Unlimited [Spirituality Book] ê The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea - by Randolph Stow ¾

By Randolph Stow | Comments: ( 798 ) | Date: ( Jan 28, 2020 )

In 1941, Rob Coram is six The war feels far removed from Geraldton in Western Australia But when his favourite older cousin Rick leaves to join the army, the war takes a step closer.When Rick returns several years later, he has changed and the old merry go round that represents Rob s dream of utopia begins to disintegrate before his eyes.The Merry Go Round in the Sea allIn 1941, Rob Coram is six The war feels far removed from Geraldton in Western Australia But when his favourite older cousin Rick leaves to join the army, the war takes a step closer.When Rick returns several years later, he has changed and the old merry go round that represents Rob s dream of utopia begins to disintegrate before his eyes.The Merry Go Round in the Sea allows us a precious glimpse into a simpler kind of childhood in a country that no longer exists.

  • Title: The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea
  • Author: Randolph Stow
  • ISBN: 9780143180074
  • Page: 154
  • Format: Paperback

About Author:

Randolph Stow

Born in Geraldton, Western Australia, Randolph Stow attended Geraldton Primary and High schools, Guildford Grammar School, the University of Western Australia, and the University of Sydney During his undergraduate years in Western Australia he wrote two novels and a collection of poetry, which were published in London by Macdonald Co He taught English Literature at the University of Adelaide, the University of Western Australia and the University of Leeds He also worked on an Aboriginal mission in the Kimberley, which he used as background for his third novel To the Islands Stow further worked as an assistant to an anthropologist, Charles Julius, and cadet patrol officer in the Trobriand Islands In the Trobriands he suffered a mental and physical breakdown that led to his repatriation to Australia Twenty years later, he used these last experiences in his novel Visitants.Stow s first visit to England took place in 1960, after which he returned several times to Australia Tourmaline, his fourth novel, was completed in Leeds in 1962 In 1964 and 1965 he travelled in North America on a Harkness Fellowship, including a sojourn in Aztec, New Mexico, during which he wrote one of his best known novels, The Merry Go Round in the Sea While living in Perth WA in 1966 he wrote his popular children s book Midnite.From 1969 to 1981 he lived at East Bergholt in Suffolk in England, his ancestral county, and he used traditional tales from that area to inform his novel The Girl Green as Elderflower The last decades of his life he spent in nearby Harwich, the setting for his final novel The Suburbs of Hell He last visited Australia in 1974.His novel To the Islands won the Miles Franklin Award for 1958 1 He was awarded the Patrick White Award in 1979 As well as producing fiction, poetry, and numerous book reviews for The Times Literary Supplement, he also wrote libretti for musical theatre works by Peter Maxwell Davies.A considerable number of Randolph Stow s poems are listed in the State Library of Western Australia online catalogue 2 with indications where they have been anthologised.

Comments The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea

  • Brian Reed

    Do not think less of anyone for hating this if they had to read it in high school. I had to as well and I despised this book. I actually grew up in Geraldton in the 70s and 80s and it seemed as though not much had changed since the 40s, excpept mabe for the war. Hated hated hated it. Trying to explain to some first year teacher from Perth that how utterly boring Robs life was compared to our own was a fruiless task. They just couldn't get it. Now go forward in time 20 years and I decided to give [...]

  • Lisa

    It's too soon to say this is going to be my best book of the year, but it's very good indeed. I first discovered Randolph Stow (1935-2010) just last year when I read To The Islands, so I was delighted when the ANZ LitLovers group selected Merry-go-round in the Sea for our 2011 schedule. It’s a more accessible book than its predecessor, and has often been included on Year 12 reading lists because it’s a coming-of-age story that is rich in the kind of themes that preoccupy young people. But it [...]

  • Aaron

    Intertwined and parallel stories of a little boy growing up innocently on the beaches and rural lands in Western Australia, and of a young man - the boy's cousin - going to war and growing up by force in the prison camps of Singapore and Thailand.Fabulous sensory descriptions - the smells; of warm sweaty horses, breathing in the sweet aroma of blooming roses, the sights; of immense and beautiful vast empty country lands, gum trees swishing and swaying gracefully in the winds, shafts of sunlight [...]

