No. 23 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time
by Clayton Wehner - December 2nd, 2010
At #23 – Breath by Tim Winton
21.1% of all respondents have read this book
Synopsis for Breath by Tim Winton
Breath is the the eighth novel by Tim Winton. His first novel in seven years, it was published in 2008, in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany.
The novel is set in a small Western Australian logging village named Sawyer, near the fictional coastal town of Angelus, which has featured in several of Winton’s works, including Shallows and The Turning. It is narrated by Bruce “Pikelet” Pike, a divorced, middle-aged paramedic and takes the form of a long flashback in which he remembers his childhood friendship with Loonie. The main action of the novel takes place in the 1970s.
In the first part of the book, the narrator, Bruce Pike, recounts his boyhood friendship with Ivan “Loonie” Loon. As young boys, Pikelet and Loonie dare each other to perform dangerous stunts in the local river. When they become teenagers, they take up surfing and meet a former professional surfer named Sando, who leads them to new levels of recklessness. The novel explores the boys’ youthful urge to seek out the farthest limits of courage, endurance and sanity in an attempt to escape the ordinariness of their lives.
The second half of Breath is concerned with the disintegration of Pikelet’s friendship with Sando and Loonie and his developing relationship with Sando’s American wife Eva.
Awards for Breath by Tim Winton
- The Age Book of the Year Award, Fiction Prize, 2008: winner
- Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, Best Fiction Book, 2008: shortlisted
- Indie Awards, Best Australian Book, 2008: inaugural winner
- Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book, 2009: shortlisted
- Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2009: won
About Tim Winton (Books by Tim Winton…)
Timothy John Winton (born 4 August 1960), known as Tim Winton, is an Australian novelist and short story writer. He was born in Perth, Western Australia, but moved at a young age to the regional city of Albany.
Whilst studying at Curtin University of Technology, Winton wrote his first novel, An Open Swimmer, which won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1981, launching his writing career. He has stated that he wrote “the best part of three books while at university”. His second book, Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984. It wasn’t until Cloudstreet was published in 1991, however, that his writing career was properly established.
Winton has been named a Living Treasure by the National Trust and awarded the Centenary Medal for service to literature and the community. He is patron of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers sponsored by the City of Subiaco, Western Australia. He has lived in Italy, France, Ireland and Greece but currently lives in Fremantle, near Perth, Western Australia with his wife and three children.
The List so far…
#23 – Breath by Tim Winton