That Eye, the Sky
Tim Winton
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That Eye, the Sky

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  847 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Ort knows that the sky is watching. He knows what it means to watch. Things are terribly wrong. His father is withering away, his sister is consumed by hatred, his grandmother is all inside herself, and his mother, a flower-child of the 1960s, is brave but helpless. Then a strange man appears at their door. That Eye, the Sky is about love, about a boy's vision of the world...more
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Published July 1st 2012 by Bolinda Publishing (first published January 1st 1987)
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Carinya Kappler
I imagine that this is life viewed through the eyes of a 10-12year old boy. He is caught between the innocence of childhood and the harsh reality of assuming the full responsibility of "man of the house". He loves unconditionally, hopes optimistically for better times and stands fast waiting for his father to come home healed, to recommence his fatherly duties where he left off.
I loved Tim Winton's unashamed honest efforts to bestow functionality on a tragic family situation. His main character...more
Nancy Oakes
I would recommend that eye, the sky to fiction readers, but a lot of people will probably go away from it unsatisfied. There is a LOT to this story for which the author leaves no explanation and this may frustrate some people. Me, I love quirky writing and I know that I'll be mulling this book over in my head for a while now that I've finished it. For anyone who hasn't read a Tim Winton novel, I wouldn't suggest you start with this one -- try The Riders or Dirt Music (I haven't read anything els...more
“That Eye, the Sky” is one of Winton’s earlier novels, written in 1986—the third of his currently 9 novels for adults and published before “Cloudstreet”. It has also been made into a movie.

The narrator is a 12 year old boy (Morton Flack, Ort for short) on the verge of adolescence who sees and understands the world and his family through maturing eyes. Much that surrounds Ort is either broken or damaged—as are most of Winton’s characters in his other novels. But the supernatural also inhabits Ort...more
I watched Cloustreet and really enjoyed it! The several layers to the characters and the development of each person too. So I thought I would try a book by the author, well it dragged for me. I had to work at picking the book up and reading it, even though I knew no body was going to make a major breakthrough in charachter development I just couldn't endure reading through the boring lives of nothingness. In dreary dry Australia down and under, i got as depressed as them, rather than appreciate...more
I have just finished reading this and feel that I might have to re-read it at some point, purely because I have come away wondering about the sanity of both Ort & his mother; were they not in fact a little bit on the slow side, I wonder.
Forget all the religion in this book for a moment, even though it seems to be a prolific factor to the story, does anyone else think that perhaps there is more to my theory than first thought?
I love the Aussie language - I understand it completely; it's a rea...more
I had to study That Eye, the Sky for English class, and I can honestly say that I truly disliked it. Overall, it was a rather depressing story and even the attempts at humour couldn't lift the mood. Some of the themes include self-mutilation, family dysfunction and strong religious themes. It was definitely not an enjoyable book to read and i felt relief, rather than satisfaction, when I'd finished it.

Hmmm... I wasn't sure what this book was on about. It started out ok, then I got tired of hearing about all the religious dogma (even if it was put in other words), then it kind of showed the hypocrisy of of it all, and ended with well, I won't say, as I don't want to add a spoiler. It was depressing verging on uplifting verging on well, that's just life. So, there you have it.
This was my favourite Tim Winton book, even though it never really seemed to win the popularity of some of his other titles. It's told from the perspective of a little boy, and it melted my heart. It ended with a miracle - always a risky way to finish a novel, but it really worked. Another tear jerker.
This novel has a great cast of characters that come to life in a way that only a great writer can achieve. But perhaps the greatest character of all is the incredible landscape of Western Australia.
I probably would have given this book 3 stars if it weren't for that horrible ending
Ort is just the bees knees of characters.
Such a great kid... character... funny, innocent, loving and it hurt at times to read this book and feel his suffering. You just want to hold him and make everything alright.
Ort is just the best thing in this book and his relationship with his chicken.
The rest of the book was hard. Tim Winton doesn't write easy stories... he writes hard tales, of hard people in a tough place. My conflict lies in that... I find it really difficult to like the stories he b...more
Ana Obradovic
I read this book as 12 year old, not realising it was apparently intended for "adults". It meant so much to me as a child to read the perspective of someone my age written with honesty, respect and a rich, poetic prose. It is a sad book, and addresses a child experiencing tragedy in (what I consider) a distinctly Australian style of writing. I think it has something to do with Australian nature, which is so beautiful but harsh and unforgiving, that is reflected in this novel and this type of pro...more
I had to read this book for my English class. It was my first Tim Winton book that I've read, so I was pretty excited to get started. However, this book wasn't for me. I found the dialogue to be quite dull and the religious experience was a bit too tacky for my liking (Henry's story).

One thing I was quite pleased with was the development of the main character, Ort. Adolescence is something that each of us go through and I think that Winton captured the good, bad, and embarrassing moments perfec...more
Another Tim Winton novel that leaves you wondering...though that is what he is particularly good at. At least it makes for interesting discussions with my fellow Tim Winton reader friends.

