Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tim Winton - Breath

I've just read the latest book by Australian author Tim Winton called Breath.

Tim Winton has been writing books for 30 years and I've only just discovered him.

Breath is a book revolving around two young boys and their exploits of surfing.
In fact I love surfing, it's one of my unfulfilled childhood dreams - I never managed to actually get to surf. Maybe that's the fact that I'm still alive. It's a damn dangerous sport. Flirting with death is what surfing is about in this book.
But the book isn't just about surfing. It's not until a third of the way into the book that the reader (me at least) finally clicks on to the significance of the title of the book.

Believe me, it's not about surfing. I won't spoil the surprise but I will say that there is a connection between the early exploits of these two boys holding their breath and pretending to drown in the river, holding their breath as a requirement to survive the brutality of the huge waves that pound them in the ocean and finally, the perversion that is associated with asphyxiation and sexuality.

Playing with the risk of death or coming close to death as a sport/sexual activity is the underlying theme of this book. Why do we do it? Boredom? challenge? Exhilaration?
Overcoming fear (and fear of death) is a reward in itself...or so Sando the guru/professional surfer in the book tells it.

I'll definitely be reading more books by Tim Winton in the future.
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Jeannie said...

Sounds like a good read. I'll have to check it out.

Anonymous said...

I'll pass. I like breathing.

Jim Belshaw said...

Liked this post, Lexcen. I haven't actually heard TW, but will do so,

nanc said...

cheap thrills like body surfing and water skiing were great in my younger days, but now that i'm a little older a snicker's bar will do the same trick!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has come close to death and realizes the frailty of human life has no need to overcome the fear of death. As for asphyxiation and sex? Good sex is good enough.

Lexcen said...

Jen, it seems that a lot of books I've been reading lately have themes around kinky sex. It's not that I actively seek out such books, but they appear to be good subject matter for stories.What's even stranger is that my tastes are very vanilla flavored (read ordinary).