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Eyrie : Longlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Award - Tim Winton

Eyrie

Longlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Award

Hardcover

Published: 14th October 2013
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Published: 12th October 2013
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Published: 1st October 2013
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Tom Keely's reputation is in ruins.
And that's the upside.

Divorced and unemployed, he's lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he's retired hurt and angry. He's done fighting the good fight, and well past caring.

But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he's not safe from entanglement. All it takes is an awkward encounter in the lobby. A woman from his past, a boy the likes of which he's never met before. Two strangers leading a life beyond his experience and into whose orbit he falls despite himself.

What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting. Inhabited by unforgettable characters, Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.

Read John Purcell's Review

While reading Tim Winton's latest novel, Eyrie, I couldn't help thinking about Charlotte Wood's Animal People, Zadie Smith's NW and to a lesser extent, Julian Barnes' Sense of an Ending. All four books have been published in the last five years. Each chronicles the lives of people making do within a society they have inherited. Each book is despairing of the turn the western world has taken. Each searches for some sign that all is not lost.

Eyrie takes things one step further. All is lost in Tim Winton's book. There is no hope whatsoever. The backdrop to Winton's despair is the West Australian government's acquiescence to the needs of mining companies. His protagonist Tom Keely, a onetime prominent local environmentalist, is a defeated man. The tide of his life is out and all is exposed to the unforgiving sun. But it is at this moment someone from the forgotten past enters his life. She is all life has to offer him now. There are no easy choices. The route back to life promises to be unforgiving and without reward. Can Tom Keely pull himself together one last time?

The lesson here is, if there is a lesson, "ashes or diamonds, foe or friend, we're all equal in the end".

About the Author

Tim Winton has published twenty-one 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.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Eyrie
 
4.1

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

70%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (8)
  • Deserves multiple readings (6)
  • Engaging characters (6)
  • Page-turner (6)
  • Easy to read (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older readers (5)
    • Gift (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Bookworm (5), Everyday reader (4)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    'Engages from the first word.'

    'Eyrie' is Tim Winton at his best - full of humour and rich metaphors that are probably most relevant and meaningful to Australian readers. Multiple layers of meaning target the book to a...Read complete review

    'Eyrie' is Tim Winton at his best - full of humour and rich metaphors that are probably most relevant and meaningful to Australian readers. Multiple layers of meaning target the book to a wide audience.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Over descriptive

    I found this book was over written, it seemed each sentence had too many descriptive words in them. It was a slow slog to get through this book. Disappointing ending too!

    I found this book was over written, it seemed each sentence had too many descriptive words in them. It was a slow slog to get through this book. Disappointing ending too!

    Reviewed by 10 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-10

    Back to top

     
    3.0

    Over descriptive

    By Saltwater Girl

    from Broome

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Not What I Expected

      Best Uses

        Comments about Eyrie:

        I found this book was over written, it seemed each sentence had too many descriptive words in them. It was a slow slog to get through this book. Disappointing ending too!

        Comment on this review

         
        3.0

        Poor ending narrative

        By Ian

        from Adelaide

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Pros

        • Engaging characters
        • Well Written

        Cons

        • Disappointing

        Best Uses

        • Reference

        Comments about Eyrie:

        Mostly a great read looking for an ending.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        "Transcendant Prose"

        By Snowy Mountains Lover

        from Wollongong, NSW, AU

        About Me Bookworm

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Engaging characters
        • Page-Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Eyrie:

            Hands down the best book that I have read in over five years.

            Perfect for those that enjoy literary prose that consumes you and takes you into another world.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            'Engages from the first word.'

            By Heather Thoday

            from Adelaide, AU

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Engaging characters
            • Richly Engaging Imagery
            • Well Written

            Cons

            • Requires Re-reading

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers

            Comments about Eyrie:

            'Eyrie' is Tim Winton at his best - full of humour and rich metaphors that are probably most relevant and meaningful to Australian readers. Multiple layers of meaning target the book to a wide audience.

            Comment on this review

             
            3.0

            Different to what I expected

            By Gillian

            from Ex NSW South Coast

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Difficult To Follow
              • Not What I Expected

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              Comments about Eyrie:

              Punctuation would have helped as It was a little difficult to follow

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              A master at work

              By Shirl

              from Coffs Harbour NSW

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Informative
              • Page-Turner
              • Subtle Enigmatic
              • Well Written

              Cons

              • A Bit Slow
              • Difficult To Follow

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers
              • Winton Lovers

              Comments about Eyrie:

              Winton has mastered the art of keeping us reading; we always want to know what comes next. I find his mind games sometimes disturbing.

