Bridge of Clayby Published 09 Oct 2018
|Bridge of Clay.pdf|
The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.
At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.
The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?
"Bridge of Clay" Reviews
DNF - 30%
This is the first time in a while that I've actually not finished a book. I should mention that I was one of the few people who liked but didn't love The Book Thief, but I find it hard to believe that Bridge of Clay will be as well-loved as that book. More power to you if you can actually finish and enjoy it.
At times it felt like Zusak deliberately went out of his way to make the story more confusing and difficult to enjoy. It's a painfully cerebral metaphorical wandering through the lives of five Australian brothers - Matthew, Rory, Henry, Thomas & Clay. The prose is full of the kind of bloated overwritten description that doesn't quite make sense.
Inside, the house was oven-like.
The furniture all was roasted.
The pictures just out of the toaster.
They had an air conditioner. It was broken.
There's some Homerian aspects, too, the most obvious of which being the boys' mule Achilles, but there are allusions to Homer's work throughout.
I'm not going to go on too much in this review, especially as I didn't finish it. I noticed some readers saying it took a while to get going so I pushed through, but I think 170 pages should be more than enough for a book to grab me.
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when i die and they open me up, they will see this story engraved on my heart.
the manner in which this story has impacted me - by inhaling in the broken letters scattered among the pages, causing them to slowly seep into my veins, prompting my heart to start quietly beating for a boy who built a bridge - is not something that can be written in a review. it is something that demands to be felt, imprinting itself right across my heart.
so im pretty sure that even an infinite combination of words will spectacularly fail in describing what this story means to me, because it has been nearly 12 hours since i finished reading this and i still am at a loss at how to convey the heartbreaking beauty of this book.
but i do think its worth mentioning that zusak goes back to his roots with this story. its very reminiscent of his first work, the wolfe brothers series. so i think those who only know MZ via ‘the book thief’ will be in for a small shock. its still the same poignant and brilliant writing, but this story is messy and complicated and raw. its quite a departure from his last novel, but i think thats exactly what we needed. i can feel every ounce of tears, hope, frustration, dedication, doubt, and love zusak has felt this past decade, in every single page. so i also think this is the story he needed for himself.
it tackles topics like how to make a home with those who surround you, what it truly takes to extend forgiveness, that family means those you love and who love you in return, the overwhelming grief of losing someone who is simply extraordinary, the shy but steady feelings that can only belong to a first love, and most importantly, the unwavering and unbreakable bond between brothers.
all of these things happen to a boy name clay - this is his story. and although this book is told by his brother, it is still a story about ‘the fourth dunbar brother. and how everything happened to him. and because of that, we were all of us changed through him.’
and so when i die and they open me up, and they see this story engraved on my heart, they will know how a boy named clay changed me.
↠ every star in the galaxy
DNF @ 80%
I am so so SO sad about this but, I just had no interest in the story or the characters. I tried the audiobook because it's narrated by the author and I gave it a fair go but I just wasn't into it. I kept telling myself I should at least finish it but I found my attention wandering because I just wanted it to be done, and that's just a waste of precious reading (listening) time. I will definitely try and physically read this and see if maybe that experience will be better but, I really don't know. I'm very disappointed about this but, it just wasn't for me. The writing was beautiful, he really is an incredibly talented author, the story just didn't do anything for me.
Well, what can I say about this book? I found it totally mesmerising! It took a while to get going, but suddenly you find you can't put it down!
It follows the lives of the five Dunbar boys, told from the point of view of the eldest Matthew, but it concentrates on the fourth boy Clay. After their mother dies and their father abandons them, the boys are left to raise themselves in the suburbs of Sydney. Markus Zusak tells a remarkable tale here, the bridge of the title being both physical and symbolical. The timeline does jump around a bit, but this doesn't really detract from the story.
It also touches on horse racing, and having an interest in the Sydney racing scene it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. I did laugh at the racehorse called Engadine (yes Markus and I share the same hometown, though I don't personally know him!)
All in all, Bridge Of Clay is a wonderful, riveting book, and I have no hesitation in recommending it.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
UPDATE: $1.99 on Kindle US today 1/4/19
Well heck, I never did show my stained edge copy I got. Oh well, later!
I won an arc copy of this book in a pub giveaway!
I was really confused in this book, more so in the beginning until I got used to how this was being written. The Bridge Of Clay is a book I will have to revisit time and again to get all of the tidbits that we miss at times. Especially in a book like this; family, sorrow, hope, change, love, death. It's life. It's death. It's a family both past and present. It's something I can't put into words, I just feel it.