"Breath" by Tim Winton

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yowie1000
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"Breath" by Tim Winton

Post by yowie1000 » Tue May 06, 2008 5:13 pm

I have just finished reading "Breath" and faaark me, it's good. It is partly... or mostly about surfing, in case you were wondering why I bothered to post this on here.
I've been a fan of TW for years, but it's nice to see him make a return to stories more closely focused on the ocean, which is clearly so much a part of his life.
Anybody else read it ?

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Post by AlbyAl » Tue May 06, 2008 5:51 pm

Wow, you're fast (or have spare time). I'm going to read it this weekend if the surf is crap. I've read some reviews which treat the surfing a bit as 'risk taking, life-threatening', and I always cringe a bit when I read that. I'll be interested what others think too ...

the Realsurfers' Book of the Month Club begins ! Post your literary criticism here!

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Post by Beanpole » Tue May 06, 2008 5:56 pm

I think Tim Winton's a good bloke but I was underwhealmed by Dirt Music, didn't mind The Riders or whatever it was called and only had a half hearted crack at Cloudstreet. I kind of don't relate because its so close to home. I'm sure if it was about lumberjacks I'd think it was convincing.

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Post by 2nd Reef » Tue May 06, 2008 5:58 pm

Won't get a chance to read it till the middle of the year but looking forward to it. I read the extract in The Good Weekend a coupla weeks back and heard a reading on Radio National - sounds very good to me.

I particularly liked the passage of Pikelet reminiscing on the first day he saw surfing "How strange it was to see men do something beautiful. Something pointless and elegant, as though nobody saw or cared.”

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Post by oldman » Tue May 06, 2008 6:02 pm

2nd Reef wrote:I particularly liked the passage of Pikelet reminiscing on the first day he saw surfing "How strange it was to see men do something beautiful. Something pointless and elegant, as though nobody saw or cared.”
Saw that too second reef. I like Tim Winton, although I have read precisely none of his books, yet. That doesn't mean that I haven't been exposed to his writings and he is mesmeric. Wonderful mood writer, and when I saw some reviews about this I thought I would give it a go too.

But not reading so much at the moment so that is one for the future. Would be interested in others thoughts. Yowie certainly does read fast, I thought it had only just come out

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Post by moreorless » Tue May 06, 2008 6:06 pm

Heard it was out but didn't know it dealt with surfing. Really love Winton's writing, even the slightly flowery 'Cloudstreet'. Reckon he's the best Aussie writer around at the moment (craps all over the likes of Peter Carey). 'Dirt Music' was a classic and 'The Riders' really saw him come of age. I'm looking forward to 'Breath'.

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Post by Morgan The Moon » Tue May 06, 2008 7:00 pm

I've only got into Tim Wintons work in the past few years.

I didn't get it the first time I tried in my 20's - I hadn't been in the country long enough and couldn't relate. Now I finally understand - with the exception of the Riders, his work has such an Australian bent.....The Turning was my favourite.

I was really surprised to find Breath was mostly about surfing. I'm a bit like AlbyAl though, I couldn't help but feel dissapointed about the usual surf story hang-ups - surfing as an extreme sport, the mystical guru (Bodhi??). But overall he's written a great story, and the emphasis on surfing is the pointless beauty of it all.

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Post by yowie1000 » Tue May 06, 2008 7:15 pm

Yep, it's just been released... I read it so quick as I'm bailed up with the flu at the moment, plus it's a fairly short book. And I had kind of been waiting for it too (hello, yes I am a book nerd).

I was a little hesitant too about the surfing aspect. I can't remember a mainstream book/TV show/feature movie that had a surfer character in it that I didn't find myself cringing at, duuuuude. But Breath was OK in that regard.

But I'm not going to give it away, or hold RealSurf book club by myself... so get reading kiddies. It's worth it.

