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Breath : Winner of the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award - Tim Winton


Winner of the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award


Published: May 2009
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Published: 14th September 2012
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We can absolutely endorse this book. It is an award-winning bestselling title and has been one of Australia's bestselling titles since the publication of the hardcover edition in May 2008.

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER - Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2009

More than once since then I've wondered whether the life-threatening high jinks that Loonie and I and Sando and Eva got up to in the years of my adolescence were anything more than a rebellion against the monotony of drawing breath.

Breath is a story about the wildness of youth - the lust for excitement and terror, the determination to be extraordinary, the wounds that heal and those that don't - and about learning to live with its passing.

In his first novel for seven years, Tim Winton has achieved a new level of mastery. Breath confirms him as one of the world's finest storytellers, a writer of novels that are at the same time simple and profound, relentlessly gripping and deeply moving.

When paramedic Bruce Pike arrives too late to save a boy found hanged in his bedroom he senses immediately that this lonely death is an accident. Pike knows the difference between suicide and misadventure. He understands only too well the forces that can propel a kid toward oblivion. Not just because he's an ambulanceman but because of the life he's lived, the boy he once was, addicted to extremes, flirting with death, pushing every boundary in the struggle to be extraordinary, barely knowing where or how to stop. So begins a story about the damage you do to yourself when you're young and think you're immortal.

'It's unlikely Winton has ever written as well as he writes in Breath... Its seeming simplicity is deceptive, for beneath its pared-back surfaces lies all the steel of a major novelist operating at full throttle in a territory he has spent 25 years making his own.'
James Bradley, THE AGE

'A novelist who, to a peerless degree, has learnt how to do it...Breath seems to cut through everything, and to speak with unusual honesty.'
Philip Hensher, SPECTATOR

'An absorbing, powerful and deeply beautiful novel, a meditation on surfing which becomes a rumination about the very stuff of existence.'
Helen Gordon, THE OBSERVER

'This brilliant book may well turn out to be the finest thing that Winton has done.'

'Breath is about moving out of your depth, getting in over your head, having your soul damaged beyond repair ...But against all this pointless sorrow, there remains the evanescent beauty of the world, and Winton matches that with limitlessly beautiful prose.'



by PowerReviews

(based on 2 reviews)

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I read this book when it was first published.


from Sydney

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Page Turner
  • Suspenseful
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about Breath:

    Loved this book. Tim Winton is such a brilliant writer. Any older surfer would thoroughly enjoy this

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    In my top 10.


    from sydney nsw

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer


    • A Great Story
    • Engaging Characters
    • I Loved This Book
    • Page Turner
    • Well Written


      Best Uses

      • An Over 18's Book
      • Gift

      Comments about Breath:

      This book is based around surfing, but not about surfing. The characters are very real. I wondered if it was the biography of someone very close to TW.

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      Tim Winton

      The pre-eminent Australian novelist of his generation, Tim’s literary reputation was established early when his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian Vogel Award; his second novel Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984; and his third book, Scission, a collection of short stories, won the West Australian Council Literary Award in 1985.

      That Eye the Sky was adapted for the stage by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh, and also made into a film. A second film adaptation was made of In the Winter Dark, featuring Brenda Blethyn.

      Tim’s fifth novel, Cloudstreet, the story of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, was a huge literary and commercial success. It has been a best seller since its publication in 1991 and was recently voted the most popular Australian novel by the Australian Society of Authors. Awards include National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1991; West Australian Fiction Award 1991; Deo Gloria Award (UK), 1991 and the 1992 Miles Franklin Award.

      Cloudstreet, was adapted for the stage by Nick Enright and Justin Monjo, and played to sell-out houses around Australia and in Zurich, London and Dublin in 1999. It toured internationally again in 2001, playing in London, New York and Washington. Film rights have been bought by Cloudstreet Inc. (USA).

      Tim’s 1995 novel The Riders was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize and has been translated into numerous languages including French, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Greek and Hebrew.

      His books for children and teenagers include the series of three books about the 13 year old Lockie Leonard. The first book in the series, Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo, won the Western Australia Premier's Award for Children's Fiction. It was adapted for the stage by Paige Gibbs and toured nationally with great success. Lockie Leonard, Legend, the most recent in the series, won the Family Award for Children’s Literature. The books are being made into a television series by RB Films.