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              Fantastic read , highly recomend

              By Barb

              from FNQ

              About Me Casual Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Read
              • Engaging characters
              • Informative
              • My Language
              • Page-Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

              • THERE ARE NONE

              Best Uses

              • Personal Favourite

              Comments about Eyrie:

              I am absolutely delighted with all aspects of service and delivery. I have recommended Booktopia to quite a few people.

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              A High Flyer

              By Different Drummer

              from Rural Queensland

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Read
              • Engaging characters
              • Page-Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Travel Reading

                Comments about Eyrie:

                Tim Winton is able to create empathy in his reader for characters that are outside most people's usual acquaintance.

                Comment on this review

                 
                4.0

                stupifyingly fabulous use of the english

                By chris

                from mareeba north queensland

                About Me Bookworm

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Engaging characters
                • Engrossing
                • Page-Turner
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Older Readers

                  Comments about Eyrie:

                  loved it

                  Comment on this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Great writers make reading so enjoyable

                  By Sue

                  from Happy Valley SA

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Read
                  • Page-Turner
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Older Readers
                    • Travel Reading

                    Comments about Eyrie:

                    A book I thoroughly enjoyed. Women and men would enjoy this story. Tells of how life experiences can change everything. Great use of English language. Great writer.

                    Comment on this review

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

                    Back to top

                    'Eyrie is breathtaking. It is difficult to simultaneously breathe and read this book, such is the intensity and grit in its pages . . . Winton is a master craftsman of words and Eyrie is no exception - honest, provocative and brilliant.' William Yeoman, West Australian

                    'What Dostoevsky might have come up with if he found himself destitute in Fremantle. But it rewards the effort with a searing commentary on contemporary Australian life . . . An instant classic.' slowmagazine.com.au

                    'Winton is arguably our most master contemporary writer.' Newcastle Herald

                    ‘When I wanted to quantify style, I chose Hemingway and Fitzgerald and picked Tim Winton third. Hemingway’s terse, punchy style is well-documented. Ditto Fitzgerald’s lyricism. Winton to me still represents both. His terse sentences can withstand the unforgiving Western Australian landscape, and at any juncture, they can unwind into a distended, lengthy cheer. He can now unleash a howl.’ Patrick McGinty, propellermag.com (US)

                    ‘A superb tale of disillusionment and redemption, loss and beauty, this is Winton in top form . . . The narrative is as propulsive as anything he has written before . . . In Tom Keely, Winton has created a narrator whose misfortune and fury is matched by a merciless and mordant wit, and Winton has rarely been funnier .’ Michael Williams, The Guardian (Australia)

                    ‘Tim Winton’s Doris is a gem . . . The characterisations are a joy. The sense of place, and senses stimulated are pure Winton . . . Eyrie, with so much of the seedy side of town, is a good example of what Winton calls “marinating in the sounds and lives of other people”. How it then translates to Winton’s mastery as a storyteller is what we get to enjoy.’ Lyn Mills, Canberra Times

                    ‘Outstanding . . . From the opening pages you know you are in the hands of a master. The writing is just effortlessly great.’ Stephen Romei, Weekend Australian

                    ‘A work of toughened wisdom . . . Winton’s layered portrayal of [Keely] is brilliant. He is a character sharply at odds with the myth of male ego that governs a good part of Australian culture . . . Eyrie is a fine work by any standard. It tackles myths of prosperity and success in a way that is not always comfortable, but that stirs deep thought. It is rich in compassion and affectionate towards the unlovely. It has a strong belief that no journey ends at the halfway mark. Eyrie is a novel for which our culture has been in urgent need.’ Michael McGirr, The Age

                    ‘Tim Winton is an outstanding writer, whose distinctive originality has never been more evident than in his newest novel, Eyrie . . . A rich and engrossing story, as intense and exciting as anything Winton has yet written. It’s rich in black humour while at the same time has elements of a crime thriller . . . This is Winton at his most intense and haunting best. Unmissable.’ David Gaunt, Bookseller & Publisher

                    ‘Imagine one of the flamboyantly damaged narrators of Hamsun’s fiction transported in time and space, from a park bench in 1890s Oslo to a dilapidated high-rise apartment in present-day Fremantle, and you have Eyrie in a nutshell. Here is the same mordant comedy, the same antagonism directed at the idiocies of the contemporary moment. Its narrator shares all the stuttering consciousness and variable mental weather of Hamsun’s great creations. But this is no pastiche. Winton has adapted these materials and built something new . . . However elaborate your analysis of Eyrie, the novel stands, like all of the author’s work, on its ability to marry sophistication and simplicity. Page by page it is an engrossing novel; the reader is moved and enraged in equal measure by the plain human story of Keely and his beautiful, battered adoptive family . . And, as ever, it is couched in the prose of a writer on whom nothing is lost, for whom the tiniest local detail bears an epiphanic charge.’ Geordie Williamson, Weekend Australian

