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Archives > Tim Winton - His books, his awards, his television series - What do you think?

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message 1: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I wanted to start discussion threads on some of our famous Aussie authors so we can all share our thoughts and ideas on them. If you have a favourite Aussie author that you’d like to start a discussion on please go ahead. I’m starting with Tim Winton.

I’d heard of Tim Winton but never bought any of his books because they weren’t in my preferred genre. However on the days when I was babysitting my nieces and nephews I’d started to watch a kids show on the ABC called Lockie Leonard. I was hooked on it. It reminded me so much of growing up with my family and friends, the mischief we got up to, the beaches, the conversations, the family dynamics. When I found out it was based on three novels by Tim Winton I was amazed. I borrowed the books from the library (Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo, Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster, Lockie Leonard, Legend) and loved them. I still haven’t read Breath or Cloudstreet : A Novel but I will get around to them one of these days. I know it’s very contrary but sometimes when an author is multi-award winning I find their work a little intimidating. Go figure!

What do you think of Tim Winton? Do you love him? Do you think he’s over-rated? What’s your favourite book and why?


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 12, 2010 06:38PM) (new)

Well there you go. I didn't know the Lockie Leonard was based on Tim Winton novels. My kids loved Lockie Leonard, it is quite refreshing after all the teen American shows that are on.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I've read The Rider, Cloudstreet and Breath. My next Tim Winton book is going to be Dirt Music. I love his books because they are quirky, earthy and easy to read. I love the Australian feel of them. They take you on a journey into the lives of the characters, you fall in love with them (well some of them). I would be happy to recommend his books to anyone. Start off with Cloudstreet. The First Tuesday book club did a review, I posted the link to the review under that thread if you are interested. Good luck, enjoy. :)


message 3: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments Tim Winton novels/stories are an adventure for me, I find I either love them (eg. Cloudstreet, Dirt Music, The Bugalugs Bum Thief) or hate them (eg Breath, The Riders and the first short story in Scission). I endeavour to read them all, as it is a treasure hunt.


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie (revel-in-reading) Oh, Tinm Winton! I think he is a mild-mannered genius. His work is full of humour and a deep love of humanity. He shows great compassion for our weaknesses and foibles. I have laughed out loud and cried tears of sadness while reading his books. One of his short stories (in an anthology of his work) made me decidedly uncomfortable because of the content matter (domestic violence), but the plot and characters were so realistic and utterly believable that I couldn't stop reading. I cared too much about what was going to happen. (This might have been the first story in Scission, mentioned by Dee-Ann, above).

Please don't be daunted by Winton's reputation. The books are very down-to-earth and accessible. They are about everyday people like you and me - so much so that his wonderful descriptions always bring back heaps of long-forgotten childhood memories for me. (We are of the same vintage.)

And if you love the beach...well, he's your author! (I will stop raving now). Just give him a go!


message 5: by BlueSky (new)

BlueSky | 86 comments You have inspired me to give Tim another go! :) Perhaps I have gravitated to the wrong books (Breath, The Riders ... urk!). My sister always raved about Cloud Street - I thought it was because she grew up in Bassendean in the era the book was set. Now I think I ought to read it and find out for myself. Thank you, ladies!
Jill


message 6: by BlueSky (new)

BlueSky | 86 comments Ok, I officially suck at being a Tim Winton fan. I went to the library today and read a few pages of Cloud Street ... and then Dirt Music ... I just couldn't bring myself to take either home. I tried, honest I did!


message 7: by Mandapanda (last edited Nov 13, 2010 07:41AM) (new)

Mandapanda Good on you for trying Bluesky, he's not for everyone. I see you've got other Aussie authors on your TBR shelf so you're still flying the flag!;D


message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie (revel-in-reading) Jill, you have just reminded me about the first time I read a few pages of a Tim Winton book. I honestly wondered what all the fuss was about. The writing seemed ordinary (i.e. an ordinary topic written in plain English language). But then I read a bit more...and a bit more...and I found I couldn't put the book down! The characters and pictures he built! You may well have a different experience, but I found his writing insidious in that it gradually got under my skin without my really noticing it.


message 9: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Carmel wrote: "I absolutely loved his speech for winning the Miles Franklin award. He didn't focus on himself but important issues facing publishing of books in Aust, he is champion for as many causes, he has my vote..."

What a BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT speech Carmel. It makes me feel very passionate about Australian writing. I'm going to put a link in the Aust. Literary thread as well so it gets plenty of exposure. Thanks so much for finding it for us!:D


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Oh dear, dare I? Oh, why not.

