Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

Breath: A Novel

by

Breath: A Novel Cover

 

Staff Pick

Small things can deliver the biggest wallop. At just over 200 pages, Tim Winton's Breath is a slim but breathtakingly potent novel about coming of age, the bonds that unite us, and the rifts that can tear us apart with lifelong consequences. Lovers of vivid prose surely already know the name Tim Winton -- but if you don't, this is a perfect introduction you'll never forget.
Recommended by John E, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 thrill-seeking 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.

Review:

"Signature Reviewed by David MaineThis slender book packs an emotional wallop. Two thrill-seeking boys, Bruce and Loonie, are young teenagers in smalltown Australia, circa the early 1970s. Their attraction is focused on the water — ponds, rivers, the sea — but they do little more than play around until they fall in with a mysterious, older man named Sando. He recognizes their daredevil wildness and takes it upon himself to teach them to surf. As the boys become more skilled, their exploits become more reckless; narrator Bruce (nicknamed 'Pikelet') has doubts about where all this is heading, while the aptly named Loonie wants only bigger and bolder thrills. This mix of doubt and desire intensifies when the boys make a discovery about their mentor's past.Surfing isn't the only dangerous game in town. As Sando's attentions and favor flip-flop from one boy to the other, the rivalry between the two, present from the beginning, grows stronger and more sinister. Sando's American wife, Eva, becomes more of a presence, too. She walks with a limp, has plenty of secrets of her own and becomes increasingly involved in Pikelet's life, in ways that even a 15-year-old might recognize as not entirely appropriate. Winton's language, often terse, never showy, hovers convincingly between a teenager's inarticulateness and the staccato delivery of a grown man: 'So there we were, this unlikely trio. A select and peculiar club, a tiny circle of friends, a cult, no less. Sando and his maniacal apprentices.' The language manages to summon up both the uncertain teenager and the jaded adult: 'It transpired that I was not, after all, immune to a dare,' Pikelet tells us at one point, with both the breathtaking unawareness of the boy and the irony of the man.Told from the perspective of the narrator's present life as a paramedic, Breath aims to recapture a long-passed episode in a boy's life and show how this shaped the man he grew into. The story contemplates what it means to be less ordinary in an era when 'extreme' sports hadn't even been recognized. (The fear of being ordinary is one of the terrors that drives these daredevils to push themselves ever further.) The author of 13 previous books, Winton is well-known in Australia and should be here. He touches upon important themes, of death, life, breathing and its absence, while looking dispassionately upon the relentless pursuit of thrills, pleasure, sex, status: the mundane obsessions of the ordinary and extraordinary alike. David Maine is the author of Fallen; The Book of Samson; and, most recently, Monster, 1959." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

I used to teach an undergraduate class in Australian literature. It was open to non-English majors and fulfilled a general requirement, so routinely a couple of hundred disaffected youths would crowd into a large classroom and emerge, at the end of the course, as dithering fanatics saving up for plane fare to Australia. They fell dead in love; they loved Peter Carey, Elizabeth Jolley and Thea Astley,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Winton is pitch perfect in capturing...adolescent angst, and he describes surfing and the sea so thrillingly that even nonswimmers will want to plunge right in." Library Journal

Review:

"Lyricism empowers this stoner rite-of-passage saga, which also conveys a timeless pathos." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Tim Winton is Australias best-loved novelist. His new work,Breath, is an extraordinary evocation of an adolescence spent resisting complacency, testing ones limits against nature, finding like-minded souls, and discovering just how far one breath will take you. Its 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 mentors past such forbidden territory? And what can explain his American wifes 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 Wintons lyrical genius for conveying physical sensation, Breath is a rich and atmospheric coming-of-age tale from one of world literatures finest storytellers.

Synopsis:

Breath is a story of risk, of learning one's limits by challenging death. On the wild, lonely coast of Western Australia, two thrill-seeking teenage boys fall under the spell of a veteran big-wave surfer named Sando. Their mentor urges them into a regiment of danger and challenge, and the boys test themselves and each other on storm swells and over shark-haunted reefs. The boys give no thought to what they could lose, or to the demons that drive their mentor on into ever-greater danger. Venturing beyond all caution--in sports, relationships, and sex--each character approaches a point from which none of them will return undamaged.

