When paramedic Bruce Pike is called out to deal with another teenage adventure gone wrong, he knows better than his partner – better than the parents – what happened and how. Thirty years before, that dead boy could have been him.
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.
Breath confirms Tim Winton 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.
‘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.’ Andrew Riemer, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
‘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.’ Carolyn See, WASHINGTON POST
#93 in Australia’s Top 100 2016