Picador £7.99 (247pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 0870 079 8897
Breath, By Tim Winton
Friday 15 May 2009
Australian "cowboy" paramedic, Bruce Pike looks back to the teenage trauma and triumph that set the course of his ill-starred life. From cover to critics, Breath has been sold as a surfing novel.
Yes, Winton's way with a breaking wave shows off all the springy dash of of his action-laden prose. Yet, much as "Pikelet" from a deadbeat sawmill town adores the sea, what lends Breath its buzz is the kid's rite-of-passage rendezvous with love and sex.
It arrives in the shape of Eva – whose murky depths and stormy crests far surpass the ocean swell. Smelling of "shampoo and fried onions", this heroine offers thrills, and risks, no mere board can match.
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