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3.50  ·  Rating details ·  497 ratings  ·  44 reviews
'Tim Winton is the real thing: a writer who can photograph a thought and pluck out the beat of a soul on a washing line' - "Scotland on Sunday". In this, Tim Winton's first collection of short stories, the world he paints is often harsh and disturbing, inhabited by isolated, unforgiving characters. It is a world at once familiar, filled with the trappings of home and famil ...more
Paperback, 155 pages
Published February 4th 1986 by Penguin Books (first published 1985)
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Some of these early Winton stories are first-rate: "Getting Ahead", "My Father’s Axe". But some didn’t hold my attention as well: "The Woman at the Well", "Scission". MIght be just me.

Winton has a way of blending the mundane and everyday with secrecy and horror and then overlaying all of it with a sense of nostalgia. I didn’t ever live where these stories take place, but I was a kid and I did have those mixed feelings of awe and distaste for what my parents were doing.

There are stories about
Apr 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
One of my all-time favorite short story collections. The title story is nearly novella length and is composed in sections and represents fragmentary experience in the matter that "scission" suggests. "A Blow, A Kiss" is just an awesome story—when the dying motorcyclist reaches up for Albie, wow. "A Measure of Eloquence" mingles love and death and a young couple's awakening when they honeymoon in the wrong place. Somehow Winton manages to avoid the easy trap of sentimentality and cliché, so it's ...more
Scission is the first collection of short stories published by Winton. They were written in the first half of the 1980s and are probably, along with his novel “An Open Swimmer”, among the first of his literary efforts.

I have read almost all of Winton’s adult works and have enjoyed the entire lot. These 12 stories are among my least favorite, not because they are less than engaging but because they are not enveloped in the exquisitely dynamic, lyrical prose that is one of his hallmarks. This coll
Apr 14, 2010 marked it as to-read
read first short story ... depressing. Might not read more ... will see.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
“Scission” like scissors is about cutting / severing and all these stories are examples of people who are cut off from, or lose, others. As such it’s a pretty depressing set of short stories. While the prose is lovely, I’d recommend reading a story then reading something else then reading another story. It’s feels like you’re being pummelled to read 12 bleak or unhappy stories in a row.
Susanne Mills
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. Lots of variety to keep me interested. Good read :)
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Each story a little stab at your psyche. Each story totally memorable and with some horrible human flaw so clearly spelled out even though some of them are only five pages long. Although I'm generally a fan of absorbing things that make me happy rather than feel disturbed I can't help but be a fan of Tim Winton because me makes me feel. This is his first book of short stories, his first. What a freak! ...more
Anna Hepworth
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some goods stories, some more than others. They all share some degree o subtle violence, and family relationships (father and son mostly). I liked the creepy ones, but the vast majority seem to go nowhere, something more like an exercise of style in writing rather than anything else. I imagined something harsher, direct, less wordy, some of the stories seem taken straight out of a cheesy soap opera, not too many though. I praise his capacity for creating some vivid images, especially the scenery ...more
Martin Kelly
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Delightful. Absolutely delightful. I had just finished reading a couple of post-apocalyptic/fantasy type novels that were - meh, okay - when I felt I needed a break & downloaded this beautiful collection of short stories. I'd read some of the author's novels and was very taken & impressed.
These short stories are just so good. They are little snippets of life. Cross-sections in peoples' lives. A window; snapshot. And though they may be at times a little minimalist, this is attractive. In places,
Garry Driver's 'Writing Fiction: an Introduction to the Craft', which I read in parallel to this, commented that the short story had much evolved. Tim Winton illustrates this perfectly, as he also shows up the difference between them and novels.

