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That Eye, the Sky
 
 

That Eye, the Sky [Kindle Edition]

Tim Winton

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Review

‘The great strength of the novel is in the way the grotesque contrasts and parallels in human life are spread out, examined and accepted’ Los Angeles Times

‘Towards the end of the novel Ort prays for a miracle: “Funny when you talk to God. He’s like the sky . . . Never says anything. But you know he listens.” Though God hasn’t answered Ort yet, Mr. Winton convinces us he might’ New York Times

At twelve years old, Morton – Ort for short – is not quite a child, but not yet an adult; his isolated outback world is an intriguing combination of boyish innocence, adolescent confusion and burgeoning awareness. When his father is seriously injured in a car crash, however, that world is suddenly thrown into complete disarray and the whole family have to adjust. As Ort, his sister, mother and grandmother are struggling to come to terms with what has happened, a stranger appears in their midst. Preaching God’s word, Henry Warburton’s unexpected arrival seems eerily prescient, at a time when the family most need a helping hand, and Henry quickly makes himself indispensable. In fact, for Ort in particular, it is Henry’s presence, perhaps more even than his father’s accident, that brings the greatest change to his world.

Product Description

A tale about a boy’s vision of the world beyond, and the blurry distinctions between the natural and supernatural At twelve years old, Morton – Ort for short – is not quite a child, but not yet an adult; his isolated outback world is an intriguing combination of boyish innocence, adolescent confusion and burgeoning awareness. When his father is seriously injured in a car crash, however, that world is suddenly thrown into complete disarray and the whole family have to adjust. As Ort, his sister, mother and grandmother are struggling to come to terms with what has happened, a stranger appears in their midst. Preaching God’s word, Henry Warburton’s unexpected arrival seems eerily prescient, at a time when the family most need a helping hand, and Henry quickly makes himself indispensable. In fact, for Ort in particular, it is Henry’s presence, perhaps more even than his father’s accident, that brings the greatest change to his world. ‘Towards the end of the novel Ort prays for a miracle: “Funny when you talk to God. He’s like the sky . . . Never says anything. But you know he listens.” Though God hasn’t answered Ort yet, Mr. Winton convinces us he might’ New York Times ‘The great strength of the novel is in the way the grotesque contrasts and parallels in human life are spread out, examined and accepted’ Los Angeles Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 422 KB
  • Print Length: 164 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743234421
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (9 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZX9JVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,278 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. He has written novels, collections of stories, non-fiction and books for children. He is four times winner of Australia's Miles Franklin Award, most recently for his novel Breath, and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick, but fine read 29 April 2003
By M. M. MacTier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
That Eye, the Sky is a novel about a family in the outback of Australia. Life goes wrong when the father is in a car accident and in a coma afterwards. It is narrated by twelve year old Ort Flack. Through his eyes we meet his Dad, his Mum, the helpless hippy, Tegwyn, his angry sister, Fat his only friend and Henry, the missionary that saves them.

Through the eyes of Ort, the story of the Flack family unfolds, in simple, but beautifully written language. The novel jumps from reality to surreality, from living on the dole in the outback to miracles and mystical lights. It end on a strange surreal note and the reader is left to make of it what he/she chooses.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I don't quite know what to make of the end of this book. I would love to discuss it with someone that read it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing 27 Oct 2009
By unkleE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love Tim Winton's writing and I just love this short novel.

A struggling family is trying to live the fading dream of an alternative life on a farmlet on the fringe of a city. Disaster strikes and the family members react in different ways. As life falls apart around them, an edgy, mysterious and ambivalent character enters their lives and soon turns them upside down. The son (the narrator) and mother turn to faith, while the daughter heads in the opposite direction. The ending is as ambivalent as the mysterious stranger, but full of hope and symbolism.

This is a simple story, but told with Winton's trademark unpretentious but powerful style. The son is a naive yet knowing observer with an unorthodox and numinous spirituality. The dialogue is full of laconic Aussie humour. The mother's and son's fortitude and faith are inspiring, and their brief tangles with conventional religion quite hilarious. Most of all, the reader feels for them as they struggle with the difficulties of life, and I felt completely drawn into their life together.

Reading and re-reading this book has been a wonderful experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I agree - a fine read - but mysterious ending 26 May 2005
By Evelyn J. Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I agree with the reviewer in April of 2003. I really enjoyed the book. You fall in love with Ort. Seeing things through his eyes are very touching and funny at times. The end is definately what you make of it - a good book for discussion - book club.
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical Realism & Gritty Reality in the Story of Ort 6 Aug 2014
By Pollyanna Darling - Author & Intuitive - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ort is an unusual boy, with the altered perception of one who has been in a coma. When his father crashes his car and descends into his own coma, Ort's world is turned upside down. Struggling with anxiety about going to high school, his sister's ferocious teenage angst and his mother's odd flirtation with a Bible-bashing stranger who moves into their home, Ort takes solace in his favourite chicken, the forest and God.

This is an odd and compelling tale that walks a fine line between fantasy and gritty realism. The characters are memorable and well-written. However, I found the narrative voice inconsistent and occasionally forced to the point that it interfered with the flow of the story.

Winton fans will recognise some of the recurring themes in his work: the aftermath of a car accident, family dynamics (which he writes so brilliantly), and the resonance of the Australian landscape. I enjoyed the story and liked the combination of disturbing reality and spiritual hopefulness that sings through the writing.
2 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible 28 July 2008
By Ellie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am begging you now to put this book down, and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. If you are outside of bushfire danger zones you might even like to burn it. I know I would have liked to.

Tim Winton is perhaps the most over rated author in the history of mankind, and if it was at all possible I would sue him for publishing this drivel because I believe I died a little inside whilst reading it.

Honestly, I found it convoluted, boring and in several parts, quite disturbing. If you can read it and enjoy it, then more power to you. But if you are not being forced by the Western Australian education system, I would recommend you stay far far away.

Oh and Mr Winton? A hair cut never hurt anyone.
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