Murray Bail Homesickness

ISBN 13: 9780140058956

Homesickness

3.13 avg rating
( 98 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780140058956: Homesickness
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Thirteen men and women on a world tour, a package of pool-sides, museums, hotels and shops. But no matter where they go - Africa, England, South America, New York or Russia - they find nothing as they expected. Challenged by unexpected propositions, the tourists find themselves repelled.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

You know you've entered Murray Bail territory when, in the first chapter of Homesickness, his 13 Australian tourists on a once-in-a-lifetime, round-the-world tour visit a museum in Africa: "Under glass three English toothpaste tubes were at different stages of use: full, half full (thumb-dented tube, white worm protruding), and a fine example of a completely empty one, squeezed dry, corrugated, curled and scratched. Alongside lay a pair of false teeth and arrows pointing back to the toothpaste. The teeth alone were a source of wonder." This Museum of Handicrafts also boasts several British lawnmowers, a French cigarette-rolling machine, a soda-water siphon, and a color TV that, "because there is no television in Africa, the dark continent" is filled with lime-green water, brightly colored fish and a baby crocodile, instead. If his hapless characters are nonplussed by what they find in this unnamed country, readers familiar with Bail's Eucalyptus will instantly recognize the universe in which they tread: this is epic fable at its finest.

One would expect a story about a package tour of ill-matched compatriots to be heavy on the personal, but in fact Bail doesn't spend much time developing his characters. They are, for the most part, an unsavory bunch, albeit with a few interesting quirks. (Is Mr. Kaddok, the obsessive photographer, really blind, or just pretending to be?) And aside from their names and their predilections, we never get much insight into what they think or why they do what they do. Instead, Bail seems more interested in the situation. There is no plot-heavy or character-driven series of events leading inexorably towards climax and denouement. Rather, the author gives us a set of destinations dotted with strange tourist attractions and punctuated by his characters' responses to them. What makes it all work is Bail's peculiar, particular point of view. Take, for example, his explanation of the Australian "nasal twang":

Such vocal adjustments are needed to reduce the bloody velocity of words in the wide spaces and emptiness of Orstraliah. Words would otherwise travel too far. A similar speech blur evolved in the United States of America. By contrast it seems that the British enunciate clearly in order to penetrate the humidity and hedges, the moist walls and alleyways, as well as the countless words used by previous citizens...
Or the bizarre array of sites they visit: a Corrugated Iron museum, a collection of "Great Brains," and an Institution of Marriage, to name just a few. By the time the tourists reach their final destination, readers will already have deduced what the characters may never fully understand--that in this world of colliding cultures, compulsive tourism, and economic imperialism, everybody is a stranger, even in his own land. But if, in the end, all the world's a museum and all the people in it merely exhibits, at least Murray Bail is writing the gallery labels. Homesickness, first published in 1980, may not appeal to every reader, but for those looking for exquisite writing coupled with a highly developed sense of the absurd, this book fills the bill. --Alix Wilber

About the Author:

Murray Bail was born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1941. He is the author of several novels, including Holden's Performance and Eucalyptus, as well as a collection of short stories, The Drover's Wife. He lives in Sydney.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780374172473: Homesickness: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0374172471 ISBN 13:  9780374172473
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999
Softcover

9781860466830: Homesickness (Panther)

Harvil..., 1999
Softcover

9780571138401: Homesickness

Faber ..., 1986
Softcover

9781875847648: Homesickness

The Te...
Softcover

9780333298961: Homesickness

Macmillan, 1980
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

MURRAY BAIL
Published by PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD (1982)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Better World Books
(Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD, 1982. Condition: Good. Reprint. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP81664026

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 3.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

MURRAY BAIL
Published by PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD (1982)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Better World Books
(Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD, 1982. Condition: Very Good. Reprint. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP83389526

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 3.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Bail, Murray
Published by Penguin Books Australia (1982)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ceredigion Book Shop
(Nr Lampeter, CERED, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Australia, 1982. Paperback. Condition: Good. VINTAGE Usual signs of a well read book but good overall condition. May not look good on your bookcase after reading and probably not suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0002647855

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 1.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.97
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Murray Bail
Published by -
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
AwesomeBooks
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Homesickness This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9780140058956

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 3.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.65
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Murray Bail
Published by Penguin Books Australia Ltd (1982)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Bookbarn International
(Bristol, SOM, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 1982. Paperback. Condition: Good. Fast Dispatch. Expedited UK Delivery Available. Excellent Customer Service. Seller Inventory # BBI2531357

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 3.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.65
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

BAIL, MURRAY
Published by PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD (1982)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Tree
(Devizes, WILTS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD, 1982. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. 0140058958. Seller Inventory # 007360042

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 1.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.23
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Murray Bail
Published by Penguin Books Australia 25/02/1982 (1982)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Bahamut Media
(Reading, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Australia 25/02/1982, 1982. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780140058956

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 8.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.65
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Murray Bail
Published by PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD (1981)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Soft cover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Belfast Mall Books
(CARRICKFERGUS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA LTD, 1981. Soft cover. Condition: Good. No Jacket. Seller Inventory # 007588

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 2.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 15.93
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Bail, Murray
Published by Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria (1981)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Softcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Syber's Books
(Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria, 1981. Softcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. reprint. A group of strangers travelling around Europe, Africa, South America, Russia AND New York ( evidently America is a separate place,) find everything is not as they expect. The author's first novel. First softcover edition. Size: 12mo (standard paperback). 317 pages. The book is a secondhand book with reading creases to the spine, and darkening of the page edges, but is otherwise clean, and free of annotation. Please refer to accompanying picture (s). Quantity Available: 1. Category: Fiction; ISBN: 0140058958. ISBN/EAN: 9780140058956. Inventory No: 0246361. Post will be reduced to $7.80 for posting inside Australia, at the time of processing the order. If paying by PayPal, shipping will not be reduced. Seller Inventory # 0246361

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 5.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 15.00
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Bail, Murray
Published by Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria (1981)
ISBN 10: 0140058958 ISBN 13: 9780140058956
Used Softcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Syber's Books
(Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, Ringwood, Victoria, 1981. Softcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. reprint. A group of strangers travelling around Europe, Africa, South America, Russia AND New York ( evidently America is a separate place,) find everything is not as they expect. The author's first novel. First softcover edition. Size: 12mo (standard paperback). 317 pages. The book is a secondhand book with reading creases to the spine, and darkening of the page edges, but is otherwise clean, and free of annotation. Please refer to accompanying picture (s). Quantity Available: 1. Category: Fiction; ISBN: 0140058958. ISBN/EAN: 9780140058956. Inventory No: 0247132. Post will be reduced to $7.80 for posting inside Australia, at the time of processing the order. If paying by PayPal, shipping will not be reduced. Seller Inventory # 0247132

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy Used
US$ 5.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 15.00
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book