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Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living

de Carrie Tiffany

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3041766,253 (3.37)64
Amongst the swaying cars full of cows, pigs and wheat, an unlikely seduction occurs between Robert Pettergree, a man with an unusual taste for soil, and Jean Finnegan, a talented young seamstress with a hunger for knowledge. In an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism they settle in the impoverished Mallee with the ambition of proving that science can transform the land. Shot through with humour and a quiet wisdom, this haunting first novel evokes the Australian landscape in all its vivid beauty and probes the fragile relationships between man, science and nature. A heartbreaking novel from an astonishing new writer. This special edition celebrates 40 years of Picador with one of Australia's finest literary reads. With 16 pages of extra content, including Reading Group notes, an essay and awards list, this special edition will make a valuable contribution to your bookshelf.… (mais)
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Really good on multiple levels. History, romance, life on the land, anecdotes, humour. Loved it. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Dec 14, 2019 |
I have to explain why it's very difficult for me to review and rate this objectively. Just after its publication, I worked as 'cellist with an actor friend on an adaptation of this book as part of the 'One Book' programme of the Perth International Festival of Art. The process involved reading it over and over and over... and over, assessing the dramatic, and musical, possibilities of each section: basically picking it to pieces. It's almost impossible, after all that slog, to remember my initial, spontaneous reaction.

That was a fair few years ago and so I came to this book club reread with some distance, but I knew in advance how it ends, I knew the shape of the story and I found myself conflicted. There are things that are so lovely, so sweet, so unexpected, so moving, and yet I feel just a little dissatisfied with the whole. Perhaps that's largely due to the abrupt nature of the ending. I felt as though maybe there were a few scenes missing that would have explained things, led to it a little more elegantly. I don't know.

Still. This is really very well written in the main. I love the direct, visual style and the wicked sense of humor. I know Carrie Tiffany has recently had a second novel published and I think I ought to give it a shot and see what coming to one of her works really fresh does for me. ( )
  Vivl | Jun 2, 2014 |
This is a fine first novel. Gently told, using the "show, don't tell" technique, the book seems simple, but I'd deceptively deep. I wished, at the end, that there was more - the plot and the characters could easily continue to grow. Read Oct 2013. ( )
  mbmackay | Oct 26, 2013 |
It was a pure fluke that I happened across this book. Carrie Tiffany has won the inaugural Stella prize in Australia for her second book, Mateship with Birds. I checked my library to see if they had that book which I thought sounded interesting. They didn't but they did have this book and when I read the description I put a hold on the book. As it happens this is a book that fits into my occupation as a chemist in the Canadian Grain Commission so perfectly that I could hardly wait to recommend it to my friends.

Jean Finnegan is a domestic science graduate who works as a textile expert on the Better Farming Train that toured Australia during the 1930s to bring information to farming families about how to improve their farms and their lives. Also aboard the train is Robert Pettergee, a soil scientist, who can tell by tasting a sample of soil where it comes from. Robert is the author of a short article called "Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living" and he believes science can solve any problem. After a passionate encounter Robert and Jean quickly decide to take up wheat farming in the Mallee district. Robert believes with the application of superphosphate and other additives the poor sandy soil of the Mallee can grow wheat profitably. Jean will be his assistant and in particular she will bake 10 test loaves every year from the wheat harvest.

Tiffany is an agricultural journalist so she knows the challenges that faced (and still face) farmers. But she also portrays human relations and emotions with understanding. I found the yearly reports of Jean's test loaves wrenching, more for what they didn't say than for what they did. I think anyone with a connection to farming will identify with this novel and maybe people who haven't experienced farming will learn something about the life. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 23, 2013 |
Pressestimmen bei Amazon:
Carrie Tiffany hat mit ihrem Debüt einen klugen Liebesroman geschrieben, der Wildwest-Atmosphäre atmet und seine Figuren wunderbar warmherzig zeichnet.

