DIRT MUSIC

Tim Winton, Author . Scribner $26 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7432-2802-2

The stunning new narrative by Australian writer Winton (The Riders, nominated for the Booker), a tale of three characters' perilous journey into the Australian wilderness in efforts to escape and atone for their pasts, may just be his breakthrough American publication. At 40, Georgie Jutland, former nurse, inveterate risk-taker, incipient alcoholic and lifelong rebel against her prominent family, has moved in with widowed lobster fisherman Jim Buckridge, "the uncrowned prince" of the western seaside community of White Point. Although Georgie devotes herself to Jim's two young sons, their relationship is uneasy and somehow empty. When she's drawn to shamateur (fish poacher) Luther Fox, who breaks the law to keep his mind from tragic memories, the lives of all three begin to unravel. Lu, the lone survivor of a disreputable family of musicians who specialized in dirt music (country blues), is a memorable character, vulnerable and appealing despite his many flaws. When the White Point community resorts to violence against him, he heads into the tropic wilderness of Australia's northern coast, and the plot begins to challenge CBS's Survivor. With masterly economy and control, Winston unfurls a story of secrets, regrets and new beginnings. His prose, sprinkled with regional vernacular, combines cool dispassion and lyric concision. Geography and landscape are palpable elements: as the narrative progresses, the atmosphere shifts from the austere monotony of a seacoast battered by wind into spectacular gorge country, the bare desolation of the desert and the terrible heat of the tropics. But it's each character's inner landscape that Winston authoritatively traverses with his unerring map of the heart. 7-city author tour. (May 15)

Reviewed on: 04/22/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-74030-776-5
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-7432-2848-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-74214-293-7
Hardcover - 460 pages - 978-1-58724-246-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-74319-547-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-74311-452-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-74319-472-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-74311-527-5
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-330-52800-9
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-4472-0286-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-74093-678-1
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-7432-3444-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4890-8389-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-74030-854-0
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