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Dirt Music by Tim Winton

Dirt Music

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April 2011 Guest Editor Lesley Lokko on Tim Winton...

Another Australian who’s got a way with words. I read Dirt Music years ago and was blown away by his prose, his magical attention to details, landscapes, weather, emotions, particularly when things are going wrong between couples...just stunning. I then read Breath, a surfing-coming-of-age tale that’s about so much more than waves and wet dreams and decided that I wouldn’t let the Noughties end without a visit Down Under. I didn’t...and his descriptions, particularly of the Queensland coastline, were staggeringly accurate. A real gem of a writer.

If you like Tim Winton you might also like to read books by Patricia Wood, David Vann and Peter Carey.


Dirt Music by Tim Winton

Georgie Jutland has lost her way. Living with a fisherman she doesn't love, feeling alienated from her neighbours, she spends her nights in a blur of vodka and pointless loitering in cyberspace. Until one morning, in the boozy pre-dawn gloom, she looks up from her computer screen to see a shadow on the beach below her. Luther Fox, the local poacher. Jinx. Outcast. So begins an unlikely alliance. Set in the wild landscape of Western Australia, this is a novel about the odds of breaking with the past, a journey across landscapes within and without, and a love story about people stifled by grief, regret and lost dreams.


'Winton keeps writing fiction that makes the novel feel alive to a continent of possibilities' - Evening Standard

'Winton is not a great Australian novelist; he is a great novelist, full stop' - The Times

'Written in seemingly effortless prose that never puts a foot wrong'
Sunday Times

'Shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel The Riders in 1995, Tim Winton is one of the best Australian writers around. Every word is made to count in his fiercely poetic prose - you can see the big Western Australian skies, taste the tang of the salt bush and feel the dry red heat of the outback in every sentence of this wonderful, brutal book. Georgie Jutland is a woman whose life is in a mess. Aged 40, still beautiful despite the sun lines around her eyes, she has quit nursing - itself the career she chose when she abandoned the idea of becoming a doctor - to become unwanted stepmother to two difficult boys, and the common-law wife of wealthy fisherman Jim Buckridge. The Buckridge family is the aristocracy of the rough town of White Point, where licences to fish for lobster and oysters are licences to print money - and jealously guarded. After Georgie's vodka-fuelled late-night Internet-surfing binges are interrupted by the shadow of a poacher's pick-up truck in the distance, her innocuous secret outings to swim with his dog initially go unnoticed. But when she meets the 'shamateur himself, hillbilly musician Luther Fox, she finds herself sliding inexorably into the mire of a violent small-town rivalry she can only begin to understand. The vivid cast of supporting characters begin to close ranks against the stranger, and Georgie's emotional life becomes even more complicated when her mother dies suddenly. Jim and Luther circle each other from a distance, as wary as wild animals, but when Luther takes off, running from the demons of his past as much as from Georgie, Jim's reaction is unpredictable, and Georgie realizes how much the two men have in common. A dangerous trail takes Georgie, Jim and Luther to the outside limits of the glorious, sprawling country Winton obviously loves so much - and to the limits of human endurance. Unmissable. (Kirkus UK)

About the Author

Tim Winton

Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. He is the author of many books, including novels, a collection of stories, non-fiction and books for children. His first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian /Vogel Award. Cloudstreet won the Banjo Award and the Miles Franklin Award in Australia and the Deo Gloria Prize in England, and has been successfully adapted for the theatre. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).

Author photo © Kate Eshelby

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Book Info

Publication date

4th July 2003


Tim Winton

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Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan


480 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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