Tim Winton's books are not light and easy. His characters are the walking wounded, scarred marred and often barely surviving. He besets them with harsh tragedies, violent accidents, abandonment. Sometimes their situations are so dire that you might want to put the book aside and go into the fresh air just to know that life isn't as bleak and cruel as he paints it. When you return to the narrative, wary and battle weary the chinks of light begin to appear.
Dirt Music reduced me to tears - Fox the sole survivor of a brutal family accident, an outcast of a harsh unforgiving Australian community finds love and redemption of a sort through Georgie, a woman who is as adrift as he. The novel is surprisingly suspenseful, so I won't write any more of the actual events, but God is it good! Tim Winton stands with Janette Turner Hospital as a major talent who has sprung from the arid ground of Australia.