After reading Eyrie recently, I’m feeling more ambivalent about Tim Winton than I’ve ever felt before.
I went through a similar phase after trying to read The Riders – a novel I miserably failed to engage with on any level. It also had the dubious honour of being one of the first books I decided not to finish. (I was about to turn 30 and had reached a point where I felt that life was too short to read a bad book, or a book that wasn’t working for me)!
But about 6 years later, I decided to try again with Dirt Music.
And I loved it.
I had had my first holiday to WA in 1999 and felt like I had acquired some intimate knowledge of the WA landscape that Winton wrote about so beautifully. I pictured David Wenham as Fox. And the soundtrack played in my head the whole way through.
I enjoyed the unusual relationship that developed between the two main characters; it suited the frame of mind I was in at the time.
In hindsight, from where I stand now, the relationship doesn’t look very satisfying at all. But I’m not sure that satisfying and comfortable are words that Tim Winton would be very comfortable with either!
I remember Dirt Music with a great deal of fondness. Even the long anticipated, over-dramatic, far-fetched ending brings a smile to my lips. For me there was a cinematic element to Dirt Music. I was desperate to see it on the big screen where justice could be done to the over the top ending!
But after my experience with Eyrie, I’m a little concerned about revisiting Dirt Music in case I come away thinking, “oh no it’s just another lost bloke story”.
This post is linked to Flashback Friday and AusReading Month.