Item description for Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf by Suzi Dougherty Sonya Hartnett...
Two loners in a country town find cause for hope when one of them encounters a long-lost animal in this taut, shimmering tale by Sonya Hartnett about daring to live a life beyond expectations.
Ever since Dad went off the deep end and decided he didn't need to work anymore -- insisting the Lord would provide -- Satchel O'Rye has felt stuck for life in his dying country town. A high school dropout drifting from one small carpentry job to the next, Satchel can see nothing beyond his own dreary duty to help keep the family afloat. But things start to change when he spies a strange doglike animal at a nearby mountain -- and mentions the fact to Chelsea Piper, an awkward young woman considered the local pariah. Could the animal he saw be a Tasmanian tiger, a marsupial thought to be extinct? And if they found it again, could it give them both a new chance at life?
From the brilliant author of THURSDAY'S CHILD and WHAT THE BIRDS SEE comes a mesmerizing tale of a young man fighting his future, a young woman fighting her past, and a mysterious creature who teaches them something about survival.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.95" Width: 6.83" Height: 1.01" Weight: 0.46 lbs.
Publisher Bolinda Publishing
ISBN 1921334010 ISBN13 9781921334016
Reviews - What do customers think about Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf?
"Against terrible odds it had saved itself..." Mar 10, 2008
Twentysomething Satchel O'Rye is stuck in a small country town at the end of the world - a "dark, nasty, dingy little pit where nothing's allowed to happen". Flanked by a dormant volcano and a snarling freeway, he's emotionally hemmed in, too, by a delusionally religious father and a long-suffering mother. Yet he's unwilling to break familial ties and follow his friend to the city, or take up an offer of well-paid work on the coast. Then, while gathering wood in the bush one day, he sees what local outcast Chelsea Piper believes is a Thylacine - a.k.a the Tasmanian Tiger, a dog-like marsupial extinct on the Australian mainland for over 3000 years... Like much of Hartnett's strikingly original work, this novel has suburban despair, damaged youngsters, wounded animals and the constant threat of violence. It also has her trademark compassion - you cannot help but feel for Satchel and Chelsea. Though you know much of their pain is self-inflicted, they're struggling to live their lives in the best way they know how. In terms of craft, it's an interesting novel for young adult readers for the way it introduces them to the idea of extended metaphor: the "sidestep wolf" is a symbol of the art of survival in seemingly impossible circumstances, a challenge Satchel must ultimately face. It's also interesting for the way Hartnett uses landscape to create an oppressive atmosphere: many novels "celebrate" the alienating ugliness of the Australian environment - both natural and built - but here, the "weird melancholy" of this "fantastic land of monstrosities" (as Marcus Clarke once famously tagged it) is more vividly depicted than usual. The relentlessly bleak mood might overwhelm some readers to the point of setting the book aside, but they'll miss a beautiful ending if they give up - quite an apt consequence, given the novel's theme! Recommended.
Captivating start - why'd you leave me hanging? Mar 29, 2005
By Dorothy Franks Through the eyes of a teenage boy, Satchel, the end of the town is near. People are leaving; Satchel's best friend is leaving. This is not Satchel's main problom though. His father is becoming more sickly and depressed every day and his mother is working night shifts at the hospital with dry and cracked hands smashing pills for the injured. He has to get away on to the mountain away from the deteriating town. One day while up in the mountains to get away, Satchel spots a strange creature with stripes on its back, body like a cat, nose like a dog, and eyes and instincts of a lion. Satchel seeks the help of Chelsea in identifying it; the creature is an EXTINCT MARSUPIAL FROM AUSTRALIA! A thylacine that incidently is in the mountains in their town. Should Chelsea and Satchel tell anyone? It would bring back the life of the town. But what about the thylacine, its past of bounties and mast huntings to the point of "extinction".
Stripes of the sidestep wolf was a wonderful book; it had a fantastic beginning and middle, but the end oohhhhh. At the end I felt as though the author left me stranded in the middle of space. Now there are possible reasons- 1.That stopping there was a "just because it felt like a good spot" or 2. Sonya has in mind a sequal, though adding anything to this book would be hard.
A sojurn in the Aussie wasteland of dry country Nov 27, 2004
Deep in Australian outback country, one boy struggles to find his place. Mirroring his struggle is a creature who is native and yet out of place - glimpsed and dreamed of, but never conclusively seen.
He dreams of leaving the country and moving to the city, going to university, getting a job, anything to get away from the dry arid land, the father who won't communicate with him, and the futureless town.
It's a dry slow book, and although Sonya Hartnett manages to imbue it with the same mystical feeling of her other books, such as Thursday's Child or The Black Foxes, is is more like the former than the later.