Tim Winton, Dirt Music ( Scribner, 2001)

200px-DirtMusicI discovered this book browsing in a New York bookstore.  Winton is a youngish Australian whose novels have twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.  Dirt Music is the story of a couple of outcasts who find each other, lose each other, and against pretty remarkable odds, connect again.  I have rarely read any work that more evocatively captures landscapes – in this case the wilds of Western Australia.  A real page-turner, the novel is both a deep character study of the central actors and a gripping narrative.  I am purposely not saying much about the plot because to do so would be to give too much away.  I found myself carried along for four-fifths of the book, but must admit to being a bit disappointed in the conclusion which struck me as just too comfortable given everything that had gone before.