  • Emmalittle100

    Bloody WA school board making me read this!!! Hated it - more boring than the drive to greenough.

  • Gisela

    First a word about the audio book format: 5 stars for the narrator, Humphrey Bowers, who not only captured the many different voices plus many different accents (even foreign language readings) but also SANG where songs were quoted in the book. And what a great singing voice he has too! Well done. It's not often that I enjoy a narrator's reading and am grateful for their competence on so many fronts.And now the book itselfTo my embarrassment, I had never heard of Randolph Stow until recently whe [...]

  • Geoff Wooldridge

    First published in 1965, this has become something of a modern Australian classic coming-of-age novel.Set over 8 years, between 1941 and 1949, the story focuses primarily on young Rob Coram and his 15 year older cousin Rick, whom Rob idolizes.The first part, called Rick Away, covers 1941 - 1945, and refers to Rick joining the armed forces to fight the Japanese in south east Asia. Rick is largely absent from this part of the narrative, but we learn enough to know that Rick has been captured in th [...]

  • Vicki

    This coming-of-age novel set against the harsh backdrop of the Western Australian landscape has become a modern classic for Randolph Stow.When Stow passed away at the age of 74 in England on 29 May 2010, he had spent more than 40 years out of the country, but West Australian’s still mourned the loss of one of their own.Stow was the second-ever winner of Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, but is perhaps better known for this semi-autobi [...]

  • Heather

    I got this book roughly 20 years ago when I was taking a class on Australian literature. Having no memory of the story I thought I'd pull it off my shelf and give it another go (mainly to determine whether or not it was going back on the shelf or donated to the library). What a depressing book. The story revolves around two main characters, Rob and Rick, over a span of 8 years. Rick is Rob's older cousin who leaves to fight in WWII. Rob is a five year old little boy who adores him.Although well [...]

  • Neale

    The opening section of 'Merry-Go-Round in the Sea' - a wonderful evocation of growing up in and around Geraldton during World War II - may be the best thing in all Australian literature. I can't think of anything better. Comparisons to Proust's descriptions of childhood do it no disservice. It's really that good.Regrettably, the book rather loses its focus with the return of Rick from the war. And when it gets to Perth, it loses more. I get the feeling that Stow's problem was the same as Proust' [...]

  • Jenny Esots

    Confession time.I became enthralled by Randolph Stow’s (Mick to his friends) writing after reading To the Islands. I then launched into his classic Merry Go Round in the Sea. Just as impressive. A year later I read Tormaline – another classic. I am so hooked I read Merry Go Round in the Sea again!The writing is so real, raw and exposes the harsh Australian life in rural towns. The brutality, the isolation and the strange characters that inhibit this land.Randolph Stow abandoned Australia not [...]

  • Amanda

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I'm not sure if it's because I was reminiscing or that the story just appealed to me. Either way, the book was full of amazing descriptions of the area in Geraldton in which it was set. I especially loved the author's personification of aspects of the countryside the 'Greenough trees; like ladies washing their hair', is a favorite of mine. The relationship developed between Rob and Rick was really the highlight for me and Stow sure showed some of his tale [...]

  • Melinda

    This book was my nemesisI hated it

  • Kirsty Harris

    I could smell the bush as I read. Lovely

  • Tien

    400 pages just flew by. It really did not feel like I've read 400 pages at all, maybe 200 pages at most! It's definitely not Large Print and it's regular size fonts (10 or 11). It's a sign that I was completely taken in.Rob Coram is 6 years old at the beginning of the book saying goodbye to an older cousin (Rick Malpestead, 20) who's going to war. The rest of the first part of the book dealt with Rob's boyhood in Geraldton and surrounding areas (even though they were evacuated at some point, it [...]

  • Loren

    Six year old Rob is living a comfortable life in Western Australia until his loved cousin Rick goes to fight in the war. Throughout the rest of the story we see the affects of this over the following years. Unfortunately this book moves very slowly and is quite boring for the most part. The beautiful descriptions are definitely its redeeming factor, but overall it is not that memorable.

  • Rachael

    This book is now part of the Penguin Classic series. I came to it via Good Reading magazine who did a spread on the town of Geraldton and the places in the novel. Stow's language is lyrical, and vividly evokes the a Western Australia of times past. I recently travelled to Perth and there is one scene in the book set in a place I have been to. The description of this place is perfect - despite being set 70 years ago!The novel explores the relationship between Rob Coram (narrator) and his older co [...]

