The Turning by Tim Winton

Tim Winton's latest book, The Turning, hit the shelves in the UK on April 1 this year, but his US readers will have to wait till September 13th. I have no idea of why this has occurred. The book is currently sitting at number 9,131 on Amazon's UK sales ranking and, given his worldwide standing, you'd think there would be some attempt at a simultaneous publication. After all, it was released in Australia in October 2004. Anyway, it's Tim's birthday today so I thought I'd have a look at how his book is being received overseas.

The two reviews I've linked to previously both appeared in the UK Daily Telegraph a week apart: Lewis Jones found that the stories were: "Vivid, elegiac and humorous, they are told in a relaxed prose that frequently strikes sparks - 'the hard laughter of ducks,' for example, 'like mechanical clowns in a sideshow.' Unusually, I think, they bridge the gulf between short story and novel."

Ian Thompson was quite taken with the book: was quite taken with the book: "Winton likes to confront dark themes - a betrayal of friendship, an old love dangerously rekindled - yet the collection is so exquisitely written, so precise in its construction, that it is a joy to read." He does refer to Winton as "Australia's best-loved young writer" which the author should feel happy about, now that he has hit 45.

In other UK reviews, Lindsay Pfeffer in "The Observer" states that: "The beauty of Winton's work lies not in the hope to which some characters awaken, but in his skill at making grief palpable to readers who may be unscathed by the agonies that his characters suffer."

John Kinsella in "The Scotsman" compares Winton to Angela Carter in the way "Winton creates a world that works painfully towards resolutions, and no matter how much darkness or grotesquery interrupts the quest for light, awareness ultimately surfaces." Not having read any Carter I can't comment. Yes, yes, I know. Just another show of my appalling ignorance of modern English literature.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 4, 2005 2:40 PM.

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