Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reading in 2014 - Dirt Music

Dirt Music by Tim Winton

Dirt Music'Set in the dramatic landscape of Western Australia, "Dirt Music" is a love story about people stifled by grief and regret; a novel about the odds of breaking with the past and about the lure of music. Dirt music, Fox tells Georgie, is "anything you can play on a verandah or porch, without electricity." Even in the wild, Luther cannot escape it. There is, he discovers, no silence in nature.

Ambitious, perfectly calibrated, "Dirt Music" resonates with suspense and supercharged emotion -- and it confirms Tim Winton's status as the preeminent Australian novelist of his generation.'
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tim Winton's writing is quite amazing. He can write a scene and have you there, smelling the salt-water, feeling the gritty sand in your clothes and the relentless heat of the sun, yet he does it with a masterful use of fairly sparse language. With Winton I never feel bogged down in pages of description of trees or light or landscapes (unlike Bryce Courtney as one example).

For me though, the plot and characters in this one were a bit underwhelming. I often wondered where the story was heading and was left scratching my head at the end with no resolution. It was a fairly convoluted tale with lots of side stories that were never explored or developed. The back stories of the main characters were heavily hinted at but never explained, and to be able to empathise or simply understand the relationships and actions of the characters you needed those back stories.

I was left unsatisfied with far too many 'Why?'s to be able to say this was a great book.

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