outback is stewing in heat drought and guilty anxiety Some ghastly cataclysm has occurred on the opal fields but this is a taboo subject At

  • Title: Oyster
  • Author: Janette Turner Hospital
  • ISBN: 9780393319361
  • Page: 373
  • Format: Paperback
  • Outer Maroo, a small, opal mining town in the Australian outback, is stewing in heat, drought, and guilty anxiety Some ghastly cataclysm has occurred on the opal fields, but this is a taboo subject At the heart of the mystery is the cult messiah, Oyster, dressed in white, sexually compelling, and preaching the end of time.

    • Oyster By Janette Turner Hospital
      373 Janette Turner Hospital
    • thumbnail Title: Oyster By Janette Turner Hospital
      Posted by:Janette Turner Hospital
      Published :2019-08-05T07:02:07+00:00

    About "Janette Turner Hospital"

    1. Janette Turner Hospital

      Born in 1942, Janette Turner Hospital grew up on the steamy sub tropical coast of Australia in the north eastern state of Queensland She began her teaching career in remote Queensland high schools, but since her graduate studies she has taught in universities in Australia, Canada, England, France and the United States Her first published short story appeared in the Atlantic Monthly USA where it won an Atlantic First citation in 1978 Her first novel, The Ivory Swing set in the village in South India where she lived in l977 won Canada s 50,000 Seal Award in l982 She lived for many years in Canada and in 1986 she was listed as by the Toronto Globe Mail as one of Canada s Ten Best Young Fiction Writers Since then she has won a number of prizes for her eight novels and four short story collections and her work has been published in multiple foreign language collections Three of her short stories appeared in Britain s annual Best Short Stories in English in their year of publication and one of these, Unperformed Experiments Have No Results , was selected for The Best of the Best, an anthology of the decade in l995.The Last Magician, her fifth novel, was listed by Publishers Weekly as one of the 12 best novels published in 1992 in the USA and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year Oyster, her sixth novel, was a finalist for Australia s Miles Franklin Prize Award and for Canada s Trillium Award, and in England it was listed in Best Books of the Year by The Observer, which noted Oyster is a tour de force Turner Hospital is one of the best female novelists writing in English In the USA, Oyster was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.Due Preparations for the Plague won the Queensland Premier s Literary Award in 2003, the Davitt Award from Sisters in Crime for best crime novel of the year by an Australian woman , and was shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award In 2003, Hospital received the Patrick White Award, as well as a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from the University of Queensland.Orpheus Lost, her most recent novel, was one of five finalists for the 110,000 Australia Asia Literary prize in 2008.Orpheus Lost was also on Booklist s Top 30 novels of the year in 2008, along with novels by Booker Prize winner Anne Enright, National Book Award winner Denis Johnson, Philip Roth, Don DeLillo, Michael Ondaatje, Ian MacEwan, Ha Jin, and Michael Chabon.The novel also made the list of Best 25 Books of the Year of Library Journal, and Hospital was invited to be a keynote speaker at the annual convention of the American Library Association in Los Angeles in June 2008.The Italian edition, Orfeo Perduto, has been so well received in Italy that it will be a featured title at the literary festival on Lake Maggiore in June 2010 where Hospital will be a featured author.She holds an endowed chair as Carolina Distinguished Professor of English at the University of South Carolina and in 2003 received the Russell Research Award for Humanities and Social Sciences, conferred by the university for the most significant faculty contribution research, publication, teaching and service in a given year.

    142 thoughts on “Oyster”

    1. I've read a lot of haunting novels before, but really, there's something very unique about this one. Oyster is an excellent novel, one that not only looks at the lives of a small group of people living in the outback, but also examines the madness connected with power, secrecy, religious mania and money. Definitely recommended, this is one of the most thought-provoking works of fiction I've ever read. There's nothing ordinary in terms of novel structure, -- the story is not told linearly, but in [...]