                    ‘Tim Winton creates visual tableaus with words as precise as indigenous dot paintings . . . Eyrie is a disturbing and confronting look at how we treat those on the margins of society. The drama and decaying beauty are delivered without any apparent effort by Winton’s unaffected yet distinctly Australian voice.’ Herald Sun

                    ‘Winton’s powerful, evocative prosed draws the reader into the world of his flawed, endearing and completely credible characters . . . Quintessentially Australian storytelling that enthrals.’ Maureen Eppen, Good Reading

                    ‘As always, it’s Winton’s gift with words that keeps you turning the pages.’ GQ Australia

                    ‘A narrative very much of our time and place . . . A gripping, accomplished novel in which a very fine writer balances the imaginative freedoms of story with a scarifying assessment of the way we live now.’ Brian Matthews, Australian Book Review

                    ‘Tim Winton’s latest novel slickly dovetails a story of personal struggle, family dramas and criminal violence with hefty themes of class disparity, economic greed and environmental degradation. It’s also a ripper read . . . Eyrie is gritty and gripping – a literary thriller with an absorbing story that is at times challenging and haunting. There are passages that demand re-reading because of the beautiful eloquence with which they depict both the everyday and the seemingly indescribable; the tender vision of imagined death is heart-piercing.’ Suzie Keen, IN Daily

                    ‘Winton’s reputation precedes him, but this tale of drama and decaying beauty delivered without apparent effort in an unaffected yet distinctly Australian voice delivers, on every level.’ Townsville Bulletin

                    ‘Winton’s inimitable greatness is to take us into his fictional worlds with such conviction that we are there with him, totally immersed. We accept the people, their quandaries, and life’s inherent mystery. Mystery which is just as important as bread on the table.’ Bendigo Weekly

                    ‘This is a powerful book and Winton is a brave writer.’ John Ruszczyk, Manly Daily

                    ‘A work of art . . . This is a book that you won’t forget in a hurry, if ever. A must.’ samstillreading

                    ‘A highly accomplished work . . . Winton has a way of plunging you deep into the lives of his flawed and sometimes exasperating characters to the point where you care about them more than you should . . . The wonder, complexity, humour and tragedy of fallible, ordinary lives are encapsulated in Eyrie in what is for Winton an uncharacteristically suspenseful story, almost thriller-like in its intensity.’ Simon Smart, The Drum, ABC

                    ‘To read Tim Winton’s new novel Eyrie is to be reminded of the author’s sublime ability with language and insight into human hearts. It also reminded me that Winton is a storyteller who does not tie things up neatly but requires your engagement to distil the story.’ Berkelouw Books

                    ‘Keely, like many of the author's characters, might be down and out, but there’s that rudimentary, poetic beauty in people who look misery in the mirror and can have an unaffected laugh at their own expense.’ Elise Batchelor, Pilbara Echo

                    ‘Tim Winton writes with a deep understanding of the things in life that bring us together but also of the things that rip us asunder.’ John Lord, Australian Independent Media Network

                    ‘Eyrie is beautifully written and wonderfully funny and marks the return of a master storyteller.’ Mary Ryan’s bookstore

                    ‘A beautiful, deep and engaging story that illuminates human frailty, teases out the nature of risk and compassion, and goes very deep into the heart of love, loss, and personal responsibility.’ Magdalena Ball, compulsivereader

                    ‘How can something that echoes so much pain, bring so much pleasure? . . . The story is tense and suspenseful, a study of man and woman; a gentle moving study of those two opposites. Beautiful.’ Troy Martin, litistan.wordpress

                    'This might be the best thing Tim Winton has written . . . Barely a sentence is ordinary . . . [It] left me with a feeling of quiet triumph for the human spirit of survival.' Diana Burstall, Northern Rivers Echo

                    'Winton at his most intense and haunting best. Unmissable.' Books + Publishing

                    ISBN: 9781926428536
                    ISBN-10: 1926428536
                    Audience: General
                    Format: Hardcover
                    Language: English
                    Number Of Pages: 432
                    Published: 14th October 2013
                    Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.5
                    Weight (kg): 24.0