21 February, 2014
Book Review: The Turning
From Goodreads: Tim Winton is undisputedly one of the finest storytellers working in the English language. Now he gives us seventeen exquisite, overlapping stories of second thoughts and mid-life regret - extraordinary tales of ordinary people from ordinary places. Here are turnings of all kinds - changes of heart, nasty surprises, slow awakenings, sudden detours - where people struggle against the terrible weight of the past and challenge the lives they've made for themselves.
Brilliantly crafted, and as tender as it is challenging, "The Turning" dissects and celebrates the moments when the light shines through.
Thoughts: All the stories in the Turning are linked, either by character or place. All have some link to Winton's fictional Western Australian coastal town Angelus. As you read, you are looking for the links, smiling when you spot the familiar and settle in to see what has been going on, where on the timeline this story fits.
Each story features an event in one of the characters lives, a turning point that has significance. Like all of Winton's work, the writing is masterful. One review I read on Goodreads described each page as a masterclass in technique.
The thing with Winton though is his technical brilliance doesn't create a text that you have to wade through. It a literary text that accessible and easy to read. It's what truly great literature should be - writing so flawless you don't realise how immersed you are in the story until it ends or someone interrupts you. Writing you don't read, but absorb.
As I say after any Winton read - read it. The man is by far and away Australia's best writer.