  • Annette

    Interesting, even profound, and definitely antipodean. Though I grew up in New Zealand, not Australia , and I was a little frustrated by the domestic and landscape detail in the first half of the book, the second half totally resonated, and the earlier detail became important. Rob Corman is the key character and the story is told through his eyes as a youngster, in love with his family , his country and especially his cousin Rick. Rick returns from ww11 having experienced the horror of enslaveme [...]

  • Carolyn Mck

    I loved this Australian classic coming of age story when it was first published in 1965 and also when I taught it to senior high school students. I re-read a couple of years back with the same pleasure. Stow creates a realistic character in young Rob Coram, a lovingly-rendered setting in the pastoral country around Geraldton (WA) and a moving account of the effects on Rob’s cousin, Rick, of imprisonment by the Japanese in Changi in World War Two. Of course each time I read this story over more [...]

  • Mark

    One of Australia's "great" books, this is the story of six years in a boy's life in Geraldton, Westerm Australia, during WW2. The central theme is the relationship between the boy and his older cousin, who returns from war after time as a prisoner of the Japanese. I enjoyed it for the descriptions of the lifestyle, landscape and culture of the area and the insights into the maturing mind of the boy. Limited "action", but highly evocative prose. A "must read" for all Australians, especially those [...]

  • David

    I spent some time in Geraldton recently for work so I thought this would be a suitable companion for lonely nights on the terrace but I really didn't get into this. This book feels dated and simplistic even for its release in the 60s. Why do Australian writers bang on about landscapes endlessly? Why do they write simple and joyless prose? A favourite of high-school English teachers across the state and a possible explanation for why this state+country produces so few works of original fiction.I [...]

  • Anna

    This was a great way to start my year’s reading. Character was absolutely king in this book – I thoroughly believed in Rob as a character from a little boy through to adolescent, and Rick, their relationship, and the whole extended Maplestead clan. The plot pacing is leisurely, but still flows along nicely as you are drawn into Rob’s world, and through his growing-up. The prose is beautiful, poetic, and imaginative, like a love letter to the land. And there is something extra special about [...]

  • Jacquie South

    Studied this in year 10 at school and didn't like it much. Enjoyed it more this time - some beautiful descriptions and nice to read a book set in my home state (even if it's somewhat before my time), but still seems to me very much a "literature" book. Good examples of many literary devices etc, but a slow, meandering story line that's more interested in description than much forward action. Stil a recommended read though

  • Kara

    It's interesting, because I live in Geraldton and am familiar with most of the places he describes, and it's fascinating looking back at Geraldton's history. But as far as the story goes, it's fairly unsatisfying. The ending feels incomplete, there was no great climax, it just went on until it stopped. Good for English class I suppose.

  • Mary

    The story was a little slow for me but there were some amusing moments, particularly the relationship between Rob and Rick. Although I wasn't always drawn into the story, I loved the writing. I would recommend for the writing and for the insight into Australia during the war. Forewarning - there are some really unPC moments and language though!

  • Haylee

    One of the first Australian fiction books I've read. A beautiful character study of two cousins so close in age and character, but separated into two vastly different worlds by the war. The emotive language detailing the Western Australian landscape and the way the young boy sees it in his naive, imaginative way is enchanting.

  • Jocelyn

    I was glad to be told that Stow grew up in Geraldton so I could place this book, because it is very much a book of a setting and a landscape. Beautiful, funny description of growing up in WA during WW2. I loved the subtle handling of being a slave in Changi and the aftermath.

  • Melanie

    What a beautiful book. So evocative. If you haven't read it, you must!

  • Nell

    The naivety of childhood mixed with the terrors of prisoners of war present a book which is both heartwrenching and joyful at once.

  • Lex Derbas


  • James Raynes

    An absolute classic. I can't believe I hadn't read it earlier.

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  • Unlimited [Spirituality Book] ê The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea - by Randolph Stow ¾
    154 Randolph Stow
  • thumbnail Title: Unlimited [Spirituality Book] ê The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea - by Randolph Stow ¾
    Posted by:Randolph Stow
    Published :2019-02-21T01:42:37+00:00