A simple story effortlessly told, and deeply satisfying snapshot of growing up near the surf.
"Tender, incisive, sometimes brutal and always moving coming-of-age novel." (The Seattle Times)
"Winton is pitch perfect in capturing (but not exploiting) adolescent angst, and he describes surfing and the sea so thrillingly that even non-swimmers will want to plunge right in." (Library Journal)
"Tim Winton's newest novel offers an irresistible taste of oceanic communion." (Los Angeles Times)
"This slender book packs an emotional wallop... Winton is well-known in Australia and should be here." (Publishers Weekly)
"Winton's latest novel is both a hymn to the beauty of flying on water and a sober assessment of the costs of losing one's balance, in every sense of the word." (The New Yorker)
"The new novel from the twice "Booker" shortlisted author. Bruce Pike has always been forbidden to go down to the beach but when he meets Loonie, the local wild boy, he defies his parents and discovers the wild joys of surfing and an erotic current that he can't resist. An absorbing, powerful and deeply beautiful novel." (The Observer)
"This aptly titled novel knocks the breath out of the listener as it recounts a youth's daredevil surfing exploits, evoking the fragile balance between life and death. Paramedic Bruce Pike looks back in this coming-of-age story of his thrill-seeking youth in 1970s Australia. He and his friend, Loonie, meet a charismatic surfing legend named Sando, who mentors them in the science and art of surfing, and drives them to more and more reckless behavior. Dan Wyllie delivers an easily understandable Australian accent and shifts subtly between tentative teen and jaded adult. Wyllie's delivery of Winton's vivid descriptions is mesmerizing, and he ably conveys the image of breath as a metaphor throughout the story. This compelling novel may entice the listener to seek out the well-known Australian author's many other works." (AudioFile Magazine)