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The Turning: New Stories

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The Turning: New Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780743276931
ISBN10: 0743276930
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Seventeen searing stories with characters that come and go throughout the collection. To me, Winton is at his best in his shorter novels and stories. The Turning is no exception. If you are looking for nice, warm, endearing fiction, this is not a book for you. Winton's setting is small town Australia, places without much going for them, and his characters don't have much chance of getting out. The range of emotions felt and endured by character and reader is wide. Concise, brutal, and well worth reading.
Recommended by Chris Faatz, Powells.com

Seventeen searing stories with characters that come and go throughout the collection. To me, Winton is at his best in his shorter novels and stories. The Turning is no exception. If you are looking for nice, warm, endearing fiction, this is not a book for you. Winton's setting is small town Australia, places without much going for them, and his characters don't have much chance of getting out. The range of emotions felt and endured by character and reader is wide. Concise, brutal, and well worth reading.
Recommended by Brodie, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Tim Winton's stunning collection of connected stories is about turnings of all kinds — changes of heart, slow awakenings, nasty surprises and accidents, sudden detours, resolutions made or broken. Brothers cease speaking to each other, husbands abandon wives and children, grown men are haunted by childhood fears. People struggle against the weight of their own history and try to reconcile themselves to their place in the world. With extraordinary insight and tenderness, Winton explores the demons and frailties of ordinary people whose lives are not what they had hoped.

Set on a coastal stretch of Western Australia, The Turning ranges in time from the seventies to the present. A few characters appear in several stories, gradually revealing themselves and the sources of their obsessions and rage. Winton is a master at capturing the urgency of memory, the way an entire life can be shaped by one event deep in the past.

Yet these same broken lives often are illuminated and redeemed by nature, by the sheer magnificence of the Australian sky and sea. "Right now," says the narrator of one story, "I don't care what happens....In the hot northern dusk, the world suddenly gets big around us, so big we just give in and watch." In the presence of Tim Winton's immense talent, the reader, too, just gives in and listens.

Review:

"Well-known in his native Australia and twice shortlisted for the Man Booker, Winton (Dirt Music, etc.) is overdue for wider recognition in the U.S. This collection of linked stories showcases his strengths: memorable characters colliding with the moments that define them — for better or worse — and clean, evocative prose that captures the often stultifying life in smalltown Western Australia. In the title story, Raelene, a young wife and mother living in a trailer park with her abusive husband, Max, becomes fascinated with her happy new neighbors; the seemingly perfect couple's influence sets Raelene on a muddled path toward self-examination, resulting in a transformation shocking for both its brutality and navet. 'Sand' reveals Max's cruelty as a young boy — he tries to bury his younger brother alive — while 'Family' shows the two brothers meeting again as adults, with the balance of power between them shifting dramatically. Another character, Vic, is central to the book: he appears as an awkward adolescent fixated on unattainable older girls, as a young man coping with the legacy of his father's alcoholism and abandonment, and as a middle-aged man unable to come to terms with his past. Winton reveals a wide but finely turned swath of simmering inner lives; the sweetness of these stories, as well as their sharp bite, feels earned and real. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[S]pellbinding....Winton creates a sense of place so profound one can almost smell the oily fumes from marine slaughterhouses. More than isolated vignettes, Winton's stories are of a whole, seamless, sensuous, and utterly captivating." Booklist

Review:

"These stories convey the quiet authority of a man at ease in a fictional territory he can legitimately call his own...a writer whose work is informed by an intimate and unsentimental connection with a particular landscape and the lives it sustains." The Guardian (U.K.)

Review:

"The short story has become less popular in recent decades, but Winton's newest collection could convert confirmed novel readers....With this work, Winton...has something that is more than the sum of its parts. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Winton writes with rare sympathy about memory and loss, and gruff tenderness about losers and dreamers. In The Turning, the same tropes and themes, the small towns and a stunning and unyielding landscape, offer him a great and enduring drama. He is a writer of supreme integrity and honesty." Colm Toíbín, author of The Master

Review:

"A writer of crystalline, luminous prose...Winton's unbounded humanity and his sympathy for his characters descend on them like grace as they struggle to salvage their lives. To read him is to be reminded not just of the possibilities of fiction but of the human heart." The Times (London)

Review:

"The beauty of Winton's work lies not in the hope to which some characters awaken, but in his skill at making grief palpable to readers who may be unscathed by the agonies that his characters suffer." The Observer (U.K.)