For me, these were a lot less enjoyable. Which is not to say they were bad, just not to my taste, whereas Winton's longer, later novels are among my favourites. Is there perhaps something over-indulgent in the form?
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-year-diss, uni
this was good! nice and short so an easy read for the diss, and some of the stories were really great. my favourites were probably “a blow, a kiss”, “neighbours” and “a measure of eloquence”. it was really interesting to read this after postcards from surfers because winton and garner are so different in their subject matter. might mention this one in my final draft!
Tash Green
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found some short stories to be more gripping than others... but there were some absolute stand outs. "A blow, a kiss" left me with goose bumps. "My Father's Axe" also had me hook, line and sinker. Winton writes with grit, humour, and an ability to make the mundane sound beautiful. ...more
Catherine Baker
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The short stories are full of sharp twists without resolutions that demands a re-read to come to terms with the narrative as a whole, the choice of writing style and reflection within your own perception of the story.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for Tim Winton. ...more
Natasha Hurley-Walker
Evocative and bleak... in a good way? I'm in an Australiana mood... ...more
Brutal at times, burning at the point of conflict, uncomfortable and so true.
Boy Blue
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: australia, lit-fic
You can see the kernels that will soon burst into some of Australia's best modern writing but here they are hard and cold. ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Nice stories. Melancholy.
Kathy Turner
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Scission is the perfect title for Tim Winton’s first collection of short stories (published 1985). According to the Oxford English Dictionary (online) scission is a word both for ‘the action or state of cutting or being cut … chiefly … the breakage of a chemical bond’ and also the word for the ‘division or split between people or parties’. It is the exquisite pain of, the process of cutting a bond, as well as the pain of the division, that Winton explores so masterfully in this collection.
I don’
Lorene Mozsa
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Loved the shock and surprise at the end of almost every story. A great collection.
Steve Petherbridge
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Tim Winton , the Perth writer is just not my cup of tea. I've now read a novel and this collection of short stories. In my opinion there are simply better exponents of the short story genre. This book just didn't grab me and was a bit of an effort to complete. I usually toss a book at 50 pages on a park bench, but, persisted with this smallish book, hoping the author would deliver something special in the next piece. I do accept that he has been lauded, especially at home, and is well respected ...more
Daniel Jon Kershaw
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it

I continually say that Winton is a literary gem, not just for Perth, but for the planet Earth. However, I found that his spare and image driven narrative doesn't really suit the short story realm. A lot of these stories were good, but unfortunately suffered from what I can only call the 'Stephen King Ending', which basically means he has created this fantastic journey and tone, only to throw it away at the finish.

Now, if only he could get back to novels, instead of those 'plays' he has been writ
Larry Schlesinger
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
‘Scission’ mean the act of division, separation, cutting or severing and is the theme that overrides 13 exquisite short stories in a Tim Winton‘s book that bears this title.

Arguably, Tim Winton is Australia’s greatest living writer, a masterful story-teller whose skills have been recognised both in Australia and overseas. Reading his long form novels is an intense experience with quirky, awkward and archetypal Australian characters that live and breathe beyond the page.

For the full review go to:
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
These stories are mostly told by middle-class white male protagonists, but flow well; Winton's writing (oxymoronically) shines best when dark. Even the shortest story here feels meaty, and weighs on the mind once read. I felt though that the compilation was stacked unevenly, with all the best tales at the front of the book. Either that or the voice ran thin by the end; I have a feeling that maybe Scission is better read story by story rather than front to back. While the novelty of the short sto ...more
This is my first Tim Winton book I picked from a secondhand bookstore. Winton is an author introduced by an old friend. With 13 different short stories I get a taste of the simple yet harrowing experience of storytelling by this Australian author. Words used are so organic and precise, capturing the moments from the simplest daily dawdling in "Secrets" to the fatal gunshot and McCullough's maniacal religious delusion in "Scission". Prose is stripped from literary jargon and simile (which I tend ...more
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have to be in the mood to read short stories as they require a different sort of attention span. You cannot gloss over a story as each word is meaningful to plot development, character analysis, ending. This is the first series of short stories by Tim Winton that I have read/listened to on audio some of which I enjoyed immensely. I have grown accustomed to his Australian characters but they do not disappoint. His observations of the human condition make us laugh at ourselves in a familiar way. ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This collection of short stories has most of the hallmarks that Tim Winton went on to develop in Cloudstreet: depictions of everyday settings with a deep, underlying sense of mystery and unease, as if something were always lurking beneath the surface.

Some of the stories fell rather flat for me - "Neighbours" and "Wilderness" among others, which I found rather simplistic and maybe lacking the depth found in the best stories of the volume. Others, such as "The Oppressed" and the title story, "Scis
George K. Ilsley
I read a couple of Winton's novels some time ago and remember loving them. This collection of stories I found uneven -- or at least my interest was unevenly grabbed. Some pieces are very enigmatic, and others drift off into a kind of nebulous magic realism.

On the other hand, Winton is clearly a writer of power and scope and I intend to read more from this writer. And perhaps revisit those novels.
Cathleen Ross
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I always read Winton's work with a sense of irritation. The writing is literary but there are times I have to read and reread to get a sense of what is going on. Some of the stories are disturbing, which they are meant to be, others seem pointless. I love the imagery and the sharpness of the prose, but the practical side of me questions the insensible actions of some of the characters. ...more
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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

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