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Eyrie: A Novel
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Eyrie: A Novel

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,801 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Eyrie tells the story of Tom Keely, a man who’s lost his bearings in middle age and is now holed up in a flat at the top of a grim highrise, looking down on the world he’s fallen out of love with.

He’s cut himself off, until one day he runs into some neighbours: a woman he used to know when they were kids, and her introverted young boy. The encounter shakes him up in a way...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published October 12th 2013)
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Kim

I didn't think that a Tim Winton novel would become a page turner, but this one did. Or at least, it did for me. It's a simple novel in many ways, and a somewhat unusual one for Winton. The natural world isn't entirely absent, but the setting is essentially urban, alternating between the Western Australian coastal city of Fremantle, and a leafy suburb of Perth just a short distance away. The central protagonist is Tom Keely, a middle-aged, formerly high-profile environmental campaigner whose car...more
Sonja
Established author swallows dictionary, spends too much of word budget on a self-indulgent protagonist, generally tries way too hard, for some mystifying reason, and gives up just when the story gets interesting. Angry.
Mersini
Oh dear. After reading Breath, I expected something amazing out of this book, but alas, I have just finished and am thinking I would like all those hours of my life back. Honestly, this has Winton's signature style of writing, the amazing language that kills you while you fall in love with it, the quiescent implication of bigger, breathtaking things hovering on the horizon, but it's all swamped and negated by the dull plot. It's a great character study of Tom Keeley who has more issues than he d...more
Tyh Lilley
Having been a fan of Tim Winton for my entire twenty seven year old life (starting with Lockie Leonard and Cloudstreet in school, and continuing from there), I wonder if I am biased in my critique. However, after reading the only two reviews of Eyrie so far, I cannot disagree more.
Eyrie is not a plot-driven story, nor do I think it is supposed to be. The joy of this story lies in the simplicity of it's it narrative, in the rawness of its characters and especially in the mundanity of the average...more
Rosebud
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean Kennedy
Tim Winton is my second-favourite contemporary author so I am probably biased coming into this, but Eyrie doesn't disappoint. He captures this moment of time, and the location, so very well. It is a brilliant snapshot of Perth and Fremantle, and the differences between the two. He has an uncanny eye, and some of his sardonic reflections of the West are ripsnorters, although there is an air of affection to them as well:

Port of Fremantle, gateway to the booming state of Western Australia. Which w
...more
Magoo
Largely a middle class, misogynistic, self indulgent ramble. I wanted to like it but I found it cliched. All of it. The characters were primarily one dimensional and stereotyped; whilst all flawed, including the irritating Doris, which should have made them interesting, they felt contrived. The reflections on politics and mining felt aspirational and rehearsed; like a try hard at a party dropping one liners and names to gain status. And the plot linear; was there really any other way it was goin...more
Bronwen
Others have commented that they found the main character Tom Keely unlikeable. I did not. Keely may have "dropped his bundle" but even on his darkest days he couldn't completely ignore the bonds of family and friendship, nor turn his back on the pull of the natural world. Though sad and hurting, deep down he still had a heart and a conscience. That's why he had to use booze and medication to try to make them stop talking for a while.
The end of the book came too soon, but there were fleeting minu...more
Michael
Tom Keely lives a life in solitude, away from the world. Somehow he has lost his bearings in his middle age and is held up in his high-rise apartment, where he can look down on the world. One day he runs into a neighbour and her introverted son. The woman recognises him from back in the day. This encounter shakes him up in a way he really doesn’t understand and he soon finds himself letting them into his life.

I’ve only read Breath by Tim Winton in the past, which I didn’t think too highly of, so...more
Sam Still Reading
Oct 12, 2013 Sam Still Reading rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially West Aussies
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: sent to me by The Reading Room
If anyone asks me about Tim Winton, I tend to reply – “Oh Cloudstreet – what a fantastic book!” (a book that can’t be ruined despite being studied in high school is extraordinarily great in my book). After reading Eyrie though, I’ll be adding it to my spiel.

Eyrie is different from Winton’s preceding novels in that it takes place completely within a city – Fremantle, Western Australia to be exact. (You can argue that Fremantle is a part of Perth, but the locals would argue that ‘Freo’ has its own...more
Julie
You'll need something steady to hold on to as you read Eyrie. It is a vertiginous wobble through lives disintegrated by the slow acid drip of despair and addiction, held together by the thinnest strands of determination, survival, and devotion. Tim Winton's latest is not for the faint of soul.

