Friday 15 November 2013

Friday Flashback - Dirt Music by Tim Winton

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 I felt a more personal affinity for 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, the relationship doesn't look so satisfying. 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 in WA blokey story".

This post is linked to Flashback Friday and AusReading Month.


  1. Anonymous16/11/13

    Interesting choice for this week's FF! I love the cover of the novel, it's a gorgeous photo and the colours are warm and just lovely :) Am going to check it out on GR ;)

    - Lianne @

  2. The only Winton I've never managed to finish is Cloudstreet! I've generally quite enjoyed the rest of them. I read Dirt Music quite a few years ago now, and don't remember details, but I know I enjoyed it.

  3. Anonymous1/12/13

    I'm kind of at the other end with Winton than you - I loved Cloludstreet, thought Dirt Music was okay and could not finish Breath. I loved the cynicism of Eyrie - perhaps because I live nearby and I was just waiting for a Dockers sarcastic comment!

    1. Breath marked the beginning of my "oh no another lost man tale" phase. Like Eyrie, there were elements that I enjoyed, respected, appreciated, but ultimately they both left me wanting more or something different.

      At least Winton's work is not bland - there's always something to be said one way or the other!


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