Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 24, 2011

Sensational Snippets: Time’s Long Ruin (2009) by Stephen Orr

Time's Long Ruin Adelaide can be mercilessly hot and humid in the summer months, but every Australian will identify with this evocation of our capricious weather in Stephen Orr’s Time’s Long Ruin, longlisted in the 2011 Miles Franklin Award:

It was a steamy morning.  Black and purple clouds massed high above the Southern Ocean, promising a storm that never seemed to arrive.  Thunder rolled across the city, shaking kegs in the basement of pubs and drops of water from the tips of magnolia leaves.  Lightning struck at the ocean and then retreated, waiting, marking time like a live wire in a meter box.    A confetti of light, warm rain and quickly evaporated from concrete driveways and slippery roads; it pockmarked sand at Semaphore beach and sent mums and kids, swimming in their undies, running for the cover of the jetty.  On the plains it wet dead grass and filled the air with a sweet, stale smell, and in the hills it dampened the top crust of soil without reaching roots.  And through all of this, it filled the air with vapour – people pulled wet shirts from their backs and cursed the weather, saying if they wanted this they’d go and live in Townsville.
(Time’s Long Ruin, p59)

Author: Stephen Orr
Title: Time’s Long Ruin
Publisher: Wakefield Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781862548305
Source: Review copy courtesy of Wakefield Press

Availability: Fishpond: Time’s Long Ruin; ebook at Readings

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