The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Eyres Rock, kangaroos and koalas etc. are not in Tim Winton's memoir. Nothing of any tourism spin here.
What is an Australian? An Aboriginal, an immigrant European or what precisely?
Defining self, identity and culture within landscape is complex.
Tim Winton expresses the sensation and feel, the love and fear, the narrative and the poetic beauty, by this, sharing his experience, enabling you to know him and his west Ozzie world .
Such a real feel for the physicality of Australia: a young kid coming to know his landscape and environment, deciphering the nature of the people he's growing up amongst and sensing the meanings in the relationship between people and place. Discovering himself in all 10 dimensions.
Beautifully elucidated sensations: of sand, heat, surf, ocean swimming, bare feet, of 'now' time and place, is combined with the parallel awakening to the wonder of words and language, of knowledge of other contexts and times, thoughts and experiences. And, an identity developing and being defined.
Can't recommend this highly enough. If you're planning a trip to Oz, read this first, you'll find the insights you take away from it will enlarge your travel experience greatly. If you've been to Australia, this book will spike your head with memories and sensations, replaying like a film, also perhaps, initiate the revelation of a few things you failed to come to know.
Or just read it for it's insight, beauty and poetry.
For this Aussie-Brit/Brit-Aussie, Tim Winton's memoir is magic, and treasure most precious. Read it!