Carrie Tiffanys bezaubernder Debütroman ›Fortschrittlich leben für jedermann‹ ist eine echte Entdeckung.

Liebe in den Zeiten des Fortschritts. Ein landwirtschaftlicher Schulungszug soll rückständige Farmer in Australien auf Trab bringen. Den Zug gab es in den 30ern wirklich. Carrie Tiffany zauberte daraus eine Liebesgeschichte.

Eine Liebesgeschichte mit einem ungewöhnlichen Rahmen also, die – vor allem in der anfänglichen Fortschrittsgläubigkeit – ihre komischen Seiten hat, überwiegend aber anrührend und traurig ist. Vor allem aber zeigt sie sehr anschaulich auch die – heute unbestrittenen – Grenzen eines Fortschritts auf. Auch der gegen Ende ins Spiel kommende Hurra-Patriotismus wird hier so kritisch in Szene gesetzt, wie das unseren heutigen Vorstellungen entspricht.

In einer freimütigen, lockeren und spannenden Sprache beschreibt sie detailreich Alltags- und Liebesleben, spart aber auch Konflikte und Probleme nicht aus. Und dank ihrer bildhaften Beschreibungen entstehen vor dem Auge des Lesers mühelos Steppen, Wüsten und kleine Kaffs mitten im Nirgendwo, in einem fernen fremden Land.

Eine der schönsten Liebesgeschichten des Jahres.

Ein sehr bemerkenswertes Buch mit interessanten Fragestellungen!

Mit ›Fortschrittlich leben für jederman‹ ist Carrie Tiffany ein glänzendes Debüt gelungen. Durch ihren ungewöhnlichen Schreibstil ist hier ein Buch entstanden, das so gar keine Klischees erfüllt und völlig unkonventionell daherkommt.

»Ein bezauberndes Buch über die Liebe im australischen Outback. Sinnlich, komisch und mitunter von komischer Naivität.«
Manuela Meyer, Sonntagsblitz

Kurzbeschreibung bei Amazon:

Der Große Krieg ist vorbei, der nächste noch nicht in Sicht. Es ist eine Zeit des Optimismus und des Glaubens an den Fortschritt. Durch die staubigen Weiten des Landes fährt der "Better Farming Train", der der Bevölkerung in den abgelegenen Dörfern und Farmen die Segnungen von Fortschritt und Technik nahebringen soll. Hier, in den ratternden Waggons zwischen Demonstrationsobjekten, die von neuen Züchtungen von Schafen und Hühnern bis zu besonders widerstandsfähigen Getreidesorten und hochmodernen Einmachutensilien reichen, entspinnt sich eine hastige Liebesgeschichte zwischen zwei jungen Leuten: Robert, dem Experten für Bodenbeschaffenheit, und Jean, der Näherin. Voller Begeisterung für die Wissenschaft heiraten sie und lassen sich auf einer Farm mitten im australischen Busch nieder. Hier soll all das, woran sie glauben, von der Theorie in die Praxis umgesetzt, das fortschrittliche Leben endlich unter Beweis gestellt werden. Doch natürlich kommt alles ganz anders als geplant ...
  JAAKonTEXT1 | Apr 6, 2012 |
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Amongst the swaying cars full of cows, pigs and wheat, an unlikely seduction occurs between Robert Pettergree, a man with an unusual taste for soil, and Jean Finnegan, a talented young seamstress with a hunger for knowledge. In an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism they settle in the impoverished Mallee with the ambition of proving that science can transform the land. Shot through with humour and a quiet wisdom, this haunting first novel evokes the Australian landscape in all its vivid beauty and probes the fragile relationships between man, science and nature. A heartbreaking novel from an astonishing new writer. This special edition celebrates 40 years of Picador with one of Australia's finest literary reads. With 16 pages of extra content, including Reading Group notes, an essay and awards list, this special edition will make a valuable contribution to your bookshelf.

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