Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
|Print List Price:||£8.99|
Save £3.30 (37%)
Breath: Film Tie-In Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Audio Download, Unabridged
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Winton's writing is what makes everything worthwhile, and the startling developments in the education of young Pikelet, friend of Loony, who is equally in thrall to their surfing guru, Sando. For me, the novel takes off when Pikelet grows tall and brawny (he's fifteen) and falls for Sando's wife Eva. It is not a pretty story by any means, particularly when one finds that Eva's preferred method of achieving orgasm is via autoerotic asphyxiation, using a cellophane bag and Pikelet's rough-hewn hands, a technique favoured by female adherents, apparently and otherwise known as scarfing or terminal sex. In the words of John Lennon - whatever gets you through the night - I suppose.
I don't mean this to sound risible, for it is only when you raise your head and close the book that you realise how strangely hypnotised you have been. Winton's writing draws you in, takes your scepticism and shoves it back down your throat. You only begin to see how difficult it will be write about this book when you sit down at your desk and turn the computer on. Read it and see.
It is this elemental world that is at the heart of Tim Winton's new novel Breath and it is about people fronting up to the elements in an attempt to free themselves from the drabness of their provincial lives.
The narrator is the nearly-50-year-old Brucie Pike. He is a paramedic and is called in one night to deal with an adolescent suicide, which he recognises is not a suicide at all, but a case of masturbatory auto-asphyxiation gone wrong. For reasons which emerge later on in the novel, this sad event spurs Pike into a recollection of his teen years, those years of coming of age when life is lived at its most intense, most meaningful but, in many ways, most ignorant and most painful.
And Breath is nothing if not intense. Pike's adolescent relationship with his fearless mate, Loonie, and their interaction with the non-conformist married couple Sando and Eva are at the heart of the 200-page story. These people push themselves to the edge, embracing fear, paradoxically, to overcome their fear, and in doing so, experiencing momentary transcendence - the adrenalin rush, the feeling of being purely alive. The boys, under Sando's tutelage, surf the most menacing waves they can find; Eva's rush comes from - or came from - extreme freestyle skiing.
And yet this elemental intensity - almost faultlessy depicted by Winton - is tempered, through Pike's eyes, by a profounder sense of reality. Loonie may be fearless - but he is emotionally blind; he could not be the narrator of the story. Sando is not as free-spirited as he first appears. Eva, after a bad skiing accident, is semi-crippled and embittered, existing out there on the edge, perversely so, as events in the novel later reveal.
So the surf may be pure white, but the undercurrents are dark and deep. Only Pike, in spite of everything, is a survivor - because he has one foot on the land, one foot in the water. It is only he, in a pivotal episode in the novel, who sees the futility of trying to surf the Nautilus - the extremest of extreme breakers - because it is not a real surfer's wave; it doesn't allow for the "pointless beauty" of riding the long waves in - the recognition of which suggests a kind of hard-won, precariously balanced maturity that none of the other protagonists, in this beautiful and richly-observed novel, manage to achieve.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
The surfing descriptions make you want to head to the coast today. Sad but inspiring.