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Dirt Music: A Novel Paperback – May 13, 2003
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The plot is something else altogether: an elegantly wearied, cleverly finessed mutual odyssey that opts to follow the sometimes intertwining, sometimes diverging lives of poor Georgie and Luther as they try to deal with the odd alliance they comprise, as well as the complex and fractured lives they want to leave behind. The way Georgie deals with her unwitting inheritance of two dissatisfied adopted kids is particularly touching, poignant, and well written.
Best of all, though, is the prose. Somehow it manages to be simultaneously juicy and dry, like a desert cactus. This is especially true when Winton touches on the scented harshness of the Down Under outback: "the music is jagged and pushy and he for one just doesn't want to bloody hear it, but the outbursts of strings and piano are as austere and unconsoling as the pindan plain out there with its spindly acacia and red soil." This is a wise and accomplished novel. --Sean Thomas, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel is a love story that tests boundaries. Georgie, the female protagonist inspires many emotions in us, but we are admire her determination in following Luther and 'saving' him.
Underscoring this is winton's magical evoction of place and the rhythyms of the land. Most interestingly of all you can buy the double CD that acts as a soundtrack that underscores the necessity of music in our lives. We are lucky when we get a double dose - Winton's words with the music he believes best reflects what he is saying. Beautiful!
Through the bleak landscape of Western Australia, we learn that protagonists also have weaknesses and the 'bad' guys also have their own reasons to behave the way they do. This is the reason why I can identify with the characters and understand the way they behave. Having lived in Australia for some years also makes me recognize the 'aussieness' of this novel - it seeps through every sentence that is written: how the locals are afraid of the Asian invasion; how men are suppposed to be men; and many more little themes that are included within the novel. The book is also seasoned with Australian cheekiness and humour which makes it a delight to read - however, that doesn't mean that the book is a trivial read. Tim Winton brings us to scenes and makes us breathe in the surrounding, stand and witness whatever that is happening in the following pages.
I heartily recommend this book to those who want to visit Western Australia, and to read how each character deals with the ghosts of their past. A great read - full stop.
Actually the sum of the parts rang more true for me than when it was put together. The idea of the grand passion coming at a time when she was adrift emotionally was good. The hurt of the young boys which isolated her within the domestic setting was achingly poignant. Small town politics and the dynamics of Jim's place in a power structure was interesting and not something I can recall having read much of in the past, especially with respect to my own culture (Australian).
However, I found the last part of the book troublesome, and I think it disintegrated once the action moved to the remote island. I found it unbelievable and a bit of a Survivor / Boys Own Adventure stretch of the imagination.
Winton is a fluid writer - I didn't find the prose clumsy, cliched or contrived, I didn't cringe at all as I all too often find myself doing these days. I reckon there's a great book inside here wanting to get out. I read that Winton was ages behind on deadline for delivery of this, and seemed to be blocked. I read he had a whole different book written, which he scrapped and then wrote this almost in one go. I think it shows.
I am going to seek out some more of Winton's work, because I think he's a skilled writer, exploring some themes I find interesting, and his settings wonderful, and I have read better Winton books than this - Cloudsteet, and children's books The Deep and The Bugalugs Bum Thief .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was impressed with the pictures and personalities that the author drew - the reader spent much of the time in the main characters heads - great writing challenge - great author. Read morePublished 4 months ago by sallyg
Excellent read - usual gritty west Australia scenes with great characters. Disappointing ending - went from reality to fantasyPublished 9 months ago by cja
Another quality book by Tim with a believable storyline but with twists and turnsPublished 10 months ago by roger holt
Four stars because, despite its imperfections (overwritten, far too long, and often repetitive) the novel is both moving and engrossing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Claudine Kahan