We're in familiar Winton territory here: Western Australia (“which was, you could say, like Texas. Only it was big”) and the industrial, vaguely hipster Perth suburb of Fremantle ('Freo'), with a collectio...more
Nina Jurewicz
What a massive disappointment. Great character studies and description of current culture and environment of mining towns Fremantle and Perth in Western Australia. But Winton seemed to have forgotten to include a plot and any kind of ending...I finished the book yesterday and am still wondering what happened to the ending of the book? I feel cheated.
Cathy Smith
I pushed myself to finish it. I so didn't like the main characters Keely. I also realised how much I LOVE punctuation. Why doesn't Winton use speech marks? It really screwed with my head, making reading dialogue difficult when it is usually the easiest part of the book to digest.

One exchange I did really like was when Keely was at the oboe concert, describing the effect of the music on him and then weeping, then the old lady next to him passes him a "neatly folded tissue...as if he were an anci...more
Neale
Tim Winton's novels present an interesting challenge to Western Australian readers. Few novels of any substance have been written with a West Australian setting (the early works of Randolph Stow being the notable exception), so readers have grown up living imaginatively in other cities, other countries. And for the most part, when reading about those places, we have had to take the writer at her or his word: their descriptions have been all we had to go on.

Winton is different. When he describes...more
Marisa Vernon
The language at the beginning seems a little more obvious than Winton's usually effortless prose - I struggled to engage with it, despite its beauty. Persisting through that, I found the characterisation, dialogue and setting to be heartrendingly accurate. Although as others have pointed out it was seemingly plotless, there's an amazing sense of suspense that compels continued reading. Yes, by the ending a lot is unresolved. But this didn't matter for me.

What struck me was the mightiness of the...more
John Bartlett
The problem for writers with reputations is that they sometimes escape the eyes of rigorous editors.

'Eyrie'is, as with most Tim Winton books, a broad, challenging, engaging and at times confusing read. As blasphemous as it might sound I struggled with the first few chapters, anxious to engage with Tom the main character but finding him annoying and self-indulgent.

I'm not a reader who expects to 'like' characters. If a writer makes me dislike a character it says something about the strength of hi...more
Angus Mcfarlane
A semi high rise flat in Fremantle, in a sweltering Perth summer (the only kind we know of), the broken enviro-crusader runs into a childhood family friend and her grandson, this beginning his descent from determined detachment and his path to redemption. This book has so many familiar location scenes, as well as Winton's clever ability to depict the common psychology of humans that pervades both the strong and the weak, that it was easy to feel myself in the shoes of the main character. Maybe i...more
Rob
I'm a Tim Winton fan so it jars on me to give a three star rating. I struggled with the dark undercurrent of this very urban story. I found it an uncomfortable read and that may have been due to the strong sense of class divide between the two main characters. Was the downward spiralling middle class professional Tom Keely a little too close to the bone? Was his sense of inadequacy in the brutal world of the streets uncomfortably easy to relate too? Was it an uncomfortable read because Tim actua...more
Win
This book takes a while to catch it's stride. The first 40 pages are full of cliche and one liners with plenty of nice big words thrown in for effect. If the words are not enhancing the story then they are detracting from it.
Once the story settles you start get a feel for the characters. They are broken, grating, desperate, spiraling downward with not much hope of recovery. In the end the characters fail to redeem themselves and the ending leaves a very unsatisfactory taste.
I actually liked the...more
Jo
I love Tim Winton's writing but I loathed this book. It stunk, in an almost literal sense: it is so packed with sensory details of every pong, whiff and stench; every sticky, slimy, oozy surface, that I often felt I should take a shower after reading. The characters are unlikeable and so thinly drawn that's it's just hard to care. And I really tried to care because I really like Tim Winton (did I say that already?). I think he was just trying too hard with this one. I can imagine his creative wr...more
Tony Nielsen
In my view Tim Winton is the pre-eminent Australian author and I look forward to his new novels with relish. Usually I'm a fast reader, but with this one, I dropped down a couple of gears, as I wanted to savour Winton's command of and execution of the language. Put simply he makes ordinary events seem so special in his descriptive prose. In a crazy sort of a way the story is less relevant because of the exquisite expressions we get to share courtesy of Tim Winton's imagination. That said the sto...more
Jill
As we have come to expect Tim Winton creates a strong sense of place in Eyrie. Fremantle during a summer heatwave is evoked magnificently and those familiar with this setting will nod in recognition as they read of sun baked streets, scorching westerlies and the relief of plunging into the cool Indian Ocean. But sense of place is not enough and it is the characters and plot which are the heart of any novel. Eyrie's main character Tom Keeley has withdrawn from the world after losing his job as an...more
Scott
There's no denying Tim Winton is a writer of considerable skill, but he has burdened himself with some truly sad-sack characters here that makes the book somewhat of a trudge. I actually read it quickly, but it was dank and a bit lifeless. I was looking forward to him taking on urban existence, but it fell a bit flat for me. It was very difficult to cheer anyone on in this story. I personally enjoy urban decay or characters from the margins, but I just felt that either they were cliched and irri...more
D.J. Blackmore
Tim Winton, your 'Eyrie' is an osprey above the seagulls. Words on wings that fly and breathe, refusing to remain on the pages. The bittersweet taste of humanity amidst The salt and spray of Freemantle is as keen on the tongue as it is on the heart.
Jillwilson
Dear Tim

