Breath by Tim Winton
A Novel

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Tim Winton is Australia’s best-loved novelist. His new work,Breath, is an extraordinary evocation of an adolescence spent resisting complacency, testing one’s limits against nature, finding like-minded souls, and discovering just how far one breath will take you. It’s a story of extremes—extreme sports and extreme emotions.  On the wild, lonely coast of Western Australia, two thrillseeking and barely adolescent boys fall into the enigmatic thrall of veteran big-wave surfer Sando. Together they form an odd but elite trio. The grown man initiates the boys into a kind of Spartan ethos, a regimen of risk and challenge, where they test themselves in storm swells on remote and shark-infested reefs, pushing each other to the edges of endurance, courage, and sanity. But where is all this heading? Why is their mentor’s past such forbidden territory? And what can explain his American wife’s peculiar behavior? Venturing beyond all limits—in relationships, in physical challenge, and in sexual behavior—there is a point where oblivion is the only outcome. Full of Winton’s lyrical genius for conveying physical sensation, Breath is a rich and atmospheric coming-of-age tale from one of world literature’s finest storytellers.

About Tim Winton

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Tim Winton has published twenty books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian/Vogel Award in 1981, he has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows, Cloudstreet, Dirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia.
Published May 27, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 228 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Breath

The New York Times

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Learning to surf, adolescent friends get caught up in a very grown-up world.

Jun 08 2008 | Read Full Review of Breath: A Novel

The Guardian

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With Breath, Winton has written an absorbing, powerful and deeply beautiful novel, a meditation on surfing which becomes a rumination about the very stuff of existence.

May 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Breath: A Novel

The Guardian

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Sando takes Loonie to Indonesia to surf without even telling Pikelet they're going, and Pikelet begins to collapse under his loneliness.

May 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Breath: A Novel

BC Books

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(And, no, Winton’s novel Cloudstreet did not take place on a cloud, so it doesn’t count.) The waves here are as memorable as the characters in other books.

Aug 08 2008 | Read Full Review of Breath: A Novel

BC Books

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Though the main story takes place during one single summer, the impact of that period is broader - giving both meaning and a pervading sense of loss and nostalgia to Bruce Pike's life and the story as a whole.

Jun 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Breath: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: A young boy takes to the surf, faces his fears and slowly enters an adult world he is totally unprepared for.

Feb 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Breath: A Novel

The Blurb

It's easy for an old man to look back and see the obvious, how wasted youth and health and safety are on the young who spurn such things, to be dismayed by the risks you took, but as a youth you do sense that life renders you powerless by dragging you b...

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