About the Author

Tim Winton was born in Perth, Western Australia, and is the preeminent Australian novelist of his generation. He has written twenty books, including the bestselling novels Cloudstreet, The Riders, and Dirt Music.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374116347
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Picador
Author:
Winton, Tim
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Coming of age
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090526
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.11 x 6.06 x 0.9 in
Age Level:
Coming of Age

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age

Breath: A Novel
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 224 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374116347 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Small things can deliver the biggest wallop. At just over 200 pages, Tim Winton's Breath is a slim but breathtakingly potent novel about coming of age, the bonds that unite us, and the rifts that can tear us apart with lifelong consequences. Lovers of vivid prose surely already know the name Tim Winton -- but if you don't, this is a perfect introduction you'll never forget.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Signature Reviewed by David MaineThis slender book packs an emotional wallop. Two thrill-seeking boys, Bruce and Loonie, are young teenagers in smalltown Australia, circa the early 1970s. Their attraction is focused on the water — ponds, rivers, the sea — but they do little more than play around until they fall in with a mysterious, older man named Sando. He recognizes their daredevil wildness and takes it upon himself to teach them to surf. As the boys become more skilled, their exploits become more reckless; narrator Bruce (nicknamed 'Pikelet') has doubts about where all this is heading, while the aptly named Loonie wants only bigger and bolder thrills. This mix of doubt and desire intensifies when the boys make a discovery about their mentor's past.Surfing isn't the only dangerous game in town. As Sando's attentions and favor flip-flop from one boy to the other, the rivalry between the two, present from the beginning, grows stronger and more sinister. Sando's American wife, Eva, becomes more of a presence, too. She walks with a limp, has plenty of secrets of her own and becomes increasingly involved in Pikelet's life, in ways that even a 15-year-old might recognize as not entirely appropriate. Winton's language, often terse, never showy, hovers convincingly between a teenager's inarticulateness and the staccato delivery of a grown man: 'So there we were, this unlikely trio. A select and peculiar club, a tiny circle of friends, a cult, no less. Sando and his maniacal apprentices.' The language manages to summon up both the uncertain teenager and the jaded adult: 'It transpired that I was not, after all, immune to a dare,' Pikelet tells us at one point, with both the breathtaking unawareness of the boy and the irony of the man.Told from the perspective of the narrator's present life as a paramedic, Breath aims to recapture a long-passed episode in a boy's life and show how this shaped the man he grew into. The story contemplates what it means to be less ordinary in an era when 'extreme' sports hadn't even been recognized. (The fear of being ordinary is one of the terrors that drives these daredevils to push themselves ever further.) The author of 13 previous books, Winton is well-known in Australia and should be here. He touches upon important themes, of death, life, breathing and its absence, while looking dispassionately upon the relentless pursuit of thrills, pleasure, sex, status: the mundane obsessions of the ordinary and extraordinary alike. David Maine is the author of Fallen; The Book of Samson; and, most recently, Monster, 1959." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Winton is pitch perfect in capturing...adolescent angst, and he describes surfing and the sea so thrillingly that even nonswimmers will want to plunge right in."
"Review" by , "Lyricism empowers this stoner rite-of-passage saga, which also conveys a timeless pathos."
"Synopsis" by ,
Tim Winton is Australias best-loved novelist. His new work,Breath, is an extraordinary evocation of an adolescence spent resisting complacency, testing ones limits against nature, finding like-minded souls, and discovering just how far one breath will take you. Its 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 mentors past such forbidden territory? And what can explain his American wifes 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 Wintons lyrical genius for conveying physical sensation, Breath is a rich and atmospheric coming-of-age tale from one of world literatures finest storytellers.
"Synopsis" by ,
Breath is a story of risk, of learning one's limits by challenging death. On the wild, lonely coast of Western Australia, two thrill-seeking teenage boys fall under the spell of a veteran big-wave surfer named Sando. Their mentor urges them into a regiment of danger and challenge, and the boys test themselves and each other on storm swells and over shark-haunted reefs. The boys give no thought to what they could lose, or to the demons that drive their mentor on into ever-greater danger. Venturing beyond all caution--in sports, relationships, and sex--each character approaches a point from which none of them will return undamaged.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.