Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most highly-regard authors and rightly so. I’ve enjoyed every single book I’ve encountered, including The Shepherd’s Hut. Aussies have a unique take on the English language, so when I get to read a Winton book I know I’ll have extra work. Translation people, translation. Winton is a storyteller and his works read effortlessly.
This book covers the story of a boy in a bad spot. Forced into exile in the wilds of Western Australia he must fend for himself while attempting to find the peace he wants so badly. Fighting demons, the elements and human nature, the characters are like a snake waiting to strike, coiled and tense the entire way. Get it, read it.
When Breath was published, a friend—rabid fan, and terrific writer himself—and I had read it at the same time, and were meant to discuss the book post-read.
“So… thoughts?” I asked, when we were both done (in record time).
“You know,” he said. “All I can think is: this is how it should be done.”
Tim Winton’s regularly described as one of Australia’s finest writers. I reckon that title holds on the global stage too. What he does with words is just…. magic.
PS, Penguin Australia released 40th anniversary a set of his books with covers by the one and only Trent Parke: https://www.penguin.com.au/news/3520-tim-winton-anniversary-collection-commemorates-40-years-of-writing
Two of my heroes in book form = me spending stupid money slowly collecting them.
Oh, that’s a good find. the Parke/Winston combo is deadly.
PPS, when The Shepher’s Hut was released at the height of the #metoo movement, he did a series of speaking tours about the particular downfalls of masculinity. Can read the piece on the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/09/about-the-boys-tim-winton-on-how-toxic-masculinity-is-shackling-men-to-misogyny
Or search for him on whichever platform you listen to podcasts. The spoken conversations are absolutely brilliant.
Right, I will stop now. Been a long time since I’ve indulged in any Winton fandom. It’s hard to resist when the opportunity presents itself, hehe
Man, the toxic masculinity thing seems like it has become a prime conversation everywhere I turn. His books are effortless.
I first read Winton on a sailboat in the Mentawai Islands off Sumatra. The book was ‘Breath’ which made sense it would be on board a surf boat with an Ozzie skipper. It blew me away. No fat or fluff, just razor focused writing, dense with emotion. ‘Cloudstreet’ was next after coming upon your review of ‘Breath’ as I work my way from the 1st post on Shifter forward.
‘Shepherds Hut’ I finished two weeks ago and again just sucked in, just sucked the marrow out the pages!!
Now almost finished ‘Dirt Music’, which is the most stark love story in such an Australian way.
Thanks for the reminder of just how great Tim Winton is! The pull of WA grows stronger.
Dirt is great. Breath was awesome. I just love the fact when I’m reading a Winton book I KNOW I’m reading a Winton book.