Tim Winton Watch #5

Reviews of Breath

John Repp in "The St Petersburg Times": "Despite its flaws, Breath should enhance Winton's American reputation. It's a fast read that digs deep, proving once again that in the hands of a skilled writer, the metamorphosis from child to adult can yield fresh discoveries."

Stephanie Johnson in "The New Zealand Herald": "Breath's characters and story hang in the reader's mind for days after finishing. Strangely and beautifully, it resonates more as a lengthy poem rather than a novel, perhaps because the notion behind it is so metaphorical and profound: breath and the fear of losing it. This is despite the voice not being particularly poetic and the sometimes heavy-handed Australianisms."

Ian Mcgillis in "The Calgary Herald": "In a novel whose characters are compelled to test the limits of the flesh, much depends on Winton being able to convey some of that rush, and he does."

Darryl Whetter in "The Vancouver Sun": "For all its mid-sized accuracies, Breath doesn't fully transcend surfing or its protagonist to make a lasting, universal statement...One consequence is the mixed blessing of the
novel's close, a slippery dénouement in which intelligent emotional confessions are made but too many years and crises slide by too quickly. In short, we see little connection between the adolescent surfer who risks his life in one spot but not another, who is loyal in some ways but not others, and the articulate but distant adult he becomes."

Short Notices

MetroSantaCruz.com on Breath: "Despite the potential richness of this kind of material, most surfers write novels about as well as most novelists surf. Here's the exception."
"The New Yorker" on Breath:"Winton's latest novel is both a hymn to the beauty of flying on water and a sober assessment of the costs of losing one's balance, in every sense of the word."
"Word Lily" weblog on Cloudstreet: "I loved the setting and all the book's interactions with it. It's a novel place for me, and I love 'visiting' new places. I really was drawn in by the novel's place...This book seemed a bit crass to me. It talks about sex in low ways. Not titillating, just a little bit disturbing."


Lisa Wrenn in "PopMatters".

The west coasts of Australia and the United States have much in common, says Tim Winton. In fact, that's an international phenomenon that includes left coasts from Africa to Ireland. "Everyone on the east coasts look at the westerners as a bit more wild, a bit more gauche," explains the Perth-based writer, over tea in San Francisco. "Sometimes, it's more romantic, much more of a frontier." And, as in the U.S., more politically progressive? "And that's where the analogy falls down," he says with a laugh. "In the Australian sense, the West can be more like the American South."

Tim Winton talks about The Tree of Man by Patrick White.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 25, 2008 12:47 PM.

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