The Shepherd’s Hut – Tim Winton

 

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What a story! What a book! What a writer!
Yes: I’m in rave mode.
Yes: I’m a Tim Winton fan.
If you’ve never tried him, I double dare you to read a book by this major Australian writer.
The Shepherd’s Hut is a coming of age story, a story of harshness, brutality, the landscape, Australia in all its gritty sunbaked elemental nature – the scrub, the roos, the emus, the flies, the sun, the salt pans, the thirst, the heat, the stars, the bush. Life and Nature – raw, beautiful and terrible. And it all unfolds in this heart-breaking page turner. Runaway teenage boy Jaxie, stumbles upon outcast exiled Fintan; with unexpected results. The story shows two shattered lives colliding and briefly intertwining, changing their life paths forever. The ending packs a wallop of a surprise, and the final pages end on a hopeful note, linking neatly with the opening.

 
Tim Winton is that rare writer who can switch from action and harshness to tender passages, with a smooth segue that effortlessly carries the reader onwards, without an uncomfortable changing of gears, to a different emotional plane.
This is a book you simply have to read. Fintan and Jaxie will remain with me for a long time to come.

 
AFTERWORD
When is the Nobel Literature Prize Committee going to start reading, considering, this marvelous writer?  Has he been ignored because he’s too Australian? Too rude, crude, down and dirty Australian perhaps for their refined, delicate European sensibilities? A man who has published over twenty books for adults and children, won umpteen literary prizes, been on the Booker lists (twice); and translated into many languages. A substantial body of work, surely, if this is the deciding criteria? Yoo-hoo, Stockholm: wake up!

8 thoughts on “The Shepherd’s Hut – Tim Winton

    1. Currently The Shepherd’s Hut; but also the first novel I read: Breath, which made a huge impression on me. However, he’s most famous for Cloudstreet which I have yet to read. I finally found a 2nd hand copy & it’s on my TBR shelf. He’s a powerful writer, you’re in for a treat. Let me know your reaction to your first TW read. I wouldn’t recommend Dirt Music. The only book of his that I didn’t enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Cloudstreet takes a bit to get into and may be longer if not Australian but stick with it because it does evolve so much. It took me three tries and when it clicked I love it. Just love it. I enjoyed Breath and Shepherd’s Hut very nuch too though I thought the ending of S Hut was very quick after the steadily paced, often slow story beforehand. He is a wonderful writer. I saw him in conversation with Richard Flanagan years ago. They were both wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m currently reading (albeit slowly) White’s The Tree of Man – another Australian who waited a long time for international recognition and finally received the Nobel prize. Sounds like I should try something from Winton too.

    Liked by 1 person

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