16 October, 2014

Book Review - Eyrie

From Goodreads: 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 he doesn’t understand. Despite himself, Keely lets them in.
What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting – populated by unforgettable characters. It asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing..

Thoughts: Does anyone do self absorbed characters like Tim Winton? He's also the master of the character driven novel. He takes mundane ordinary people who, lets face it, are often having a shit time, and make you want to know what happens to their sad, ordinary lives. Against all odds he makes you care about them.
Tom Keely's life is a mess. Instead of turning this into a "watch a good man pull himself up by his bootstraps" kind of book, Winton lets Keely wallow in his misery. What's more, he complicates things further with the introduction of Gemma, a girl from his childhood and Kai her six year old grandson. Everything that occurs simply leads the hapless Keely into deeper and deeper trouble until you wonder if he'll ever be able to extract himself.
Don't read this looking for an uplifting story. Don't read it looking for resolution. Read it for Winton's beautiful sparse use of language, his chronically flawed characters and his portrayal of life in all its messiness.