Aussie Author Challenge Book Reviews

Book Review: Breath by Tim Winton

Teenager Bruce ‘Pikelet’ Pike and his mate, Loonie live in the town of Sawyer in Western Australia. A year apart, they spend their days at school, but the rest of the time at the river and later, at the ocean about 50 kilometres away from their little town. Pikelet’s parents are English migrants and not keen on the sea. While they aren’t happy about Pikelet’s friendship with Loonie, they are accepting of his tough and cool exterior.

As Pikelet and Loonie discover the joy of the surf, they meet Sando – a bloke who surfs, drive a kombi and lives with his American wife, Eva. With Sando, Loonie and Pikelet discover an exciting life which includes taking risks by surfing in shark-infested waters, around reefs and fearsome waves. Loonie being the more reckless of the two, is easily influenced by Sando and soon, the two boys grow apart. Pikelet allows himself to be reckless in a different way.

I read this book back in May before watching the movie. Winton’s prose is sparse, yet poetic. He paints pictures with his words of not just the landscape but the underlying emotions. Winton manages to shock you, enthral you and generally keep you hooked with his tale. He manages to lead the reader into participating in the excitement of recklessness while still keeping the dangers of this in sight. Eventually, Pikelet chooses one way of resolving that conflict and Loonie another. But either way, the paradox of beauty and danger is captured in the most impressive way.

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***Read and reviewed for the 2018 Aussie Author Challenge***

Until next time,

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