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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Extraordinary Novel

    Sawyer, we are told, is a town on the coast of Western Australia that lies between the forest and the sea. But in Sawyer "you keep to the mill, the town, the river." Breath a novel by Tim Winton tells the story of a boy growing up in this town. But he manages a lot more than a bildungsroman, a "coming of age story"; he also explores the limits of risk.
    Bruce Pike meets with three extraordinary people and undergoes a series of experiences within this story that profoundly shape his life. The author shows how the desire first to conform and then to excel can shape a life. He also dives deeply into the concept of risk and what it means to an individual to take a risk.
    Over the last few years the idea of extreme sport has come into the public eye. This novel provides perhaps the best description of the allure of this type of activity that I have read. It is an immensely gripping novel and one of the few books that I have read in literally one sitting. It is commonplace to say "I could not put it down", but with this book I would have been damn annoyed to have had to lay it aside.
    The book contains sexual material and deals with the limits of sex in the same way that it discusses other limit and risks. It is clearly an adult novel. I found it to be a fine and a full book and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
    A copy of this book was provided free by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

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  • Posted August 13, 2009

    Breath by Tim Winton

    A well written, touching account of a young boys journey into manhood through his love of surfing. A very descriptive account of the beautiful coastline and surfing beaches of Western Australia. The author doesn't shy away from certain subject matter throughout the book, and it will make for very interesting discussions in many bookclubs. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

    Guaranteed to keep you holding your breath while reading

    Breath is a masterfully written tale of what it means to live in extremes; and since most of us, in our own ways, do, it¿s a tale about what it means to be alive.<BR/><BR/>I¿m ashamed to say that I only heard of Tim Winton when a blogger recently wrote that Saltwater Buddha reminded him of Winton¿s surf literature. I am now very honored to be mentioned in his company. <BR/><BR/>A novelist with a voice no one could copy, Winton¿s ability to be colloquial while employing phrases and vocabulary that make literary geeks froth is both entertaining and incredible. It took me 30 pages to get into Breath¿s subtle flow, the off-handed remarks, the Australian slang. But the narrative picks up speed as it goes and once in I scarcely wanted to put the book down. <BR/><BR/>I especially enjoyed the first half when the main character and his fearless best friend Loonie are bathing in the sheer magic of water and, as they get older, the pastime that will obsess them the rest of their lives: surfing. Winton deftly captures what it is to be a wide-eyed little grommet enamored with the water life: with pushing the limits of breath retention, with unbelievable fact that humans can ride pulses of saltwater, with learning the endless complexities of how weather affects the sea. <BR/><BR/>As their mentor Sando, an extraordinary older surfer who seems most motivated by his fear of the ordinary, pushes the two teens to confront their fears in sharky and death-defying surf, you feel the magic of childhood innocence slipping sadly away. But with each wave conquered you do feel something new and mysterious gurgling to the surface, something not unlike like air bubbles that might burst prematurely at any moment. The fear that they will bust into oblivion is what keeps you hanging on Winton¿s every word ¿ even through the novel¿s tougher parts.

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    Posted June 27, 2010

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    Posted June 20, 2010

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    Posted January 16, 2009

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