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Breath [Hardcover]

Tim Winton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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'...a meditation on surfing which becomes a rumination about the very stuff of existence.' -- Observer

'...truly moments of perfection - scenes of life-affirming exhilaration that even the darkness of the undertow cannot completely erase' -- Herald

'A superb novel by the always brilliant Tim Winton...exciting, beautifully written.' -- The Bookseller

'A terrific novel... Suddenly the allure of the perfect wave is understandable.'
-- Readers' Books of the Year - The Guardian

'Australia's best-loved novelist...Breath is both a love letter to the sea and a moving coming-of-age story...' -- Sunday Telegraph

'Breath is a book that swaps earth for water. It is a short, fresh work, full of fizz...' -- Independent on Sunday

'Breath is an innocent, lyrical celebration of masculinity and physical prowess of a kind that is rare in British fiction.' -- Sunday Times, Culture

'Breath...has the urgent clarity of a story that needed to be told' -- Guardian

'The opening sequence is so beautiful that the narrative appears to promise a tale of boyhood revisited...' -- Irish Times

'Winton is at his lyrical best with his poignant story of lost youth...' -- She


A simple story effortlessly told, and deeply satisfying snapshot of growing up near the surf.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Bruce Pike, or ‘Pikelet’, has lived all his short life in a tiny sawmilling town from where the thundering sea can be heard at night. He longs to be down there on the beach, amidst the pounding waves, but for some reason his parents forbid him. It’s only when he befriends Loonie, the local wild boy, that he finally defies them. Intoxicated by the treacherous power of the sea and by their own youthful endurance, the two boys spurn all limits and rules, and fall into the company of adult mentors whose own addictions to risk take them to places they could never have imagined. Caught up in love and friendship and an erotic current he cannot resist, Pikelet faces challenges whose effects will far outlast his adolescence. Breath is the story of lost youth recollected: its attractions, its compulsions, its moments of heartbreak and of madness. A young man learns what it is to be extraordinary, how to push himself, mind and body, to the limit in terrible fear and exhilaration, and how to mask the emptiness of leaving such intensity – in love and in life – behind. Told with the immediacy and grace so characteristic of Tim Winton, Breath is a mesmeric novel by a writer at the height of his powers.

About the Author

Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. He is the author of fifteen books, including novels, a collection of stories, non-fiction and books for children. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).
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