The construction of the Sydney Opera House in 1960’s Australia, should have been the basis for a great novel, but sadly the author looses sight of her plot in a jumble of waffly words and overblown phrases. If you are not Australian and do not know anything about the political drama and struggle that went into this building then I am afraid this book will not enlighten you. I had to refer to Wikipedia. This book never really comes to life. We never really get to know the main characters and after a while, I stopped caring. It was also difficult to understand what they were both doing, especially Axel, the glassmaker. He should have been luminous, but the author shrouds him in too many heavy adjectives, like a window with too many blinds.
But the most annoying part of this book, is the ending! What exactly happened? It is just not clear! As I say this book is totally overwritten, confusing and ultimately boring.
Every so often the author throws in a few gems eg: ‘the new government behaved as if the building was a millstone rather than a monument. a shining symbol of what was to come’ but in sixties Australia ‘it was a kind of sport to belittle those with vision to treat art with disdain.’ This is the story I wanted the author to continue with! She should have ditched Pearl and Axel and written about the Danish architect instead!
Shell: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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©2018 Kristina Olsson. All rights reserved. (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, UK. All rights reserved.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 47 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||01 October 2018|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Australia|
|Best Sellers Rank||
37,347 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
651 in Family Life Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
1,643 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
2,285 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
4 out of 5
16 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia
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Great work at first was a little confused about where it was all leading but in the end it was a very satisfying storyReviewed in Australia on 13 January 2019
Great work will be looking for more works by this author. Would recommend it to those who have lived through the building of the Opera House as it seems very factual.
Reviewed in Australia on 22 March 2019
Liked the exploration of many of Sydney’s historic areas but found the whole story contrived and far too wordy.
Reviewed in Australia on 3 February 2019
I bought this book for my mum who lived in Sydney from 1960-1966 and I thought it would bring back beautiful memories for her. I then bought it for myself as well and just started it last week. I'm on page 30 or so and decided now that I won't continue. I have to read every sentence 3 times to be able to make sense of it, which I find really tiresome. Beautiful words or not...for me the language doesn't flow and sounds unnatural, as if the author spent too much time trying to embellish each sentence. My mum hasn't started her copy yet but I'll tell her not too bother...at 88 years her time is way too precious to waste it on this.
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Top reviews from other countries
Mr Peter Mooney
Wonderful NovelReviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 January 2019
Beautifully written really captures the spirit of Sydney and The Opera House. Parts of this novel were so emotive they made me cry
Patrick D. Gourley
Good it bits and weak in other bitsReviewed in the United States on 12 February 2019
Some of this book is well written and some of is over-wrought, confusing and not short on cliche. Of the two main characters, Pearl and Axel, the first is extremely well done while the second is thin and one dimensional. Annoyingly, the relationships between Jorn Utzon and the NSW Government is reduced to cartoonish simplicity and hopelessly one-sided. This book could have been a lot better perhaps with the assistance of a competent editor and more discipline from the author.
Mats Ola Rasmusson
Beautifully writtenReviewed in the United States on 15 July 2019
Beautifully written with a language that not only gives me the visual picture but also other senses like smell and sound. She use the language to paint a story that reminds me of my favorite Swedish masters like Moberg. Being Swedish myself its unusual to read some Swedish baked into the story.