A rifle-shot of a novel – crisp, fast, shocking – The Shepherd’s Hut is an urgent masterpiece about solitude, unlikely friendship, and the raw business of survival.
Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for.
In one terrible moment his life is stripped to little more than what he can carry and how he can keep himself alive. There’s just one person left in the world who understands him and what he still dares to hope for. But to reach her he’ll have to cross the vast saltlands on a trek that only a dreamer or a fugitive would attempt.
The Shepherd’s Hut is a searing look at what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.
Review by John Purcell
Brutal. That is the word that best describes Tim Winton’s new novel, The Shepherd’s Hut. Brutal. I felt bruised and winded on finishing it. Parched and dusty. I stared around me and the familiar was unfamiliar. The valued, valueless.
Jaxie Clackton is a speck on the huge expanse of the WA desert. He is on the run from the law. The outcast’s outcast just desperate to find the one person who really gets him.
And that’s all I want to tell you. The rest you can find out for yourself. And you will find out because you will read it. Everyone will be reading it. This book is set to be an Australian classic.
Another classic, that is. Because Tim Winton has already written Cloudstreet, Dirt Music, Breath and the others. And we come back to Tim Winton because there is always something true in what he writes – a truth that can’t be blurted out or rolled into a neat little aphorism, but has to be felt or experienced through the telling. He is Australia’s truth teller and The Shepherd’s Hut is truth at its most brutal.
A hard hitting book that keeps your attention throughout when you adjust to the language.
I loved this book although feel that it would probably appeal more to a more mature, male audience. I found it difficult to put down and the story flowed nicely.The end was unexpected which made it more exciting.I have 14 of Winton's books on my shelves and this would rate as one of his best. Thoroughly recommended.
Lane Cove, Sydney
Read this one for book club. My first Tim Winton, the writing was quite accessible and the main character had a well-defined "voice". Unfortunately, it took some time for me to engage in the plot and I had to over-look what seemed to be challenging plot devices. Can say some of his choices were particularly believable. The book picks up in the later stages and was more engaging as the plot developed.
Lots of Language but within context mature readers not easily offended will love it.
Chain Valley Bay NSW Australia
This book was disappointing. It received rave reviews at preview stage so I was excited. But not for long. I unfortunately found this slow and predictable.
Best Winton yet! Although I initially struggled a bit with the dialogue by page 10 I was utterly hooked. A brilliant, confronting contemporary novel which captures the essence of the WA mid west.
Safety Bay Western Australia
I think I'm in love with Jaxie Claxton! What's wrong with me? This is the novel I've been waiting for from Winton. A character that has a chance at redemption despite the moral chaos that engulfs them. An endearing, shocking, heartbreaking, sinister, hopeful, comic, clever thriller that I want to read again and again and again.
I adore Tim Winton and this book is yet another masterpiece. His characters are so rich, his dialogue so true and his stories are just unforgettable. I had goosebumps.
I pre-ordered this new book as I am a Tim Winton fan - I love his style of writing, very Aussie, with "larrikin" type characters. This book was no exception- quite rugged in location, and storyline. Easy to read with a distinctive Aussie flavour!
McLaren Vale S.A.
“Winton’s novel of breaking and mending is a searing, ardent and deeply empathetic dive into the turmoil of a mutilated heart. I will never be able to unhear the voice of young Jaxie Clackton, plangent and profane, who is destined to become one of the greatest characters in Australian literature.”
“Landscape and destiny are inextricable in Tim Winton’s latest novel, and the result is a gritty realism that ultimately propels the story into the timelessness of a parable. All that I love about Winton’s work is here: the poetry of the colloquial, fully realized characters, and the fearlessness to enter the deepest mysteries of being. The Shepherd’s Hut is a brilliant reminder that Winton is one of the world’s great living novelists.” – RON RASH
“A richly compassionate work, deeply informed by Winton’s poetic genius.” – ALEX MILLER
“A masterpiece from a masterful storyteller. We have not seen many people like Jaxie in Australian literature. When reading this book I wondered if Winton had actually found someone like Jaxie and had simply recorded him telling his incredible story. This is the magic of this book. The voice is so authentic and the language of this young character rings true to the people I have met throughout my life. I will not forget this book.” – ALEXIS WRIGHT
“A novel that reminds us what fiction can do. Here is a voice that digs into your viscera and changes you from the inside. This is fiction in the raw.” – ROSS RAISIN
“Describes the chaotic struggle of new masculinity better than anything else I’ve read. As an exploration of the intergenerational trauma that plagues men, it couldn’t be more timely. Seriously, it’s incredible.” – BEN QUILTY “The Shepherd’s Hut is wonderful. Brutal, agonising, tender. Ultimately, it’s a story of redemption and hope.” – SARAH WINMAN
“Even a regular Tim Winton novel — if such a thing exists — would knock most other novels into a cocked hat, but The Shepherd's Hut is Winton at the top of his game, and that's saying something. A fierce, pungent, slangy, humdinger of a book, with a real kick in the tail. Fiction doesn't get much better than this.” – RUPERT THOMSON
“Shot through with the breathtaking evocation of landscape that is Winton’s forte, The Shepherd’s Hut is a hymn to the wild forces of nature and unsentimental belonging. Winton’s enviable ability to elicit passion for Jaxie through his immaculate, poetic and troubled rush of vernacular — no matter how terrible Jaxie’s actions — is broken, beautiful and ugly in all the best ways.” – RAY ROBINSON
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 12th March 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 16.1 x 3.6
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1