I think you probably do location better than any other writer in Australia. It’s usually rural but this time it’s Fremantle: “gateway to the booming state of Western Australia. Which was, you could say, like Texas. Only it was big … The nation’s quarry, China’s swaggering enabler. A philistine giant …” (Eyrie) or as this reviewer has it: “here the darkness coalesces into a vision of Fremantle as a capitalist dystopia, a cesspit of no-hopers, victims and cringers: dazed and forsaken at th...more
Nigie
Well I'm halfway through my annual airport-bookshop holiday double-read, having finished Tim Winton's latest. Never having read or seen anything of his before (except the film The Turning), I've respected his intellect and love of nature for many years. So he opens with a massive head start: he's Tim Winton.

But page by page he slowly throws it away. This book has the many poignant and invigorating moments that an artist's soul will lavish on any receptive mind, but it just fails to satisfy. Whet...more
Francene Carroll
I wanted to love this book and I'm so disappointed that I didn't, but for me it was very mediocre. The characters and the plot felt undeveloped and it just seemed to meander on and on without ever going anywhere.

The main character Tom Keely is a broken man who is so jaded and bruised by his attempts to save the world that when we meet him it's hard to believe he could ever feel passionate about anything. He's on a downward spiral when he runs into a childhood acquaintance and is drawn into her...more
Connie
I've read Tim Winton's Cloud Street (twice) and Dirt Music. Cloud Street was performed at the Kennedy Center a month or so after 911. It was a terrific play. At the intermission, the audience went out on the large marble deck off the hall outside the theater. We looked up into the sky to watch the first planes allowed to fly again after the 911 attacks, and then looked other patrons in the face without saying anything. Since then, I've additionally associated the beautiful Cloud Street with the...more
Faye Barron
There are only four main characters in this book - and of them, only one really likeable adult.
The main character is TOM KEELY, a middle-aged 'fallen star' - living in hopeless depravity and making little attempt to improve his circumstances. DORIS is his kind, caring and energetic mother (the likeable character), but in spite of trying, finds it difficult to lead her son back to the pathway of a good life. Tom becomes involved in the life of childhood friend, poor, life-ravaged, needy GEMMA - w...more
Clare
I found too much time was spent with analogy, Australian terminology and the same sentence or saying said two or three times. Whilst I gave it the benefit of the doubt, thinking the main character was so deep, dark and complex that we really had to understand how he felt when he was hung over, I realise that it wasn't the case. The book was messy, the character messy, the story completely unfinished. It might make a great tv series because you could show in one shot, what was said in fifteen pag...more
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Cambridge Library...: Eyrie 2 20 Aug 06, 2014 06:10PM  
Aussie Readers: Tim Winton on Tour for Eyrie, his new novel 8 59 Oct 09, 2013 07:09PM  
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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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“He was free and unencumbered. Which is to say alone and unemployed.” 1 likes
“Here, said the nuggety bald fixture. You look dry as a camel’s cookie.” 0 likes
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