    2. Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital is brilliant. Set in the isolated Australian Outback town of Outer Maroo, the towns inhabitants are struggling to survive a heat wave, drought, and an awful smell that seems to hang over the town. You know something ominous and dreadful has happened but you have to wait while the suspense builds and events are slowly revealed. Many of the residents of the town are just as secretive and, perhaps, delusional as the many young followers of the cult leader who calls [...]


    3. There are a few books that for me epitomise the harsh reality of Australia's landscape and the secrets it hides: Andrew McGahan's The White Earth, Xavier Herbert's Poor Fella My Country, Alexis Wright's Carpentaria and now I'm adding to that list Turner Hospital's Oyster. I loved, loved, loved everything about this book. The subject matter - the uneasy alliance and then conflict between a cult and the small outback town out in the wilds of western Queensland - rang so true. If you have never liv [...]


    4. Great novel. I somewhere read the question whether a landscape can be something like a character in the novel and I have to say "yes". It definitely was the case in Oyster. Janette Turner Hospital is an excellent writer. She brilliantly connected the charcters of the novel with the landscape, the heat .d especially the silence and the guilt. It all intertwined. When somebody is interested to read more about the subject (religious cults), I really recommend Shiva Naipaul's (brother of V.S. Naipau [...]


    5. I remember reading this around 2000 and thinking it was incredible. I just reread it and it is indeed amazing. Her writing is incredibly beautiful and the story and characters are perfect. However, I was much more disturbed by it this time (cults, destruction, etc.). I only recommend it to for the brave.


    6. Chilling and evocative. I have a few quibbles with the organization and I wouldn't say that Turner Hospital's writing is always elegant, but it certainly is effective. Often a real page-turner, although sometimes gets in its own way, and slows the pace with unnecessary repetition (see organization quibbles). Could have been tightened up a bit, and feels about 50-100 pages too long. The author does a fine job describing the environment of the Australian Outback, and provides a creeping sense of s [...]


    7. Hospital has drawn some very compelling characters and created a great deal of tension in this book. What happens to an isolated community comprised, for the most part, of people who have secrets and want to keep them? The reader is led to delve into several secrets and to discover a place where evil is very much alive and active.


    8. The town is quite and the people are hiding something. 'Oyster' is about a town in the middle of the outback, Outer Maroo is so remote it’s not on any maps. So far from anywhere that anything could happen and no-one would know.This story creeps up on you. Hospital expertly teases by revealing only parts, dropping only hints. As the pieces fall into place, the pace quickens. Religious fanaticism, black-market opals, outback rednecks, fear, heat and isolation combine with fascinating characters [...]


    9. A fabulous story by an Australian writer, now professor at the University of South Carolina, about a charismatic religious/con-artist who attracts 100's of youth from around the world to his commune in the Australian outback. The conflicts and interactions among him, his group and the local townspeople could not be described any better. I could feel the heat of the fire, smell the sweat and the fear. What an amazing ride!


    10. This is an incredible book. The writing itself, both the words and the phrasing, draw you into the mood and slightly threatenting atmosphere of this small, isolated and officially non existent outback town. A literary thriller of the first rate. An amazing meditation on the meaning of belonging and oppression. Totally convincing and chilling.


    11. What a great novel! Turner Hospital's writing style is razor sharp, and she handles the blending of fantasy segments with "real" events, so well. You feel like you're inside of multiple characters' heads, but you don't REALLY know what's happening until the end very suspenseful, I couldn't put it down!


    12. I have always enjoyed Turner Hospital's writing and this book was no exception. I found myself rereading passages just to soak them in and it was a gripping story to boot. The way she wrote the landscape as the overriding force



    13. I love this book--it is really beautifully written, though also sad and creepy. I haven't read anything else by her, but I'm guessing I'd like her other books as well.


    14. This book is an intense experience, set in an isolated world. At the end, characters speak of "going back to the map," and some of them make it, maybe.




    15. This is one of those books that stayed in my head; I often reread passages and sometimes whole chapters, forcing myself to be patient, to allow time for understanding to come and for the characters to build. It is a complex plot that moves around in time and uses text that is cluttered with personal recollections and innuendo, as well as carefully placed biblical verses, literary excerpts, historical recounts, artistic references and graphic landscape descriptions. It took me a good while to fin [...]