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Post by mattyd » Tue May 06, 2008 8:45 pm

Halfway through it. Fantastic read. Only 200 odd pages and big print. Well worth checking out!

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Post by Damage » Tue May 06, 2008 10:25 pm

Not just about surfing but apparently also sexual misadventure; so alot of you should feel right at home. :?

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Post by mustkillmulloway » Tue May 06, 2008 10:34 pm

mattyd wrote:. Only 200 odd pages and big print.!

Damage wrote:Not just about surfing but apparently also sexual misadventure; . :?
sounds like his aim a book squarly @ me as the target audience :lol:

so can u buyit on line....don't say ebay or amazon....i'm not in eithers good books @ the moment :oops: :cry:

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Post by puurri » Wed May 07, 2008 8:27 am

mattyd wrote:Halfway through it. Fantastic read. Only 200 odd pages and big print. Well worth checking out!
Do I detect a whiff of sarcasm???

BTW the lit crits have been unkind but then again it is Writers Week and they are an incestuous bitchy bunch at best. :D :!: :arrow: :idea:
Last edited by puurri on Wed May 07, 2008 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Carpark King » Wed May 07, 2008 9:00 am

I want to like Tim Winton but i could just never get into cloudstreet. I got over it so quick, I didnt care about fish or the family in that stupid house. I kept asking myself what is the point of reading it.

I was however 18 and had to study it as part of the HSC..that may have had something to do with it.

I will give breath a go..

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Post by willie » Wed May 07, 2008 9:45 am

eh i thought cloudstreet was a great read despite having to do it for HSC a few years back
good stuff. dunno if ill read the new book though

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Post by oldman » Wed May 07, 2008 10:24 am

Carpark King wrote:I want to like Tim Winton but i could just never get into cloudstreet. I got over it so quick, I didnt care about fish or the family in that stupid house. I kept asking myself what is the point of reading it.

I was however 18 and had to study it as part of the HSC..that may have had something to do with it.

I will give breath a go..
There is one surefire way to ruin a book, and that is to read it as a HSC text.

What school does to book reading pretty much equates to what Hitler did to the Jews, Amin did to Ugandans, Mugabe to Zimbabwe, Pol Pot to the ...... well you get my drift etc

I once read a HSC text in the summer holidays and really enjoyed it, then I had to read it again during term and couldn't do it.

It's the knowledge that you aren't reading for joy, you are reading knowing that you are going to have to answer non-sequiturs created by teachers who pretend to understand the post modern deconstructionist guff they come up with. It is shameful what the education system does to reading.

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Post by cs » Wed May 07, 2008 10:36 am

Finished Breath the other night. Its a very easy read, not sure why but maybe because theres only a couple of characters, making it pretty easy to follow.

Its well worth a read, and he doesn't use a whole lot of wanky surf terms in the book. It really did stir up a lot of reminising emotions in me.
Got me back into dragging my lazy arse out for the early again.

I liked Dirt Music and The Turning more, but I havn't read Cloud Street, so can't comment on that.

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Post by moreorless » Wed May 07, 2008 11:09 am

smnmntl wrote:"Tim Winton is massively overrated. His recent novels are not bad, but no better than not bad. His early work is fcuking awful, but its reputation basks undeservedly in the critical glow cast upon the later novels. He's yet another Australian artist whose popularity reflects the infantile need for Australians to see "our stories" beamed back at us in sentimental, knockabout terms. He also has no idea how to finish a novel; the ending of Dirt Music was so bad that I threw the book across the room".

Discuss.
Bollocks. :lol:

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Post by cs » Wed May 07, 2008 11:12 am

agree with the ending if Dirt Music, dunno if he was late for a dead line perhaps, but it just didn't fit in with the rest of the book...

I don't relate to his work as being "our" stories, as his characters and situations are so far removed from how I grew up.

I can see mainstream Australia lapping up his stories as some sort of romantic view on what Australia and Australian's are "really" like.
Not the big city greedy reality...

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