Breath – Tim Winton

One of the presents that I got for my birthday back in the summer was Tim Winton’s Breath.  I’ve enjoyed the only other book of Tim’s that I’ve read so looked forward to reading this one.

And once started I was even more gripped than I had been by In the Winter Dark.

I’m a bit of a fan of surf fiction, largely that’s been Kem Nunn, but now I can add Breath to the list.

The novel – a dark coming of age story, set in Western Australia – is a fantastic read.

The story revolves around an adolescent boy’s friendship with a slightly older boy and their hero worship of a once famous surfer.  Things turn sour and the boy gets used by the surfer’s wife.

I thought the characters were really well developed, and the way the boy gets sucked into situations he’s unable to cope with struck me as realistic.

But what I really enjoyed was how Winton describes the terror and elation that surfing brings.  Personally I’ve never managed to get up on a board, but I do love body surfing and Winton’s descriptions of catching a wave perfectly or being dumped by one are spot on.

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About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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