    16. Janette Turner Hospital had a happy knack of writing books that examined substantial issues of public concern around the time that major events or moral panics were trending. 'Due Preparations for the Plague' was published a short while before terrorism hit the US in a devastating way. 'Oyster' was published a short time before the Heaven's Gate cult committed mass suicide in the US. Hospital drew on the public concern about the events at Waco, Texas with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, O [...]


    17. This is one of Turner Hospital's earliest works. It is a bit less polished than her later works but a great read nonetheless. This novel is set in the outback of Australia, in a town that seems not to officially exist, which shuns outsiders and where people seem to disappear in huge numbers.We switch narrators quite often which is disconcerting at first until we learn to recognise the voices of the characters, which took me a while. The town's deterioration begins with the appearance of Oyster, [...]


    18. There were times when I thought, "I can't continue". Oyster is best taken in small doses. Janet Turner Hospital is a master of her craft. She draws you in and shakes you up. The horror of some scenes - and they are 'scenes' - hurt me physically. Oyster is set in outback Queensland, in the throes of drought. Outer Maroo, an off the map settlement in an off the map location, and the strangest population of any settlement anywhere. If I put on my academic's hat, I'd say this was postmodernism at it [...]


    19. Set in the Australian Outback, with powerfully poetic descriptive passages, it's a sometimes confusing novel that shifts voices & moves back & forth in time to convey a disturbing sense of a separate world gone awry (a sort-of Lord of the Flies sense) without explicitly naming until late in the book what had gone awry in the opal-mining religious community led by a charismatic leader (Oyster). The reader only gradually comes to understand the situation, much as the community's residents [...]


    20. Bizarre, complex and always interesting and often a little surreal. Occasionally it was hard to know who was speaking and just when during the story. It covers many of the typical attitudes found in small, isolated towns - greed, religious dishonesty, self reliant, fear of outsiders and the sense that these communities really are a law unto themselves and can exist without reference to the wider world. The book's portrayal of the Australian outback, which really is an important character in the [...]


    21. I was interested in reading some fiction set in Queensland, Australia, to perhaps acquire some feel for a part of that state. This novel about opal mining and a dysfunctional, murderous community was a disappointment. The storyline was difficult to follow partly because of the devices used to present the narrative (or maybe the difficulty was a function of my spreading the reading over two weeks). Anyway, I do not recommend the book.


    22. A difficult read, not at all what I expected of this book. An insight into what living in the outback must be like and into cult following, both are very disturbing. (Janet Turner Hospital wrote part of this book while in the UK at the International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle, E. Sussex. I was born and bred in Herstmonceux and my first job was as a Sc.A. at the Castle when it was the home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.)


    23. It took me at least 50 pages to get into the rhythm and flow of this book, and then I loved it. The prose so luscious I wanted to devour it and then I got to Book 2, about three-quarters of the way through the book and this last quarter was a disappointment to me, like a Hollywood movie trying to tie all of the pieces of a narrative together. If it had stopped at the end of Book 1 I would have given the book 5 stars.


    24. I read it nine years ago and only remember flashes of it. Powerful stories about people living in a small isolated community, very harsh climate. Because the writer was born and raised in Australia, she knows what it's like to live in a place like that. If I remember right, there was a very bad man who had the power over young people, he turns out to be a sadistic pedophile of first order.


    25. The most tediously boring book that I have ever read. It took me six months to finish itrough sheer determination and irrational hope that it might liven up at some point. If the author intended to show how stupifyingly boring Australian outback towns are supposed to be, then she has succeeded.


    26. This book, barren as its Outback setting, was slowly draining the life out of me.But I kept thinking the cult part is right around the corner, so I plodded on. Very, very slowly.Until I gave up.


    27. This was one of the books I had to read during my literature class and I'm not totally sure if I would have done otherwise. At the time I remember thinking how weird it was almost all the way through, and parts of it confused me quite a bit at times. However, I actually really enjoyed reading it.


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