Don't like him. This is on the basis of 2 books so I could have just missed the point somehow. I read Breath for my book club. I was sooooo looking forward to it (often a bad thing as expectations are too high). I really disliked it. For 2 reasons. 1) it was boring (how much does anyone want to read about a kid surfing?) and 2) the whole premise seemed unrealistic. I don't want to put any spoilers here so I'll just say the life changing event just didn't seem that life changing to me. Like I said, I think I missed the point.

The second book I read was "Dirt Music". I chose that one because I'd seen "Cloudstreet" as a play (something like 5 hours of theatre - a good story but a sore bum by the end). Friends seemed to argue whether Dirt Music or Cloudstreet was the best. Well, I didn't actively dislike it as I had Breath, but honestly, much ado about nothing if you ask me. I've been to many (all?) of the places the book takes you and I suppose the descriptions were accurate, but a big yawn for me.

I'm really glad many of you love him, local authors need our support. I just fear I can't give mine to Mr. Winton.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura wrote: "Oh dear, dare I? Oh, why not.

Don't like him. This is on the basis of 2 books so I could have just missed the point somehow. I read Breath for my book club. I was sooooo looking forward to it (..."


Don't worry Laura we won't toss you out of the group for not being a big fan of Tim's. :D


message 12: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments Laura wrote: "Oh dear, dare I? Oh, why not.

Don't like him. This is on the basis of 2 books so I could have just missed the point somehow. I read Breath for my book club. I was sooooo looking forward to it (..."


It adds to the quality of the group when people differ in their opinions, if everyone liked the same books, how boring would Goodreads be.


message 13: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Thanks Gail and Dee-Ann for not chasing me down the street waving torches and pitch forks. This is a great group for welcoming dissenters. And I agree it adds to the interest-level if there is some variety of opinions (which is why I did post even though I seemed the odd one out).


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I have to confess to not being a fan of Peter Carey.


message 15: by Julie (last edited Nov 14, 2010 07:44PM) (new)

Julie (revel-in-reading) Ditto with Gail and Dee-Ann. To use an overused but apt cliche, variety is the spice of life!
(I love that scene in Monty Python's "The Life of Brian"...
Brian:"You are all individuals"
The crowd: "We are all individuals"
One person in the crowd: "I'm not!")


message 16: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments Julie wrote: "Ditto with Gail and Dee-Ann. To use an overused but apt cliche, variety is the spice of life!
(I love that scene in Monty Pyhton's "The Life of Brian"...
Brian:"You are all individuals"
The crowd:..."


That's great!


message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "I have to confess to not being a fan of Peter Carey."

WHAT?!?!? Don't like PC? Heresy!!! She must be a witch. Burn her - unless she floats, like very small rocks or wood (which is another Monty Python reference in case you didn't notice. This one "Holy Grail".)


message 18: by Monya (new)

Monya (monyamary) Well, dear people, I've never tried to read either Tim or Peter. I did watch Tim's speech and found it at least down to earth and sincere. But I can't even handle Patrick White. I'm not a lover of "Literature". I'm a commoner and I can prove it.

I once sat through a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet and worried all night about a dirty great mark on the front of the stage. Honestly, it looked like someone had dismembered a motorbike there the day before...

On the other hand, the concert consisted of a full "Giselle" plus a collection of excerpts from other ballets. (This was 20 years ago, on the Gold Coast). I didn't dig Giselle at all, though it was visually beautiful and I can appreciate the effort the dancers put in. (My daughter did the ballet thing for a few years.) But my favourite pieces were the passionate pas-de-deux from "Spartacus" - very lively! - and watching fascinated as Nadezda Pavlova flowed all over her partner as if she was made of water and had no bones. Unreal.

So maybe I'm not a total peasant. I just like me stories, as I said on another discussion.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of Breath. I just didn't enjoy the story. That was the first TW book I have read - it didn't make me lose faith in TW so I have Cloudstreet and Dirt Music sitting on my bookshelf to read. I am just trying to work up to reading them!


message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Christine wrote: "I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of Breath. I just didn't enjoy the story. That was the first TW book I have read - it didn't make me lose faith in TW so I have Cloudstreet and Dirt Music s..."

Christine - my advice is try Cloudstreet. If you love it, then try Dirt Music. If you don't like that, I may get the courage to give Cloudstreet a go. But somehow I think you either like all of his stuff or dislike all of it.