      In 2001 Tim’s novel, Dirt Music, was published to considerable critical acclaim and impressive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the 2002 Mann Booker Prize and won the 2002 Miles Franklin Award, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Film rights have been optioned to Phil Noyce’s film company, Rumbalara Films, and Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are signed to star in the film.

      The Turning, published in 2004, was described as At once exquisite and unsettling, brimming with imagery so lush and observations so precise the book is almost incandescent (The Bulletin). The Turning was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award and won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the Queensland Fiction Book Award and the Colin Roderick Award.

      His new novel, Breath, was published by Penguin Books Australia, Picador United Kingdom, Farrar Straus Giroux USA, Harper Collins Canada, de Gues in the Netherlands, Luchterland Germany and Editions Rivages Payot France in 2008.

      Breath was awarded the 2009 Miles Franklin Prize for Literature.

      Tim Winton is patron of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers sponsored by the City of Subiaco, Western Australia. Active in the environmental movement in Australia, he was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to literature and the community. He is also the patron of the Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Stop the Toad Foundation and is active in many of their campaigns. He has recently contributed to the whaling debate with an article published on The Last Whale website. He lives in Western Australia with his wife and three children.


      Winner - 2003 Australian Society of Authors Medal

      For Adults:
      Winner - 2009 Miles Franklin Award
      Winner - 2008 Age Book of the Year Fiction Award
      Winner - 2008 Indie Award
      Shortlisted - 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South East Asia and the South Pacific Region
      Shortlisted - 2009 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize
      The Turning
      Shortlisted - 2005 Inaugural Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
      Commended - 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book
      Winner - 2005 Queensland Premier's Literary Award, Best Fiction Book
      Winner - 2005 New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Christina Stead Prize
      Joint Winner - 2004 Colin Roderick Award
      Dirt Music
      Shortlisted - 2002 Man Booker Prize
      Shortlisted - 2002 Kiriyama Prize
      Winner - 2002 Miles Franklin Award
      Winner - 2002 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize
      Winner - 2001 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Book of the Year
      Winner - 2001 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
      Winner - 2001 Good Reading Award - Readers Choice Book of the Year
      Winner - 2001 Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award
      The Riders
      Shortlisted - 1995 Booker Prize
      Winner - 1995 Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia and South Pacific Region
      Winner - 1992 Deo Gloria Award
      Winner - 1991 NBC Banjo Award for Literature
      Winner -1991 Miles Franklin Award
      Joint Winner - 1991 Western Australia Premier's Book Award - Fiction
      Minimum of Two and Other Stories
      Winner - 1988 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
      Scission and Other Stories
      Joint Winner - 1985 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
      Winner - 1985 Western Australian Council Literary Award
      Winner - 1984 Miles Franklin Literary Award
      Joint Winner - 1985 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
      An Open Swimmer
      Winner - 1981 Australian/Vogel National Literary Award

      For Children and Young Adults:
      Lockie Leonard, Legend
      Winner - 1998 Family Award for Children's Literature
      Winner - 1998 Bolinda Audio Book Awards
      Winner - 1998 Wilderness Society Environment Award
      Winner - 1999 WAYRBA Hoffman Award for Young Readers
      Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster
      Winner - 1993 Wilderness Society Environment Award
      The Buglalugs Bum Thief
      Winner - 1994 CROW Award (Children Reading Outstanding Writers): Focus list (Years 3-5)
      Winner - 1998 YABBA Awards: Fiction for Younger Readers
      Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo
      Winner - 1993 American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults Award
      Winner - 1996 YABBA Awards: Fiction for Older Readers
      Joint winner - 1991 Western Australian Premier's Book Award: Children's Book
      Winner - 1990 Western Australian Premier's Book Award: Children's Book

      Visit Tim Winton's Booktopia Author Page

      ISBN: 9780143009580
      ISBN-10: 0143009583
      Audience: General
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 288
      Published: May 2009
      Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
      Country of Publication: AU
      Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.2  x 2.0
      Weight (kg): 0.26
      Edition Number: 1