Tuesday 21 January 2014

First book of the year

Every year I get at least one book for Christmas and as I no longer buy as many books as I used to, this always feels like a bit of a treat for me.

This year much to my delight, I was given,  Tim Winton's latest - Eyrie.

Tim Winton tends to polarise readers across the country,
There are those who can't fathom why he is revered as one of the country's greatest writers and there are others who hang on his every written word.
I am somewhere in the middle.

It's been five years since his last novel, Breath, which I didn't enjoy at all and which made me a little wary about Eyrie at first.
However, with memories of The Turning and also Cloudstreet, my two favourite of his novels large in my mind,  I delved on in.

Surprisingly, for me at least, it turned into quite the page-turner and rather than savouring his prose-like style, I ploughed through quickly, felt quite sad when I quickly reached the end.
Winton is known for his incredibly descriptive way of writing and using similes far more than most novelists. As I was reading it I did think that it would be near impossible for a reader from any country other than Australia to understand his writing - it is so very colloquial.

I also felt that there were a few references that dated the story - as someone in their 40's I got them but there would be many readers younger than me that might have been left a little baffled by some of the content.

The story centres around down-on-his-luck environmental campaigner, Tom Keely, and the reintroduction into his life of someone he knew as a child and who now has run into difficult times.
Barely able to control his own life which is spiralling out of control, Tom takes the woman, Gemma and her young grandson, Kai under his wing.

That's about as much as I will tell you as I don't want to give anything away - least of all the ending!

Suffice to say I really enjoyed this book.
I love the descriptive means by which Winton writes - he has a way of making me feel like I am actually there with him on a beach or watching a bird soar through the sky.
As a character I found the flawed Tom Keely likeable and I wanted him to 'have a win'.

There are a number of thinly-veiled, or in some cases not at all veiled, barbs at the mining industry in WA, Winton's home state, and the impact of this on the environment.

If you get the chance grab this book and settle in for an interesting read.

I'm now about to dive into Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap.

How about you - what are you reading??
All recommendations greatly appreciated.


Ellieboo said...

Eeek, sadly I am in the can't fathom section. But it would be a plain old world if we all loved the same things. I am actually on my computer (rather than reading blogs on the iPhone) for once and have just seen your brand new blog layout. It looks so fantastic - you have made me want to go and give mine a spring clean.

Milly said...

I loved Eyrie, but them I am a Winton fan and also a Freo girl. I loved the way he described Freo and walked every step with Tom and Gemma. One of the buggest criticisms about thes book is the abrupt ending, but I like that Winton doesn't deliver it to the reader tied up with a neat bow.

toadstooldots said...

I am reading a lot lately and for instance I loved Maralinga by Judy Nunn.

At just started The Life of Pi, the book that was made into that popular movie (I haven't seen the movie). I am about to put it away, find it totally boring or will it become more thrilling in a couple of pages???

But now you made me want to read Eyrie, so I'm of to the library :-)

rachelmp said...

I just love a good read, and have just finished and loved both Calebs Crossing by Geraldine Brooks and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I've also been working through the books I have missed from this list, which has pushed me out of my comfort zone. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/books-to-read-before-you-die/story-fn9412vp-1226682476552

Jodie said...

I am doing the same in reverse order. Have finished Barracuda and am abount to start Eyrie.

Gabrielle said...

I love Tim Winton's writing but haven't read this one yet. Lately I've been doing easy reading, authors like Jacqueline Winspear and Mary Stewart but when I last had the brain space I really enjoyed Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori series.

Juni said...

Hi Karen, I was checking for any updates and noticed your book section. I've just been introduced to Tim Winton via Cloudstreet, then The Turning. I'm in awe of his writing, his observations, and the magical way he weaves his stories together. Cloudstreet really turned the cogs in my brain, left me thinking through everything for days afterwards. I'm keen to read another, just have to prepare myself for getting swept away and Nov/Dec is probably not the best time for that!
I'm keen to see what else you read!