Good luck and let us know how you go.


message 21: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Tim Winton has a new release..'Land's Edge: A Coastal Memoir'..it sounds fabulous for all you Tim Winton readers..:)


message 22: by Tyson (new)

Tyson Adams | 54 comments I was inspired to read some Winton after it was made a study text for English class, I was studying Literature so we had Shakespeare plays instead. To say I preferred reading plays is un understatement.

So I find his writing overrated and I also take issue with the supposed accuracy of his locations and characters. Aside from that it is great that a West Aussie author is so widely recognised.


message 23: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
The new cover looks great Carmel!


message 24: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments I read Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster for a class novel in year 8, and really enjoyed it. Fun, easy, quick and interesting.
We also watch the whole television series (yeah, in class :P)
Because I enjoyed it I went on to read Lockie Leonard, Legend

My mum loves Tim Winton, so she keeps telling me to read his books.
On my bookshelf Ive got Breath, Cloudstreet, The Riders, Dirt Music and In the Winter Dark.
All of which I plan on reading. I think 'Breath' will be the first one I read, in a few weeks time.


message 25: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments Yeah, my mum said that 'Breath' is quite morbid from what she remembers.
However, it looks wonderfully fascinating, and cant wait to read it :)


message 26: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Thanks for that Carmel..really interesting. Will have to mark the date into my diary. I just sent the link through to my son :)


message 27: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Carmel wrote: "I better read that book next!!"

Yes, and Beyond Fear too.....;)


message 28: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
I got it from my library! I loved it so much I think I might buy it!! lol


message 29: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
I have been having trouble with the computer today...very slow with everything for some reason. That would probably be why. I get annoyed and press post several times!!! :)


message 30: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Carmel wrote: "Ha ha maybe that's it!
By the way Brenda, who picked Garfield for me, I'm getting a weight complex;) You know, I only noticed it yesterday!!!"


It was me.....*hides behind the counter*..but at least a week ago Carmel...hahaha!!! I love Garfield!!! :)


message 31: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Carmel wrote: "See how blind I've been around these threads, running on autopilot I think!! No need to hide under the counter, Garfield can still get down there even with a fat tummy!!LOL"

Hahahaha!!! :D


message 32: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Wow, thanks for that Carmel...interesting stuff!!


message 33: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Thanks Carmel :D


message 34: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments Anybody read In the Winter Dark? Ive got it on my shelf, and it looks really interesting. Ive only read (and loved) "Breath" and was wondering if this one is any good?


message 35: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
I haven't read that one Jessica...I was hoping you would read it, and let us know what you think ;)


message 36: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments Sure thing :D


message 37: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments Ive never heard or read a bad review of Cloudstreet...


message 38: by Luke (new)

Luke (ljuke) Carmel wrote: "★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Ive never heard or read a bad review of Cloudstreet..."

Neither have I Jessica:)"


Here's one: http://theworstofperth.com/2011/01/18...


message 39: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Ljuke wrote: "Carmel wrote: "★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Ive never heard or read a bad review of Cloudstreet..."

Neither have I Jessica:)"

Here's one: http://theworstofperth.com/2011/01/18..."


Not nice Ljuke!! :(


message 40: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments That doesnt count, since there is no reasoning. So I still have not read a 'proper' bad review. Though its nice to know not everyone loves it :/


message 41: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments Destroying books for fun makes me sad :(


message 42: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
I think he just did that to 'make an impression'! There was no review, no words to say likes or dislikes..just putting himself on youtube or similar, being destructive!! So definitely not worth even calling a 'bad review'!! No respect for books, obviously!


message 43: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Series starts on Foxtel tonight:)


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelswensson) Pity i dont have Foxtel. =/


message 45: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Yeah...and I'm pretty sure I have to pay to see mine, as it's not in the package :(


message 46: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelswensson) If anyone waches it please tell us all about it.


message 47: by Harper (new)

Harper | 23 comments I have recorded it but wont have time to watch it for a while - damn uni assignments... Cloudstreet, is actually my least favourite of all Wintons books though..


message 48: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Ooo, can't wait to hear:)


message 49: by Dhitri (new)

Dhitri Hey for those who've read Cloudstreet and watched the start of the series, do you think the TV series has done the book justice (or maybe it's much better than the book)? I just saw the first episode last time (I taped it but waited for uni assignments to finish) and loved it! There is some great acting there and the picture quality is terrific.


message 50: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70492 comments Mod
Me either...I'm hoping it'll come out on DVD soon!


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