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4.3 out of 5 stars
74
4.3 out of 5 stars
Dirt Music
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£6.64


on 16 May 2014
Read this book in advance of the R4 book club recording with the author. It's driven by an incredibly strong sense of place - one of the most extreme I've read - and the three main characters who push the plot along between them.It's worth reading for the descriptions of the WA coastline alone plus the Ozzy terminology of billies and swag etc - very colourful.
The three characters are all very damaged by lack of love, loss and alcohol - but what is the novel about? Some say it's Georgie's love for Lu but I think it's just as much about redemption - Jim Buckridge is not a good man but tries to do the right thing even if it is against his nature. You do wonder at the nastiness behind the idyllic setting of White Point - natural beauty does not seem to have rubbed off on its inhabitants. In the end the most sympathetic characters are the minor ones encountered along the journey - Menzies and Axel in the bush and Horrie and Bess in their decrepit van.
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on 12 July 2012
I left it a few days before writing this review, to see if the haunting effect of Dirt Music had lessened any. It hasn't. Not many books get deeply under my skin, but this one did and I think it will be there for some time. Winton does not do instant gratification. His books are not whistle-stop stories that are driven soley by plot and drama, although there is always some drama, a point in time in which life becomes as dramatic as it is possible to get for his characters. His books, his stories, are journeys that require some attention, some commtiment from the reader, which is not to say that they are difficult reads; his writing is perfectly accesible, the narrative straightforward and the characterisation consistent and understandable.

So, Dirt Music. Not difficult to empathise with Georgie, who is our entry point to the story, for me at least. We are drawn in to the fictional town of White Point through her observations, through her relationship with Jim, and initially that relationship seems to give her some unwanted status, protection even. But it soon becomes clear that she doesn't crave this security, desires the very opposite. The writing is precise, the sounds, scents and sights of Western Australia delicious in all of their beauty and despair. I always find that the minute you open a Winton book you are drawn into that landscape so utterly that there's almost a sense of homesickness when you close the book. It's an achievement to be able to bring a place so alive, so consistenly.

The other main character is Lu Fox, a character that I fell in love with, so damaged is he, so frightened by the events that overtake him and yet such a good man that fights the bad luck that dogs his family, tries to run away from it and is eventually confounded by it. And the theme of luck is an interesting one in the novel. The luck of the Buckridge's against that of the Fox's, the latter proved beyond all doubt by the disastrous car accident in which only Lu is spared. Some scenes are difficult because of Winton's refusal to spare the reader the reality of events. This is the first book of his were I have had to pull my head from the story and take a breather, so brutal is the narrative - but there is never one moment of gratuity here. It's all necessary. Lu is stuck in my head and won't leave, and that's down to the intense detail that we are exposed to, about his past, his house, his inherited library, his possible future. Fascinating character.

And all the other characters, even those seemingly on the periphery, Yogi Behr, Beaver, the ephemeral Bird, the boys, Jim - all so perfectly drawn. All so tragic in their own way.

The ending is inconclusive - I expect nothing else from a Winton novel now. I don't read him for the tied up endings, but for his stunning metaphors, his characters, his landscape. This, for me, is his best, but I'm saving Cloudstreet for last so who knows.
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on 4 March 2016
Tim Winton doesn't write nice" novels, he writes memorable books. This is one of them. Finished last week and njow eading another, this one is still in my mind. Winton';s characters awe flawed and real.
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on 4 August 2013
Dirt Music was my fifth Tim Winton read. I read his novels when I go on beach holidays because, well, his books just fit the seaside vibe . To someone who has never read Tim Winton, probably the best recommendation I can give is that I've never been remotely anywhere near his situational heartland of the Western Australia coastline, yet, having read his books, I feel as though I have. His writing is dense with imagery...very poetic, his descriptions of the landscape creating a clear picture, even when he uses unfamiliar language particular to that region. Even better are his mastery of dialogue and storytelling.

Dirt Music is longer than some of Winton's early novels, but he retains the sharpness of plot and language evident in his briefer works and short stories. For those readers who have enjoyed other Winton...read this and you will not be disappointed. To anyone thinking of giving him a go...this novel would be a fine place to start.
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on 11 April 2017
Was recommended this book & found it excellent reading.
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on 10 September 2014
I wonder why there no inverted comma's (quotation marks) are used when the persons in this book speak to each other. It is sometimes a bit confusing, but otherwise another enjoyable book by Tim Winton
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on 24 August 2017
excellent
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on 30 April 2014
Tim Winton has a Soul and he writes with it. There are some books in life that are so good, so satisfying, so rich and experiential - this is one of them. So sad to find myself on the last page, wanting more....
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on 5 December 2014
From the first page I was fascinated by the characters and the wonderful pictures created in my mind. Fantastic majestic
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on 26 October 2014
Have read all of his, but this is favourite so far - what a writer!
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