This is Peter Garret's comments about 'Cloudscape' on the First Tuesday bookshow. Look, it stacks up fantastically, Jennifer, and when you asked me which book I wanted to recommend, I recommended this one because when I first read it, I loved it. I thought I'd read a great Australian novel. And I like Tim Winton's writing a lot. But coming back to it the second time has been an extraordinary journey. It's better than I imagined and there's much more in it than I imagined. I think it's a true classic. And to be honest, it's great literature which is very readable, and it touches chords deep inside all of us, I suspect, and difficult to find the words, really. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience sitting around in a week or two in January and getting into it again.
The publisher of 'Billy Bathgate' wrote this. 'In 1930's New York, Billy Bathgate, a fifteen-year-old high-school dropout, has captured the attention of infamous gangster Dutch Schultz, who lures the boy into his world of racketeering. The product of an East Bronx upbringing by his half-crazy Irish Catholic mother, after his Jewish father left them long ago, Billy is captivated by the world of money, sex, and high society the charismatic Schultz has to offer. But it is also a world of extortion, brutality, and murder, where Billy finds himself involved in a dangerous affair with Schultz's girlfriend. Relive this story through the title character's driving narrative, a child's thoughts and feelings filtered through the sensibilities of an adult, and the result is E.L. Doctorow's most convincing and appealing portrayal of a young boy's life. Converging mythology and history, one of America's most admired authors has captured the romance of gangsters and criminal enterprise that continues to fascinate the American psyche today.'
One reviewer said "[M]esmerizing reading that soars from the shocking first scene...through episodes of horror, hilarity and sudden, deepening insights." Publishers Weekly