9780743228480

Dirt Music: A Novel

Winton, Tim

ISBN 10: 0743228480 / 0-7432-2848-0
ISBN 13: 9780743228480
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Winner of The Miles Franklin Literary Award, The Christina Stead Award, WA Premier's Book of the Year, Book Data/ABA Book of the Year Award, Goodreading Award-Readers Choice Book of the Year
Set in the dramatic landscape of Western Australia, Dirt Music tells the story of Luther Fox, a broken man who makes his living as an illegal fisherman -- a shamateur. Before everyone in his family was killed in a freak rollover, Fox grew melons and counted stars and loved playing his guitar. Now, his life has become a "project of forgetting." Not until he meets Georgie Jutland, the wife of White Point's most prosperous fisherman, does Fox begin to dream again and hear the dirt music -- "anything you can play on a verandah or porch," he tells Georgie, "without electricity." Like the beat of a barren heart, nature is never silent. Ambitious and perfectly calibrated, Dirt Music resonates with suspense, emotion, and timeless truths.

Review:
Arguably one of the finest of all Australian novelists, Tim Winton shows that he remains in top form with Dirt Music, a wistful, charged, ardent novel of female loss and amatory redemption. The setting is Winton's favorite: the thorn-bushed, sheep-farmed, sun-punished boondocks of Western Australia. The cast is limited but spirited: the two chief protagonists are Georgie Jutland, a fortysomething adoptive mother with a vodka problem, and Luther Fox, a brooding, feral, bushwhacking poacher.

The plot is something else altogether: an elegantly wearied, cleverly finessed mutual odyssey that opts to follow the sometimes intertwining, sometimes diverging lives of poor Georgie and Luther as they try to deal with the odd alliance they comprise, as well as the complex and fractured lives they want to leave behind. The way Georgie deals with her unwitting inheritance of two dissatisfied adopted kids is particularly touching, poignant, and well written.

Best of all, though, is the prose. Somehow it manages to be simultaneously juicy and dry, like a desert cactus. This is especially true when Winton touches on the scented harshness of the Down Under outback: "the music is jagged and pushy and he for one just doesn't want to bloody hear it, but the outbursts of strings and piano are as austere and unconsoling as the pindan plain out there with its spindly acacia and red soil." This is a wise and accomplished novel. --Sean Thomas, Amazon.co.uk

Review

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