Review:

"Vivid, elegiac and humorous...The Turning bridges the gulf between short story and novel." The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

About the Author

Tim Winton grew up on the coast of Western Australia, where he continues to live. He is the author of eighteen books. His epic novel Cloudstreet was adapted for the theater and has been performed around the world. His two most recent novels, Dirt Music and The Riders, were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has won the prestigious Miles Franklin Award three times, and in 1998 the Australian National Trust declared Winton a national living treasure. The Turning has already won the 2005 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Mo-Mo75, January 18, 2010 (view all comments by Mo-Mo75)
Beautifully written, The Turning is an amazing book of monumental proportions. The modern Winesburg, Ohio; Tim Winton outdoes himself with this collection of stories.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
jeremobi, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by jeremobi)
Winton captures the fears and longing of his characters with seeming ease. Each of these stories leaves you pondering your own past experiences, present relationships, and possible futures. More than a few of the stories simply blow you away.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
litfan, July 1, 2006 (view all comments by litfan)
Once you begin to see what Winton sets out to accomplish here, sheer awe sets in. These stories bristle and shimmer, forming a many-faceted gem. They reveal how we are shaped by past experiences and how at times we remain captive to them, at times transcend them. Winton's landscapes invade the mind's eye, reverberate long after the book has been put down. The way in which the characters gradually bind themselves to the reader's heart is as mysterious as the worlds they inhabit. Highly recommended reading.
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(12 of 26 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743276931
Subtitle:
New Stories
Author:
Winton, Tim
Publisher:
Scribner
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Australia
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Scribner
Publication Date:
September 13, 2005
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.54x6.36x1.07 in. 1.21 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Turning: New Stories Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743276931 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Seventeen searing stories with characters that come and go throughout the collection. To me, Winton is at his best in his shorter novels and stories. The Turning is no exception. If you are looking for nice, warm, endearing fiction, this is not a book for you. Winton's setting is small town Australia, places without much going for them, and his characters don't have much chance of getting out. The range of emotions felt and endured by character and reader is wide. Concise, brutal, and well worth reading.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Seventeen searing stories with characters that come and go throughout the collection. To me, Winton is at his best in his shorter novels and stories. The Turning is no exception. If you are looking for nice, warm, endearing fiction, this is not a book for you. Winton's setting is small town Australia, places without much going for them, and his characters don't have much chance of getting out. The range of emotions felt and endured by character and reader is wide. Concise, brutal, and well worth reading.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Well-known in his native Australia and twice shortlisted for the Man Booker, Winton (Dirt Music, etc.) is overdue for wider recognition in the U.S. This collection of linked stories showcases his strengths: memorable characters colliding with the moments that define them — for better or worse — and clean, evocative prose that captures the often stultifying life in smalltown Western Australia. In the title story, Raelene, a young wife and mother living in a trailer park with her abusive husband, Max, becomes fascinated with her happy new neighbors; the seemingly perfect couple's influence sets Raelene on a muddled path toward self-examination, resulting in a transformation shocking for both its brutality and navet. 'Sand' reveals Max's cruelty as a young boy — he tries to bury his younger brother alive — while 'Family' shows the two brothers meeting again as adults, with the balance of power between them shifting dramatically. Another character, Vic, is central to the book: he appears as an awkward adolescent fixated on unattainable older girls, as a young man coping with the legacy of his father's alcoholism and abandonment, and as a middle-aged man unable to come to terms with his past. Winton reveals a wide but finely turned swath of simmering inner lives; the sweetness of these stories, as well as their sharp bite, feels earned and real. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[S]pellbinding....Winton creates a sense of place so profound one can almost smell the oily fumes from marine slaughterhouses. More than isolated vignettes, Winton's stories are of a whole, seamless, sensuous, and utterly captivating."
"Review" by , "These stories convey the quiet authority of a man at ease in a fictional territory he can legitimately call his own...a writer whose work is informed by an intimate and unsentimental connection with a particular landscape and the lives it sustains."
"Review" by , "The short story has become less popular in recent decades, but Winton's newest collection could convert confirmed novel readers....With this work, Winton...has something that is more than the sum of its parts. Recommended."
"Review" by , "Winton writes with rare sympathy about memory and loss, and gruff tenderness about losers and dreamers. In The Turning, the same tropes and themes, the small towns and a stunning and unyielding landscape, offer him a great and enduring drama. He is a writer of supreme integrity and honesty."
"Review" by , "A writer of crystalline, luminous prose...Winton's unbounded humanity and his sympathy for his characters descend on them like grace as they struggle to salvage their lives. To read him is to be reminded not just of the possibilities of fiction but of the human heart."
"Review" by , "The beauty of Winton's work lies not in the hope to which some characters awaken, but in his skill at making grief palpable to readers who may be unscathed by the agonies that his characters suffer."
"Review" by , "Vivid, elegiac and humorous...The Turning bridges the gulf between short story and novel."
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