An interesting group of characters, Ort is a quirky boy who sees the world though cracks in doors, and other odd ways, but has a genuine big heart for his family. His mum, Alice, is great - a left over flower-child who is a bit hopeless, but is living her ideal. And Tegwyn, Ort's sister, breathing slaughter at...more
For a classic , it actually wasn't that boring..

I was so surprised going through this book thinking it was going to be slow
and I would just lose interest but WOW it was really well done,the way we
see Ort and his family grow is phenomenal. I love how it played humour,
a bit of action but it was a great read and I'm actually really glad I got to
read it for school.

Even though it is a classic definitely one of my favourite classics that I won't
forget.If you like classic novels Check this one out :)
Once again a book about broken lifes but also about the ability to enjoy simple things like swimming in a creek, walking in the woods. I love the character of Ort. He has troubles understanding what happens around him and has his own simple explanation for things (his observations in the Catholic Church made me smile). He may be a bit simple and slow but he has a big heart with lots of space for his mum, his father and grandmother. And maybe for his sister as well although he doesn't understand...more
To me, That Eye, the Sky felt like a mini australian version of the grapes of wrath. i.e. hard up family, a preacher hanging off the family - a lot to do with hopes and dreams - not really going anywhere.
This book had some good use of australian slang which is not uncommon in Tim's writing. I feel Cloudstreet was a continuation (published later) of this book (I should expand on this).

I would have rated this book higher, however I thought it focused too much on the serious - which bored me to sle...more
Anthea Mills
I re-read this book for book group.

Morton (Ort) Flack, aged 12, enjoys a relaxed rural life, under the watchful eye of the sky above. However, Ort's contentment, which is under threat from the encroaching city and the looming peril of High School, is splintered when his father is injured in a car accident. Already caring for an ailing grandparent, Ort's mother and sister are pushed to their limits. Into this crisis steps a flawed preacher looking to save the Flacks. The humour and naivety of Ort...more
Olly Putland
A book I feel I have rated leniently.
Barbara Shine
A walloper. Evocative, provocative. Satisfying. I need for find more by Tim Winton.
A hippie family fails to find paradise in the Australian outskirts. Far from it. But they have each other -- to a point. Enter tragedy, then a false prophet/angel/preacher. Young Ort, our narrator, sees many things, as he constantly looks thru holes and cracks and into things he might better not. The false prophet gets what he wants, the girl and the car, leaving only his Bible. Do Ort, him mum and dad get God? Not sure. Winton weaves multiple sight, eye and vision images seamlessly throughout t...more
Ferrisfancher ha ha
Jan 03, 2008 Ferrisfancher ha ha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you! sucka!
Recommended to Ferrisfancher by: sandy via the book store lady
Sort of a tough nut to crack but I'll go ahead and "go there". A Piognant story of a young crazy boy who's too poor to know nuthin' and makes you want to cry with his simple mind and great big heart. But a little bit boring at times. Only due to the subject matter and you know, australia not having much going on outside the city. Well worth the read. why did i say boring, scrap that. i'm just too high maintenance i guess.
Tim Winton really captures the spirit well in his novel (not that I personally have ever experienced such a life as Ort). I found it easy to read, and hard to put down, although at some points it seemed to be going nowhere, just in a small circle.

I really loved how the story progressed, starting off somewhat nice and happy, and by the end degenerating into a complete mess, and the tone which kept pace with all of that.
An intriguing & interesting read. Well written & thought provoking.
I picked this up from the library. It's been a long time since I read any Tim Winton and I liked it more than I remember liking him in the past - perhaps my tastes have changed. A quirky little novel with odd characters. I had no problem with the areas that Winton left open to interpretation.
For some reason That Eye... reminds me of Beckett's waiting for Godot. Not that this is a bad thing, just that each page has a sense of something about to happen, but it never quite does! I particularly enjoyed the sustained narrative perspective of Ort, the young boy. Great read.
In the beginning I thought that it was the worst book that I've read. But once I got over half way and learnt to look past the bad grammar, you start to see the underlying message. But in saying this I don't think I will ever read it again.
Well, let's just say thus was actually a great book. I've read some of tim Wintons stuff before, specifically breath, and I think they're gret stories, but you just have to look past hiw bad they are, if that makes any sense.
Kate (Nomalicious Reads)
This was my first book for university that I had to read and it was pretty interesting and wasn't putting me to sleep the slang was hilarious and a bit annoying but seriously... the ending???????????????

That is all.
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  • The Sound of One Hand Clapping
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  • Bliss
  • Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
  • Tirra Lirra by the River
  • Journey To The Stone Country
  • Capricornia
  • The Well
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
  • The Idea of Perfection
  • Poor Man's Orange
  • Monkey Grip
  • Eucalyptus
  • Voss
  • My Brother Jack
  • Oyster
  • Highways to a War
Tim Winton was born in Perth, Western Australia, but moved at a young age to the small country town of Albany.

While a student at Curtin University of Technology, Winton wrote his first novel, An Open Swimmer. It went on to win The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1981, and launched his writing career. In fact, he wrote "the best part of three books while at university". His second book, Shallows...more
More about Tim Winton...
Cloudstreet Breath Dirt Music The Riders The Turning: Stories

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